Posted on

Data Says Opening Schools Poses Very low Risk to Students and Teachers

the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, Dr. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former chief of neurology at Stanford University Medical Center appeared on Martha MacCallum’s FOX News show to discuss the “hysteria” of opening schools in the fall despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Scott Atlas told Martha MacCallum on Fox News , “there’s two points that I want to make. One is that teaching is a young profession. In the United States half the teachers are 40 or less and a quarter of them are under 30. Ninety percent are under 60 in public schools.

They have almost zero risk from this and for those high risk teachers, which there are some, if they believe in masks and social distancing, don’t think they know how to do that by now, and if they’re still afraid to do their job, why can’t they teach from a distance? If they think social distancing works, teach in a class, if they think a distance learning works, teach from home.

But the problem here and this the biggest point of all, I never hear anyone talk about the harms of closing schools. The harms are against the children. Anyone who prioritizes children would open the schools. That’s just counterfactual to say that, you know, the children are not the risk or, you know, were at risk here.

When we see the harms to children, most children learn most of what’s in schools from social engagement, from learning how to resolve conflicts from dealing with others.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that of the first 68,998 U.S. deaths from COVID-19, only 12 have been in children under age 14 — less than 0.02 percent. Nor is coronavirus killing teenagers. At last count, the fatality total among children under 18 without an underlying condition is one; only ten of the 16,469 confirmed coronavirus deaths in New York City were among those under the age of 18. That’s similar to the fatality rate for those under 20 in France, estimated at 0.001 percent, and in Spain.

The death of even one child is tragic, of course. Yet, it must be kept in mind that as many as 600 children in the United States died from seasonal influenza in 2017-18, according to CDC estimates, while the CDC’s estimate for COVID-19 fatalities number just 12. A just-released JAMA Pediatrics study flatly states: “Our data indicate that children are at far greater risk of critical illness from influenza than from COVID-19.” If the COVID-19 hazard sets the new standard for health safety, the country will need to close its schools each year from November until April to guard against influenza.There’s two points that I want to make. One is that teaching is a young profession. In the United States half the teachers are 40 or less and a quarter of them are under 30. Ninety percent are under 60 in public schools.