As I was [listening to the Daily podcast](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/podcasts/the-daily/coronavirus-science-indoor-infection.html) today, I couldn’t help but think how dangerous the thinking around school opening is…
They lead off the podcast saying stuff like studies say that inside is like 20x more dangerous than outside for contracting coronavirus; that places like restaurants, bars, churches are the most dangerous (places where people congregate for long period of time, talk/sing/laugh/etc); that coronavirus lingers in the air, etc etc. Then they talk about how opening schools will be fine. Even though everything they described fits schools as well?! Crazy.
They do mention studies that seem to suggest young children haven’t been super spreaders, but what about older students and staff? And kids bringing it home to at-risk family members?
The flu ravaged many schools in our area this past school year, so I have no faith in schools coming up with a plan to prevent coronavirus spread. Even more so after reading plans that have been put forth in a few states. Some have no mandatory masks or staff testing and very little guidance in terms of dealing with all of this…
Then there are [examples like Israel](https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/03/868507524/israel-orders-schools-to-close-when-covid-19-cases-are-discovered), which seem to be closest to what I’d expect from most states:
> Two weeks after Israel fully reopened schools, a COVID-19 outbreak sweeping through classrooms — including at least 130 cases at a single school — has led officials to close dozens of schools where students and staff were infected. A new policy orders any school where a virus case emerges to close.
> The government decision, announced Wednesday evening, comes after more than 200 cases have been confirmed among students and staff at various schools. At least 244 students and school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Education. At least 42 kindergartens and schools have been shuttered indefinitely. More than 6,800 students and teachers are in home quarantine by government order.
Pretending this disease does not affect kids or isn’t dangerous in a school environment is going to get a lot of people hurt.
I understand the want and need to get kids in school, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. The quicker we can change the mindset of folks who won’t wear masks and the quicker we can get an actual federal plan and coordinated response to this pandemic, the sooner we will be able to get back to anything close to normal. Four months into the pandemic and that isn’t working out too well.