All of us are affected by the constraints on normal life—especially parents of school-aged children.
From the graph below, it looks as though the pandemic is over. It shows the number of daily new “cases”—that is, the number of positive PCR tests. This number will never be zero, and will surely increase as the government does 150 million more tests—many of which will be false positives.
A positive COVID test is not like a positive HIV/AIDS test. HIV is presumably for life and must be kept in check with drugs. COVID patients shed virus for a few days, possibly weeks. Then, they are probably immune, but at least noncontagious, just like people who get over a coronavirus-caused cold.
Worldwide, the death toll has passed 1 million, and the number of known recoveries is nearly 25 million. Most recover without ever being diagnosed or counted.
Still, school openings are stalled or may occur only under restrictive rules, with unpredictable closures or changes. Teachers unions complain of high risk. Some parents are also fearful.
The risk of illness from COVID exposure is not the only concern. Here are others:
- In some districts a child could be at risk of confinement in his room for 14 days, and his family also at risk of forced quarantine, if he was in a classroom with a “case,” despite masks, distancing, and plexiglass barriers. This happened in Buffalo, New York.
- Children will be unable to have normal social interactions but will be taught to fear and shun others—and likely also to snitch on them for minor infractions.
- Children will be forced to wear masks, impeding their ability to learn language, and also subjecting them to health risks from improper wearing of contaminated face coverings—without any proven benefit. Masks do not protect the wearer, and they and protect others, to a small extent, only if the wearer is she dding virus.
- Children will be subjected to a curriculum that parents may not be allowed to see, which is not only ineffective at teaching reading and math but inculcates values that parents oppose. This is not a new problem, but COVID is exposing it.
Early this year, there were many unknowns about this disease. At this point, human interaction is no more dangerous than it always was and always will be. Proper hygiene is crucial—and we hope will remain improved. But now that schools have been closed for a prolonged period, parents may be re-thinking their options, and major changes may occur.