A recent survey of Ontario parents revealed that, while parents are concerned about their children contracting and spreading Covid-19 from being in school, their greatest concerns are related to the impact of social distancing on their kids.
The two areas of most concern to Ontario parents are the stress that social distancing and safety measures have on their children, and their childrens’ ability to socialize with social distancing and safety measures in place.
The study was conducted by Michelle Oliveira, founder of MasksAndScrubcaps.ca, an online business that sells face masks and cloth accessories, stitched by local sewists in the Greater Toronto Area.
“As a parent, and someone really involved in my community, I talk to a lot of folks, particularly parents, about their anxieties about Covid”, says Oliveira. “So I thought it would be interesting to do this survey to get a broader and more quantifiable sense of what parents are going through.”
When asked to rate their areas of concerns, 60% of parents rated stress of social distancing and safety measures as an 8, 9 or 10 on a scale from 1 to 10, and 56% rated their children’s ability to socialize with social distancing and safety measures in place as an 8, 9, or 10.*
Other issues rated as top concerns are children spreading Covid to friends and family (31%), schools closing (27%), and their child contracting Covid (13%).
Oliveira sees these results as an eye-opener: “What I think this data tells us is that while we need to continue to be vigilant about safety measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing, we also need to provide parents with the tools they need to help them address the impact that social distancing in school has on them and their kids.”
Over 50 Canadians participated in the survey, the majority from Ontario. 63% of participants have their children attending school in person, 12% attending remotely, 6% doing a combination of remote and in-person,, and 12% are being homeschooled.
The study included students from all grades, with over half of students in the primary grades (JK to 6).
The study ran from November 7 to November 16, 2020.
*Parents were asked to rate their attitudes on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means “Not concerned at all” and 10 means “Extremely Concerned”.