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Mahua Barve lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband, first-year son and twin daughters. Currently, all three children are attending school full-time in person. Although the coronavirus surge caused Germany to close restaurants, bars, theaters, stadiums, tattoo parlors and brothels (which are legal in the country) in November. The school is allowed to remain open.
Barve said that despite the virus’s recurrence, the prudent safety policies of her children’s school still give her confidence. For example, each “pod” child will take a break every 10 minutes so that they don’t mix in the hallway.
“When I saw all the parents who came to pick up and drop off, they were wearing masks. The teachers always wore masks. They were trying their best to minimize the risk. Once they found something, they would be isolated.”
Buff said everyone is doing their part: “Although it’s a bit ups and downs, if people are swimming in their own lanes, they are less likely to be disturbed.”
Throughout Europe, even though most of Europe has reported an increase in coronavirus cases, and even many businesses and meeting places are closed or restricted, schools and childcare centers remain open. Countries like France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy seem to be following the emerging evidence that schools are not the main transmission centers of the virus, especially for young children. Experts say these countries have also shown their commitment to avoid the worst impact of the pandemic on children.
The United States has taken a different approach. With the daily increase in new cases exceeding 100,000, there is almost no place in the United States. Even if restaurants and bars are empty, classrooms are still full. In cities such as Boston and Washington, DC, schools are remote, but indoor dining is allowed. Detroit announced this week that it will close schools until January, while indoor restaurants and bars are still open at 50% capacity. At the same time, in states such as Florida and Texas, schools and most businesses remain open even though the incidence of cases is high and rising.
Judging from his position in Paris in charge of the PISA International Evaluation Program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (ISA), Andreas Schleicher has a global education outlook. He said that although European schools were initially out of cautious considerations, “research shows that if you have a social distancing agreement, the school is actually a safe environment, definitely safer than having children running around outside of school.”
At the same time, he said that in Europe, “I do think people have learned fairly quickly about the damage caused by school suspensions, especially to disadvantaged students.” He said that science is particularly beneficial to open elementary schools because young children are both It is not easy to spread diseases, and it is not easy to benefit from distance learning.
Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary of the Educational Insights Group recently analyzed the reopening model of schools worldwide. When talking about European countries, most of what she said was: “They have already closed cases locally based on the number of cases.” For example, in the children’s school in Barve, Germany, sometimes only about 20 children will be assigned to each case Sent home with the teacher’s “pods” for isolation.
Dr. Johannes Hubner, director of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital in Munich, Germany, recently told NPR correspondent Rob Schmitz that scientific research has not yet found a high transmission rate in the school. “Most infections are brought into school by adults, teachers, and then spread among children. But in most cases, this is a single case. Only two, three children, and five may be positive.”
Grob-Zakhary (Grob-Zakhary) said: “I think that five or six months ago, we didn’t know what we were dealing with, we had better ensure the safety of our children anyway. Now, there is a view I think, yes, this is dangerous, but we know more about how to deal with it.”
Even if the school is open, it does not mean that everyone will feel safe. In the UK, the teachers’ union raised the issue of safety. In Switzerland, which is the hottest coronavirus hotspot in Europe, parents Anindita Basu Sempere will send her 6-year-old son out of school. What worries her is that the local health department does not require children under 12 to wear masks. As long as the current tide continues, she is seeking doctor’s approval to keep her son out of school. She said that her son was sad to leave from his friend, but he told her, “It feels weird, so as not to change everything we do.”
President-elect Biden called for school closures “a national emergency.” Some members of his newly appointed COVID-19 working group, including former surgeon Vivek Murthy, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, and oncologist and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, all delivered cautious speeches in favor of reopening the school. But only by taking appropriate mitigation measures, such as testing, contact tracking, social distancing and cover-up, not all schools or regions currently have the resources to do so. Murthy and Emanuel wrote that schools can only be opened where the virus is controlled.
Other U.S. observers insist that even if the virus is spreading at a high rate, the U.S. should make different calculations about the impact of school suspensions on the entire society.Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, editor of the journal Jama PediatricsA paper just published estimates that due to the suspension of American schools, 5.53 million lives may be lost.
This calculation is based on research that shows that missing a few months will reduce a child’s chances of graduation from high school. Conversely, lower education levels have been recognized as reducing life expectancy, because people with lower education levels are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, have heart attacks, and engage in more dangerous jobs. the reason.
Christakis said: “From a school and life perspective, it becomes a breeze.” “And everyone said,’Well, if this sacrifices lives, we can’t send our children. School.’ But in reality, you have to sacrifice your life if you don’t send your child to school.”
Students from Lala Tanmoy Das Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD, are familiar with the type of modeling used by Christakis and called the paper “quite robust.” But Deiss also pointed out that the virus is more dangerous to black children, Latino children and children with pre-existing diseases, and we are not yet sufficiently aware of the long-term effects of this virus on children or adults. He also pointed out that many school districts in the United States are facing budget cuts, which makes it difficult to take mitigation measures, such as regular disinfection or making appropriate social distancing agreements.
Despite this, Das still agrees with Christakis’s view that schools should not be closed prior to other restrictions, especially for young children.
“In New York, restaurants and bars are open in a certain way, but we are talking about closing schools. It doesn’t make much sense.”