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COVID-19: Opening Schools in a Pandemic

What could possibly go wrong?

by Eric Holdeman / July 11, 2020

The latest administration push coming from President Trump is for schools to fully reopen this fall. There is more to that problem, but the first and foremost is that the pandemic is still roaring along in a significant portion of the nation. And, schools in some states start opening in about a month. 

The statement is made that young children (most, not all) have not been the ones who become seriously ill from the disease. The major problem with that is that many children live in multi-generational homes where there are either grandparents in the house, or -- it is the grandparents raising the children. The other 'adult issue' is school staff. Teachers, administrative staff, custodians and the like can either be older or have the underlying conditions that make the disease especially dangerous. Mixing children with vulnerable populations could be very dangerous. 

The other thing is to look at what happened when states reopened too quickly after the initial surge in cases. They too were encouraged to 'get back open' for business. As we look at what is happening today in those states, they are in crisis mode right now. While there should be lessons learned, it would appear that senior national leadership haven't learned anything, and are repeating the same mistakes that got us to the point where we had 68,000 cases of COVID-19 detected in one day--last Friday. 

Lastly, saying that the Centers for Disease Control guidance for reopening schools is too restrictive and costly shows a focus, not on the welfare of children, but more on the expected political benefits of having kids in schools and parents back to work. 

 

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