As COVID-19 spread like brushfire through New Haven, Tennille Smalls was faced with a weighty decision: whether or not to keep her daycare open.
After all, infants and toddlers touch everything and constantly put toys in their mouths. Most of them don’t yet understand how to sneeze or cough into a sleeve. Though it is unclear how much children spread coronavirus, daycares often serve as petri dishes that foster the spread of illnesses like the flu or pink eye.
But parents rely on Smalls’ daycare, Gentle Hand Academy, so they can go to their jobs at Yale New Haven Hospital, the nearby medical center currently flooded with patients impacted by the coronavirus.
And Smalls relies on the tuition those parents pay so she can pay her mortgage.
At first, she resolved to stay open during the pandemic.
But then a colleague who runs another home daycare got sick, was hospitalized, and tested positive for the virus. Though Smalls didn’t have recent contact with her, it shook her.
She closed a week ago….