Home > Uncategorized > More Medical Realities on Reopening… and More Evidence that More Medical Spending AND More Staff Will Be Needed

More Medical Realities on Reopening… and More Evidence that More Medical Spending AND More Staff Will Be Needed

May 6, 2020

Earlier this morning I posted an article from my newsfeed from an ABC local TV station describing the conditions required to reopen schools. In reading today’s NYTimes, I read a more detailed description of ongoing research on the issue of the infectiousness of children that concluded with, well, no clear conclusion. New Studies Add to Evidence that Children May Transmit the Coronavirus  by Apoorva Mandavilli describes the new studies, each of which is rigorous in its design and none of which offer conclusive evidence that opening schools is a wise medical decision. After elaborating on several of the studies, the article concludes with these paragraphs:

The experts all agreed on one thing: that governments should hold active discussions on what reopening schools looks like. Students could be scheduled to come to school on different days to reduce the number of people in the building at one time, for example; desks could be placed six feet apart; and schools could avoid having students gather in large groups.

Teachers with underlying health conditions or of advanced age should be allowed to opt out and given alternative jobs outside the classroom, if possible, Dr. Nuzzo said, and children with underlying conditions should continue to learn from home.

The leaders of the two new studies, Dr. Drosten and Dr. Ajelli, were both more circumspect, saying their role is merely to provide the data that governments can use to make policies.

I’m somehow the bringer of the bad news but I can’t change the news,” Dr. Drosten said. “It’s in the data.

It is a statement of fact and not a political judgment to declare that our President and many politicians are averse to data based decision making. Here’s a series of questions for State lawmakers and the governing agencies that will decide on the opening of public schools:

  • Will decisions to re-open be based on data or political pressure?
  • To what extent will decisions on what schooling looks like be based on medical recommendations?
  • How will the costs for added medical and technological services be covered?

I have ideas on what schools could look like, the changes in the existing paradigm that are required to transform schools, and the sacrifices that will be required to make it possible. I have no idea how to get from where we are to where we need to be given the current lack of leadership from either political party… and I despair at what kinds of slapdash programs will be cobbled together in the name of efficiency. We seem to be willing to view a higher death rate as “collateral damage” to return the economy to normal. Are we willing to accept a higher transmission rate of Covid 19 AND increased inequality as “collateral damage” in order to reopen schools without spending more money?


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