[For reasons that surpass understanding, this post was banned from Facebook on November 22, 2020.]

The case being made here is that schools should not generally be closed. Schools, the author argues, statistically match the spread in the surrounding community, so we are no worse off having them open—and there are substantial downsides to kids if they are closed.

You can read the article for yourself, but I remain unconvinced

In fact, I think the author concedes the main point early: schools should be closed if community spread is high. Well, community spread in most states right now is very high. As I write this, Oregon has just recorded its third record high day in a row of confirmed cases.

There is nothing uniquely protective about a school in the face of a pandemic. Kids get and spread Covid as well as anybody else (though younger kids are more often asymptomatic). I grant that schools may be a less likely vector than, say, pubs or restaurants or social gatherings. But getting people together, regardless of context, remains a bad idea if it can be avoided—something that both sides of the political spectrum seem to need reminding of.

Germany closed everything but schools. In Hamburg they took a position very similar to what the Washington Post author argues: schools are comparatively safe and should stay open. 4 out of 5 students were infected outside school they said. 

They have announced, just one day later, a large school-related outbreak. That means that three of the largest school outbreaks in Germany have occurred in the last two weeks.

It has not been different in other countries. In Quebec, an outbreak at an elementary school has resulted in almost 80 cases in a school of 432. 

We can wish that schools were safe, but wishing does not make it so. I don’t see how we go back safely prior to a vaccine.