Science shows schools must re-open for in-person learning

The following article was written by Paul Alexander, Howard Tenenbaum, Dr. Ramon Oskoui, Dr. Parvez Dara, and Dr. Craig Wax. It was published on February 19, 2021 by the American Institute for Economic Research.

In this lengthy article, the authors review some evidences pointing to the following facts: that children are at low-risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, that if they do become infected they are unlikely to spread COVID-19 among their peers or other adults, and that children are often infected by other adults in the home setting. The authors also reiterate that unlike influenza, children are not the driver of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and they have very low risk of severe illness or death. Influenza is even more dangerous for young children, yet no school closures have been imposed during previous flu seasons, why are school closures being used now when children virtually have no risk with COVID-19?

The authors also raise many important points: why are the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) delayed in calling for the reopening of schools when the data for safe reopening has been available as early as May 2020? Why aren’t all schools open now that we have conclusive evidence that there is no reason for keeping schools closed? Why aren’t government officials clamoring for the return of children in school when they know that school closures will cause an even greater damage to children’s futures than COVID ever will?

The article also offers 50 researches as evidences to their position: “schools must be immediately re-opened for in-person instruction as there is no reason to do otherwise”.

Editor’s Note: Just recently Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed doubts about school reopening for academic year 2021-2022. Similarly, many parents are also expressing concerns about sending their children back to school. If only they can read all the evidences pointed out by this article, then they will have level of assurance that children have no other business but to be in school, learning, and having fun with their friends.

To end, we would like to quote these important words from the article, because this is exactly what we want to say: “It is time that we as a society recognized the harms we’re inflicting on our children in order to protect ourselves; the adults/parents. This could be the 1st time on record in [any] society where we are asking them to suffer in order to protect us from an infectious disease no worse than annual influenza; we’ve made them into human shields”.

Our children have suffered enough. At this rate, we don’t even know if they can recover from the damage we have inflicted on them. Pro-longing their suffer will create a generation of traumatized, fearful children, and we will have reversed all the human development we have advocated for in decades.

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