Stuck at home and screened-in for much of the day, kids are paying a huge price in the fight against COVID-19–but they’re not the super-spreaders. Still, many, including a number of teachers, are all in with remote instruction, but justifiably so? Give a listen:
- “Teachers and parents can now say, ‘I told you so,’ even though they undoubtedly wish it weren’t true. New federal data reveal the pandemic is taking a striking toll on children’s mental health.” ~ Education Week
- “We shouldn’t be thinking of schools outside of everything else. If you’re not going to do something to restrict mobility more generally to get COVID under control, then you’re not actually going to do anything to reduce rates. Just closing schools will not control your COVID epidemic. It will disrupt the education of your kids and all the other things closing schools does to families.” ~ Benjamin P. Linus, associate professor of medicine & epidemiology, Boston University
- “There is not a single student in this country who is to blame for COVID-19, [yet] we know the impact is harming students in disproportionate ways.” ~ Joe Gothard, superintendent, St. Paul, MN
- “We are seeing cases of serious psychic and psychological damage being caused by these unnecessary shutdowns, with young children losing the social skills that they were just starting to develop in elementary and middle schools… There are ways to manage this crisis without creating a greater crisis. Keeping children out of school is not the solution. It is clearly not the solution for the economically disadvantaged child who doesn’t have a laptop and whose mom and dad work two jobs to make ends meet and will need to get third and fourth jobs to pay for day care.” ~ Christine Flowers
- “It would take students in grades five and six at least 12 weeks on average to catch up to where they were expected to be in the fall in math, compared with pre-pandemic skills, the [Renaissance Learning, Inc.] report found. Children in grades two and three would need four to seven weeks to catch up in math, while those in grades four, seven, and eight would need eight to 11 weeks.” ~ Leslie Brody & Yoree Koh, Wall Street Journal
- “While infections continue to rise among school-aged children—they currently account for about 10% of all COVID-19 infections, according to the CDC—evidence is mounting, including the latest report on Mississippi students, that, while children can and do contract the virus in schools, schools are not the super-spreader sites they were initially thought to be.” ~ Lauren Camera, S. News & World Report
They’re not; yet most are at home well before the Christmas break. And speaking of breaks, most districts kept kids plugged in during the recent snowstorm, including Philadelphia, instead of sending them all outdoors for some much needed fresh air and play. That’s my view, anyway. Agree or think I’m way off base?
Hey, even Dr. Fauci is with me on this, saying, “Given the increasing data made available–both in terms of coronavirus transmission and students’ academic and social troubles, the default position we should have is to bring the children back to school or keep them in school.”
His caveat: No one-size-fits-all solution across the country; precautions in place first. Why aren’t they already? Maybe ask Congress.
With thanks and 2021 hopes, Carol