The New Reality: What can Canada learn from Denmark’s return to class?

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This is the seventh in a series of stories looking at the new reality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maritimes. You can find the full series here.

Its a bright and sunny morning in Aarhus, Denmark, and the Silverstein twins are headed back to school amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Danish government closed schools for a month when the pandemic first hit but Denmark was the first country in Europe to reopen classrooms.

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“We were scared, really anxious,” said Tamara Silverstein, the twins’ parent.

Denmark has a population of nearly six million people, and so far there have been 563 deaths related to the coronavirus.

When restrictions were lifted, daycares and elementary schools opened first.

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“The first day they came back they said it was the best day of their lives,” said Silverstein.

The Silversteins’ lives going back to a new normal was part of Denmark’s emergency education plan. Strict guidelines meant students and teachers had to stay two metres apart and parents were not allowed on school property.

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