TOUGH CALL: Melinda Mifsud has decided not to send her children Isaac, 8, and Ari, 5, to school due to the coronavirus. Photo: Warren Lynam
TOUGH CALL: Melinda Mifsud has decided not to send her children Isaac, 8, and Ari, 5, to school due to the coronavirus. Photo: Warren Lynam

Mum opts to keep kids home to stop spread of COVID-19

A CALOUNDRA mum of two school-aged kids has decided to keep them home, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring schools would remain open.

Melinda Mifsud's family had prepared a "loose plan" that involved the possibility of not sending her Prep and Year 2 children to school, activities and public places to "help stop the spread of the virus".

"With the numbers going up again over the weekend we have made this decision as of now to seriously limit our social interactions which means no school," Mrs Mifsud said.

Mr Morrison announced yesterday schools and universities would remain open, despite a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people which comes into effect today.

Ms Mifsud said her decision was not based on fear her children would become infected, but rather a moral preference. "I've been watching this unfold since January and slowly educating my children on handwashing, and stop picking your noses," she said.

"My number one concern is that I have an ethical obligation to slow the spread of this. The more social interactions one person has with others the faster this virus will hit the local community."

TOUGH CALL: Melinda Mifsud has decided not to send her children Isaac, 8, and Ari, 5, to school due to the coronavirus. Photo: Warren Lynam
TOUGH CALL: Melinda Mifsud has decided not to send her children Isaac, 8, and Ari, 5, to school due to the coronavirus. Photo: Warren Lynam

Mrs Mifsud said she was worried the burden on the healthcare system would become too much to handle.

"Our GPs are very vocal of this being our best shot to reduce the anticipated overload on our hospitals and I agree," she said.

"This is a difficult decision for most people (but) as I am a stay-at-home mum, I'm in a position to be able to do it.

"I also acknowledge this is not going to be as easy for others who have no child care to make this decision, but it is inevitable the schools will close down at some point, so it's best for all families to start preparing now."

In a statement provided to the Daily, a Queensland Catholic Education Commission spokeswoman said short-term school closures might still be on the cards as contingency plans were being discussed from government advice.

"Part of any emergency response planning is to consider all relevant contingencies and governments have clearly indicated that this should include short-term school closures in the context of COVID-19," she said.

The spokeswoman said until then, they were working with all catholic school authorities to help prepare for an increase in the prevalence of the virus including the possibility of virtual delivery and online classrooms.

Education Minister Grace Grace also said online learning materials were available if schools should need to close due to COVID-19.



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