"There is no science behind having children not attend schools," says Stanford's Dr. Scott Atlas. "Cases in low-risk populations (is) exactly how we are going to get herd immunity, population immunity, when low risk people with no significant problem handling the virus, which is basically 99% of people, get this and they become immune and they block the pathways of connectivity to more contagious, older, sicker people," he said. "We should open the schools because there is virtually zero risk of death and virtually zero risk of a serious illness in children. This is the fact. This is inarguable. This is proven (in) not only every country outside the United States but by our own data in the CDC itself. Of the first hundred-plus-thousand deaths analyzed, 99.98 deaths were not in children. There is a minimal, if any, risk of children transmitting the disease, even to their parents," says Dr. Atlas. Concerning teachers Dr. Atlas offers this information, "Let's look at who the teachers are in K-12 schools in the United States. Half of them are 41 years old or younger. 82% are under 55. The risk from COVID-19 for people under 60 is less than or equal to seasonal influenza. For those teachers who are considered to be high risk due to age or co-morbidities, "teachers by now understand what six-foot distancing is (and) understand they can wear a mask. If they're still afraid, if they still find it impossible to do social distancing..they can teach from a distance.. instead of shutting down schools. We are the only country in the world not opening schools."

The American Academy of Pediatrics states "the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation (as well as) substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families." The AAP also acknowledges that "the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection."

I cannot find the evidence to support the decisions of Clarke County and Winchester city schools to return to school on a part-time basis. Frederick County Public Schools have not presented their decision yet. I hope that that decision will be based on scientific evidence and not on the prevailing wisdom.

Lisa Callanan is resident of Stephens City.

(6) comments

Doc Samson

Fascinating how sometimes "science" is King and other times... not so much... I guess when CNN is in charge of what constitutes facts/reality and has you clutching your pearls and trying not to faint, the lines get sooo blurry...



It isn't influenza that has had bodies stacked up in refrigerated trailers in the hardest hit pandemic cities. The CDC reports that the mortality from symptomatic and asymptomatic (which may be 40% of all cases) is about 0.65%, a little over 6/10 of one per cent. That doesn't sound like much and there certainly is appeal for developing herd immunity throughout the nation.

But as far as I know, no one has any natural immunity to Covid. If applied to the 320 million residents of our country, an overall mortality of 0.0065 could result in the death of two million and eighty thousand victims--including citizens of all ages & attributes. That's roughly twice as many Americans as have died in all our country's wars.

We need to remain resolute in our efforts to contain this virus and fight the pandemic. Until there is a vaccine and effective treatment is readily available to everyone, we need to mask, practice social distancing, stay home, and YES, keep the children out of school. It won't last forever and so many lives depend on this.


It is ironic that school boards are holding virtual meetings to discuss opening the schools up.

Spock Here

My understanding is that not much is "proven" about this virus. It's new. It's not a form of a cold or the flu. Doctors are finding new symptoms all the time. As for herd immunity, it hasn't been proven. The architect of the Swedish herd immunity theory, The architect behind Sweden's coronavirus plan has said he wasn't sure if the relaxed approach is working: "I'm not convinced at all," Anders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist, told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on May 1. (Business Insider). We all agree that kids need school. The question is, how to reopen schools safely for students, teachers, and staff, as well as everyone else who comes in contact with them. What is the plan for buses? What is the plan for the cafeteria? How do you socially distance in crowded classrooms? There is unfortunately more involved than just saying "open the schools."

Spock Here

Sally Goza AAP president was in fact talking about the benefits students get when they are in school. She also noted, however, that "returning to school must be done safely," and she added: "Reopening schools in a way that maximizes safety, learning, and the well-being of children will clearly require new investments in our schools. We urge you to ensure that schools receive the resources necessary so that funding does not stand in the way of keeping our children safe or present at school."


Re the UPDATED statement: https://services.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2020/pediatricians-educators-and-superintendents-urge-a-safe-return-to-school-this-fall/

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