The idea of keeping schools open has been controversial since the covid-19 pandemic began. Governments, teachers, teachers unions and parents have been at loggerheads since the idea of school reopening was floated by governments across the globe.
For months now, schools across the globe, especially from countries that have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus, have been in lockdown or doing remote learning. To date, these measures have been effective to some degree, and have helped stop the spread of coronavirus. However, recent data shows that the same results could have been achieved even without closing down schools.
Data in favor of keeping schools open
School going children can get the virus, and studies have shown that they are not immune to the virus. However, their infection, ability to spread the virus and the fatality rate has been shown to be insignificant by numerous studies.
A review by the global studies by University College London (UCL) and the London School of Hygiene suggested that children were half as likely to catch coronavirus as adults,and therefore less likely to spread it.
Another study from Public Health England also showed that there had been very few cases of transmission between school staff and students. Although they noted that there was little data on the high school, they noted that the results would not change significantly, highlighting just how the risk of the spread of coronavirus in school was.
Large studies that involved high population clusters from China and the French Alps also showed little evidence that children were the contributing factor in the spread of coronavirus. These studies were also replicated in other countries that had been affected by the virus differently, including Iceland, South Korea, Netherlands, and Italy, and they all came to the conclusion that it was unlikely that the children were the driving force behind the spread of the virus.
Earlier research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) also found that most cases that were reported of children below the age of 18 were asymptomatic.
Recent data from the CDC, which was updated on December 9 shows that the total number of fatalities in the US was 261,530. However, the total number of fatalities under the age of 17 stood at 133 deaths, an unfortunate number but very small compared to other demographic age sets. The CDC’s numerous studies have also shown that most of these under 17 fatalities had underlying conditions.
Keeping schools open come with significant risk, but each study has shown that with proper social distancing and taking proper measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, schools can remain open safely, without contributing to a spike in coronavirus cases.
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