Despite the surge in coronavirus infections nationwide, President Donald Trump is still urging state and local officials to reopen schools this fall. Although experts say that resuming face-to-face learning has many social benefits, they remind schools that schools must balance potential risks and provide students, teachers, and administrators with a safe learning environment.
There is evidence that children are not as susceptible to COVID-19 caused by coronavirus as adults. Even among those who have been infected, it is rare for children to have serious complications or require hospitalization.
But this does not mean that the classroom can be exempted from the test of social alienation and other safety precautions, especially if the school intends to welcome the children back to the scene in less than two months.
Dr. Jennifer Lightl, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Langen Health Hospital in New York, New York, said: “Returning a child to school should really not be a debate, but a safe return to school.”
Wright said that it is an “ideal situation” to let the children appear in the school in the autumn as much as possible, but the school will need to implement some policies that allow students to maintain a certain distance indoors and avoid prolonged close contact. This, she said, may include reducing the number of classes, rearranging the desks to ensure that the children do not gather together or facing each other, and moving physical education or other leisure activities outdoors.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, children account for approximately 22% of the population, but so far, children account for only 2% of coronavirus cases.
Dr. C. Buddy Creech, an associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said that it is unclear what caused the difference.
Kridge said: “This is a strange pandemic, because usually for respiratory viruses, children are the most affected children and the most affected children.” “This is really another matter, affected The biggest is our adults, especially the elderly.”
It is also unknown how and why the risks are different for all young people. Dr. William Raska, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Vermont University Lana School of Medicine.
He said: “The younger you are, the less likely you are to spread the disease.” “Once you reach high school age, you will be more worried, [and] Once in college, you will be very worried. “
Wright said schools must keep these differences in mind when developing safety procedures.
She said: “I don’t think this is a size suitable for everyone.” “Compared to older teenagers, young children are indeed a different risk category, so our guidelines for primary school children [and] Middle school students should be different from our children who are high school students. “
In Europe and the United States, it has been reported that some children infected with coronavirus experienced inflammatory symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease because the child’s immune system substantially accelerated speeding. More than 100 cases of children with multiple inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C complications have been reported in New York, which was the center of the North American Coronavirus pandemic in March and April. Although potentially fatal, Lighter said MIS-C is “extremely rare.”
She added that in some cases it may be important to reopen schools because these institutions have important social functions, not just to provide education.
Wright said: “I think that in the past few months, children have had major social and emotional problems with online learning.” “I think online learning is not suitable for children, especially young children, especially poor children. .”
Dr. Shilpa Patel, a pediatrician in New Jersey, said that because scientists are still learning about the virus, making predictions is challenging. But she said she did not hesitate to let the child return to school this fall.
Patel said: “Everything will be normal if you get the vaccine.” “This is a difficult time for us, but yes, I will send the child back to school in September.”