August is one of those strange, transitory months that define how we close out the year. At the start of the month, Summer is in full swing and we’re either preparing for, enjoying or reflecting in the recent glow of our holiday. By the end of the month, summer is all but gone and we’re thinking about the shorter evenings heralding the onset of autumn and the inevitable arrival of winter.
For schools and parents with school aged children this transition is even more apparent. The start of August Teachers are looking forward to a month without teaching, marking and everything else that are the day to day activities that normally fill out their day. Parents on the other hand have the dread of a month of wondering how to keep their offspring occupied and doing something useful that doesn’t involve a screen. Some even have the added excitement of exam results that will define their arc for the next 2 to 3 years.
By the end of August, the situations has completely flipped. It’s the Teachers filled with dread as the new school year approaches and the feeling that they should have started their preparation a week or two earlier, whilst the parents that feel elated that an other school summer has been successfully navigated with their offspring still breathing and the family unit relatively intact.
However, this year is different, not that you could tell by the appearance of the “Back to School” ranges that have been in the shops from before the schools “broke-up”. To add to the stress researchers from UCL, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have simulated how a second wave may be fueled by pupils returning to school. It does not look good, especially since shortly afterwards Universities, Colleges and other Further Education establishments also resume.
The problem is exacerbated by the inadequate national track and trace solution, which makes contract tracing difficult, with as few as 40% of contacts traced.
However, help is at hand. Rather than waiting for a national response, using IoT Horizon’s MPWR:Track we can implement our own local contact tracing. This means in the event of a second (or subsequent) wave, not only can we see who has been in contact with those who have tested positive, we can also see who else might be at risk from having been in the affected areas. We can then initiate a response to ensure the individuals can respond appropriately, curtailing future spread and minimising the risks to others.
There is a further benefit from MPWR:Track which will help minimise risk, namely enforcing social distancing. MPWR:Track has an audible alarm that lets people know when they are too close. This allows people to recognise and become accustomed to what is a safe working distance. We can apply gamification to reward or shout out those who consistently respect others social distancing, whilst at the same time quietly speak to those repeat offenders who consistently compromise others safe working space.
We can integrate MPWR:Track with the rest of your COVID-19 strategy and response to provide a joined up solution and even create a dashboard to provide a public view of the status.
Deploying MPWR:Track will restore your pupils, customers and employees confidence in their environment allowing them to focus on the reason they are there, rather than constantly worrying about their safety.
To find more about MPWR:Track contact Niamh at firstname.lastname@example.org