Heather Sittig: Close Bars, Open Schools

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Heather Sittig says if adults act like adults, then school kids can be school kids again, safely.

I remember entering my 20s with optimism coursing through my veins. I lived in San Francisco – where everything felt possible and nothing could stop me from reaching my dreams. My after-work routine included regularly catching up with friends at the corner bars sprinkled throughout the city.

I can only imagine how it feels to be a young adult today, living in a world clouded by COVID, watching your dreams grow wings and flutter away. If you’re a young adult you may be an essential worker, spending days purchasing and delivering other people’s groceries, or cooking food for take-out. After a long day out in the world, interacting with others, the lure to go hang out with your friends is hard to resist. Afterall, COVID-19 often doesn’t even present symptoms in people your age. Why not hang out?

So maybe you do. And maybe you have good intentions to socially distance as you order your first drink. But then you have to take off masks to drink your drinks, and as you’re getting tipsy 6 feet starts to feel really far away. Soon enough your inhibitions are down. COVID loves to mingle with people like you.

For children today, life in the age of COVID is different. They cannot elect to spend their day in school, and hang out with their friends afterwards. COVID holds our children captive. They are developing in a confined environment, wings clipped, dreams defined by the desire to escape. Many families rely on schools for meals, access to technology and childcare. In short, children are paying the price for everyone who is throwing caution to the wind.

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It’s time for adults to start adulting and stop self-indulging. No, it’s not fun to stay home after work and Zoom with your friends. No, it’s not fair. But the price children are paying for your freedom to fraternize just isn’t worth it. How about we close bars and open schools? If adults act like adults, well, then kids can be kids.

With a Perspective, I’m Heather Sittig.

Heather Sittig is CEO of a Bay Area health tech company helping organizations mitigate against exposure to COVID-19.