Wired makes the case for reopening schools:
Schools are reopening in countries around the world in response to a substantial body of evidence that children are largely unaffected by Covid-19 and minimally contagious when they get infected. Experts and policymakers abroad also acknowledge that school closures perpetuate a long list of known harms to children.
Yet, oddly, the US is following a divergent path. . . .
In Italy, of 30,000 COVID deaths, just two were of children under 19.
Well-informed people are not worried kids will die from COVID-19, or even get very sick. It’s that they will infect vulnerable adults.
As you’ll read in Wired, there’s growing evidence we may be able to breathe easier on that score, too.
Even so, until there’s a vaccine or cure, kids living in close quarters with vulnerable adults — and vulnerable teachers and staff — should stay home unless the evidence becomes stronger that kids don’t transmit the virus.
As for the Kawasaki-like disease now associated with COVID-19, did you know that prior to the pandemic, there were already 3,000 cases in the U.S. each year? If 3,000 weren’t sufficient reason to shut the nation’s schools, why would 3,500 be? Indeed, the enormous national attention focused on these rare but scary cases — nearly 100 so far — will surely raise parents’ and doctors’ awareness, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment, thus reducing the sometimes long-lasting and in rare cases fatal consequences.
Do you buy that logic? Can we carefully, sensibly, reopen schools and summer camps for most kids whose parents would like them to attend? While taking every reasonable precaution to protect those who are vulnerable?
And what about the rest of us?
. . . Lockdowns were supposed to be a stopgap to let slow-moving officials get those plans in place, not a long-term solution. Epidemiologists tend to focus on what will save the most lives from a given disease at any cost, but Buckee admits that keeping everyone forced inside their homes until there’s a vaccine is not an option anyone is seriously considering.
Strict shutdown measures are good for protecting public officials from appearing responsible for any deaths. They also, to some degree, shift the blame for continued infections to the public — any increase in cases can be blamed on people’s failure to comply with rules so strict that even epidemiologists and health officials have been caught breaking them.
Those wanting to lift lockdowns aren’t necessarily denying the seriousness of the disease. Our safety can’t be bought by more suffering. At this point we’ve done our part, and public safety depends on what health authorities and politicians have done with the time we bought them. It’s now on them.
We adults who are old and/or vulnerable are surely aware by now that COVID-19 could kill us. We should take every precaution. But we shouldn’t require a total lock down of everyone else — because what good will that do us?
Something that may do us good:
Yet another study suggests that BrainHQ is really good for you, whether your goal is to avoid dementia, sharpen your driving skills, win a SuperBowl, or, in this case, lessen the effects of multiple sclerosis.
. . . More than 100 published studies of BrainHQ exercises have shown benefits across varied populations, including gains in standard measures of cognition (attention, speed, memory, executive function, social cognition), in standard measures of quality of life (mood, confidence and control, managing stress, health-related quality of life), and in real world activities (gait, balance, driving, everyday cognition, maintaining independence). BrainHQ is now offered, without charge to users, as a benefit by leading national and 5-star Medicare Advantage plans; by the Department of Defense for all servicemembers; and by hundreds of clinics, libraries, and communities. Consumers can also try BrainHQ for free at http://www.brainhq.com.
[Full disclosure: As long-time readers know, each time someone uses BrainHQ, my vast fortune swells.]
Quote of the Day
We've forgotten all the sacrifices that the people who've gone before us made to give us this wonderful life that we have. We accept it; we take it for granted; we think it's our birthright. The facts are, it's precious, it's fragile -- it can disappear.~Ross Perot, 1988
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