Student will be headed back to school in person soon in other countries, but not America. This country continues to have uncontrolled spread of the virus in over a dozen states. The unending babble of political divides have drowned out the knowledge of what is understood at this point in time about the corona virus SARS COV2.
Hit the Books and Memorize This
Like a teacher in a classroom of noisy children, it is time to say: Be QUIET and LISTEN!
Unfortunately, there is no way to slow the spread of half-truths and uncertainty on social media, news networks, and in our communities. Here are critical facts:
- The pandemic is only 8 months in and daily researchers and clinicians are learning more and more about its short and the long-term effects on the body
- Early on, it was thought that children were at less risk. That is no longer true.
- It was also suggested that children did not spread the virus. We now know they are efficient spreaders of COVID.
- 97,000 cases of COVID were reported in children during the last 2 weeks of July
- Children have died of this disease (45 under the age of 15 in the US)
- Children under the age of 5 may have substantially more virus in their upper respiratory tract, making them very efficient super spreaders
Learn from the Pros
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Guidance for Schools Re-entry points out the obvious: when a virus is uncontrolled it simply continues to spread.
“Unfortunately, in many parts of the United States, there is currently uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2. Although the AAP strongly advocates for in-person learning for the coming school year, the current widespread circulation of the virus will not permit in-person learning to be safely accomplished in many jurisdictions.”
The Academy includes 14 specific recommendations and detailed descriptions for cleaning and behavior.
The Wall Street Journal provides a concise summary in their August 9th overview about the emerging studies that show children can and do carry and transmit the virus.
Why Other Countries Can Open Schools
This chart shows the difference in the number of daily cases and the cases per million people across 13 countries, offering a bird’s eye view of the fundamental reason they were able to re-open schools.
When a spike in new infections occurs in the other countries, they extend testing, contact trace, and quarantine as needed. This is a measurable path to all aspects of restoring a degree of normalcy to a country and its’ economy. The US is far outside of the safe-to-consider zone.
There is helpful guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics for your reference in conversation with your school leaders. Engagement by parents and teachers with evidence and a safe plan can help communities work their way through the unknowns and set measurable objectives to preserve learning in school when it is safe to do so. Our children and young adults deserve a better response to the pandemic so they can continue to learn in person.