Officials in Canada shut schools down in March. With that measure and others, and relative unity among political leaders, the country has fared far better against covid-19 than the United States. Cases per capita in Canada are less than a fifth those of the United States; deaths are less than half.
But for families, the school restart has been difficult, with relief about a tentative return to normal tempered by uncertainty about whether new safety measures will work.
“We’re venturing into the unknown,” said Anna Banerji, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Students in Quebec, the province hit hardest by the coronavirus, began returning for the new school year in late August. Positive cases have since been identified in several schools. The rest of the country will be back within weeks.