What Do You Think of Schools Opening in Fall 2020
I am a community college teacher in a state where cases are spiking but in a county that is not in extremely bad shape. I am very nervous about the prospect of going back. I am trying to process immigration to Canada, but this is realistically roughly a year away. I am noticing that the majority of thier univiersities are online only for 2020. Is it worth playing Russian Roulette and the gamble of going back as a teacher?
I was interested in what Chris thinks about this topic too. I feel that this is a very politicized topic. I acknowledge that some people/children need school for social services such as food and babysitting while parents work. I know that some children will not get adequate education online or even socialization during their time at home. However, I really cannot visualize how schools are safe. Along these lines, our state (OR) is allowing face shields for teachers and I just can’t see how that helps much either. Thoughts?
Yes. Thanks for replying and I would love to see Chris address this issue. One of my main concerns regarding this is that many studies are indicating that coronavirus can be spread by air conditioning. Thus, you have 2o some people in a closed indoor environment for an hour plus that are all essentially breathing the same air. Cases in the South are spiking as it is surmised that more people are spending time indoors because of the heat. Again, I see that Canada has gone to the online model for Fall 2020, even though their numbers are WAY lower.
Kids are largely immune to SC2. Kids are not immune to Influenza.
When was the last time we shut down the school system from influenza?
Closing schools isn’t about “saving the children.” In Europe, they appear to have figured this out. Maybe that’s because:
“Whatever happens during an election year is about the election, even if it seems unconnected.”
The OP is a college teacher working with “older” people. Are these different issues? Early elementary students in a class of 20 versus a lecture hall of 100 19-year-olds? Should the approach be different for pre-school through 3rd grade as compared to high school and college? I would answer “of course.”
From my perspective, this is not a “some” thing. It is a “most” thing. Students need to be in school for many reasons, including “day care” and “nutrition.” I believe young people become more capable, more self-reliant, more independent, if they attend to activities outside of their homes.
I work in tourism. Here in Washington, DC the bread-and-butter of the industry has been Spring visitors, mostly 8th graders. As of today, I have dozens of school trips scheduled between September through December. I have a group scheduled to visit from Hawaii for the Inauguration.
We need to figure this out. It should be data driven, not fear or emotion driven. Data would drive some studies which would create more data and eventually we would know enough to make some plans. That’s what we’ve been doing these last many months, right?
I’m sorry, but “Kids are largely immune to this“?????
You got some evidence to back up that statement bub? Because where I’m sitting, no human is “immune” to this thing. They may have the smallest risk of complications, but they still catch it, it still reproduces into transmissable exhaled droplets and they can still spread it.
I’m also wondering what your opinion is on putting a bunch of undisciplined, impossible-to-keep-masks-on-their-faces American children inside all day in groups?
And finally, here’s the trillion dollar question that needs to be asked – how fast will this spread through our communities if kids are asymptomatically transmitting it when they get back home?
“Kids are immune”……is not fully supported by data. There have been flare-ups and clusters at daycare & pre-K facilities across the country. Yes, kids less than 10 seem to be less apt to be vectors of disease, but saying they are immune is not accurate. Teenagers are very much apt to get infected and are ripe vectors of disease. Then, there are those things that make education actually happen called teachers (along with many associated staff), many of which are in high risk categories. Opening physical schools will enhance burn-through as invariably kids will infect their families. Granted the kids will likely have minimal medical effects themselves. Kids less than 25 years old have proven that on average they comply extremely poorly with CV-19 safety measures and that’s putting it nicely.
I fully get the fact that online learning has numerous major associated problems from some families being dependent on schools for meals, many kids not receiving any real education because of lack of family involvement at home, lack of online/technology resources, lack of available (affordable) daycare while parents are at work, impairment in the socialization process, etc, etc. Changes at the local societal level, and changes in various government funding can mitigate these problems.
I’m not sure how anyone can address this complex issue without acknowledging the medical consequences. Frankly, the jury is still out in regards to many of these issues, and I’m wary anytime people discuss this in an excessively confident manner. There are potential work-around for many of the problems above. The online schooling that occurred this past Spring was put together in a very haphazard manner. I’m not sure much can be garnered in regards online schooling going forward. A lot of lessons were learned, and if relied upon again the process will only become much better going forward.
Yes, this issue has become extremely politicized and like so many other issues it’s hard to get accurate balanced data. People tend to have an initial slant on the issue and then cherry pick ‘data’ to confirm their prior bias.
Hello @pappy-sperity and welcome aboard! This topic has been tossed around a bit here at PP these last few weeks and there are lots of studies and other bodies of work that support the idea of going back to school.
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.
This is an exceptional document, last updated June 25, 2020 titled “COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry”. There is specific guidance based on students ages and other learning considerations. The AAP further states:
SARS-CoV-2 appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2.
The AAP concludes with:
policy makers should acknowledge that COVID-19 policies are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk. No single action or set of actions will completely eliminate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but implementation of several coordinated interventions can greatly reduce that risk.
I would otherwise leave it to @davefairtex to respond directly if he chooses. I have come to respect his ideas and his analysis and his presentation of facts over these last many months.
I’d say it’d only be Russian roulette if you don’t take any vitamin D and other supplements. It seems to be the rare presymptomatic superspreaders; the evidence of significant asymptomatic (NOT presymptomatic) spread remains weak (as now acknowledged by the WHO and NYT), and much moreso in children. Though I wouldn’t discard the possibility that a severely vitamin D-deficient child (a form of child abuse?) could get it — but because of being unhealthy, not because they can somehow develop sufficient viral load to spread it without developing symptoms. Short of that, yes, kids are immune to this (but they’re not immune to our BS/beliefs!).
More important considerations than any Covid concerns should be the restrictions on children relations, if any. Traumatizing children because we as adults are scared, dumb, and submissive is unacceptable. “Safe zones” or marked zones of separation (social distancing) is degrading and traumatizing. Face masks even moreso.
If you’re allowed by your rulers to do homeschooling and your job conditions allow it, this is the time! Also whatever degree of unschooling you as a parent deem appropriate.
Of course the AAP supports reopening physical schooling. It would be of great benefit from the children’s perspective and those who advocate for children’s well being. However, the AAP is not exactly a balanced organization. I’ve read many back and forth arguments on physician forums which have included physicians from all walks of life. pediatricians have been one of the most isolated & least exposed medical specialists when it comes to CV-19. Amongst physicians pediatricians are very much in the minority in regards to opening physical schooling. That certainly doesn’t mean the pediatricians are wrong because science is not about who had the most number of votes.