An important debate: Should Schools open during COVID 19?

Whether to open schools or not has been highly debated and politicized. As a pediatrician, we believe the health and safety of children, teachers, and families is the most important by far. However missing school has a lot of downsides. We have compiled some of the best articles and opinions below to help you decide what is best for you and your family.

The Wall Street Journal: The Case For Reopening Schools Everything else about the coronavirus has become politicized in America, so why not a return to school as well? That’s the depressing state of play as President Trump pushes schools to reopen while Democrats heed teachers unions that demand more federal money and even then may not return. The losers, as ever, would be the children. The evidence—scientific, health and economic—argues overwhelmingly for schools to open in the fall. Start with the relative immunity of young children to the disease, which should reassure parents. (7/13)

The New York Times: America Drank Away Its Children’s Future A brief history of the past four months in America: Experts: Don’t rush to reopen, this isn’t over. Donald Trump: LIBERATE! Covid-19: Wheee! Trump officials: Here’s our opposition research on Anthony Fauci. And we’re now faced with an agonizing choice: Do we reopen schools, creating risks of a further viral explosion, or do we keep children home, with severe negative effects on their learning? None of this had to happen. Other countries stuck with their lockdowns long enough to reduce infections to rates much lower than those prevailing here; Covid-19 death rates per capita in the European Union are only a 10th those in the United States — and falling — while ours are rising fast. As a result, they’re in a position to reopen schools fairly safely. (Paul Krugman, 7/13)

USA Today: COVID-19 And Schools: Don't Return To Classroom Learning This Fall Abandoned by any semblance of national leadership during a raging pandemic, students, teachers and staff are being told to jump into the deep end and return to school buildings. They will be risking their lives and their families’ lives and endangering their communities to do so. All the precious time and resources spent to implement hybrid models and social distancing protocols will be washed away with the building's first positive COVID-19 case. Then it will be a hard pivot back home, using the same scattershot remote learning practices developed in an emergency. (Christine Vaccaro, 7/13)

USA Today: Outside COVID-19 Hot Spots, Try To Reopen Schools Where It's possible as the nation's 13,000 school districts grapple with how and whether to resume in-person student attendance this fall, there should be one guiding principle: Try to reopen schools, with appropriate safety precautions, wherever possible. Science is unsettled on the health risk of sending children to classes during a pandemic, but there's no question about the harm that will ensue if they stay home. "The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring," the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote in an analysis last month. (7/13)

Los Angeles Times: L.A. Schools Not Opening This Fall? Let The Tears FlowI’ll admit, I cried a bit when I heard that Los Angeles Unified School District students won’t be returning to their campuses next month. Instead, students will start the new school year they way the ended the last one — online and at home.Like many parents, I’ve anxiously watched the calendar and the COVID-19 case numbers. In April, as California took its early victory lap for flattening the curve, I’d hoped my two kids could return to school full time in the fall. In June, as cases began to rise with reopening, I figured they’d have a couple days a week in the classroom and a couple days a week of distance learning. (Kerry Cavanaugh, 7/13)

The Washington Post: Child-Care Centers Have Already Been Reopening. The Results Are Troubling.As Americans’ attention focuses on schools and the risks and potential rewards of reopening, a test case of sorts is playing out. With troubling results. Thousands of child-care facilities nationwide have already reopened, or tried to — and their experiences risk destroying the country’s already weak infrastructure for child care. The model is bad for everyone — parents, educators, caregivers, doctors, Republicans, Democrats — who wants children to return to campuses as quickly and safely as possible. (Catherine Rampell, 7/13)

USA Today: College Football 2020: SEC In Trouble During COVID-19 OutbreakThe strangest part of the last four months in college football has been watching the so-called leaders of the sport’s most powerful conference acting as if some of the fundamental facts we’ve learned about COVID-19 do not apply to their enterprise. As recently as mid-May, Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne said in an interview with the SEC Network that the “hope and plan right now is to play this fall with a full schedule and a full stadium” even as construction workers at Bryant-Denny Stadium were falling ill in clusters. A month after that, Texas A&M’s Ross Bjork expressed optimism that the 50 percent capacity limit imposed by Gov. Greg Abbott for sporting events would be significantly increased by the time football season rolled around. There was even a suggestion, as states like Georgia and Florida came out of lockdown, that the SEC might play on this fall while other leagues lagged behind. (Dan Wolken, 7/14)

CNN: Pro Sports Starting Vast, Science-Based Experiment In Covid Re-Entry When President Donald Trump and state and local leaders cast aside well-established, science-based protocols for protecting public health, they put thousands at risk of sickness and death. For those discouraged by the recklessness of policymakers, some solace can be found in the work of a group of healthy young American millionaires who are using science to punch their way forward through the pandemic and its restrictions. Professional athletes. (Kent Sepkowitz, 7/10)


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