From an excellent article at RealClearPolitics:
Politicians speak about following the science to set COVID-19 policy, but their decisions are more about political objectives than they are about medical efficacy. Why else did California Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down retail businesses in March when the state had under 300 cases per day but allow them to be open in July when the state clocked in at over 10,000 cases per day?
Why else would Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear allow liquor stores to stay open but close down churches? Why did Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer insist that buying lottery tickets remain legal but made it illegal to buy garden supplies? And how did New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo use “science” to prohibit outdoor funerals but allow outdoor protests?
California currently expects its 5-year-olds to complete kindergarten exclusively through online distance learning. For this dubious undertaking, the politicians are given passionate political cover.
The CDC has recorded a total of 20 COVID-19 deaths in children ages 5-14 compared to almost 2,000 deaths from non-COVID causes in the same time period for the same age group. It means children have been 100 times more likely to die from non-COVID causes during the pandemic than from COVID. This puts the risk of COVID death for children 5 to 14 in the same ballpark as deaths by lightning.
Claims of long-term damage or mystery illnesses have not been backed by any definitive evidence and they therefore serve more as a scare and intimidation tactic than as a medical guide. The truth is that children so far have had around a 1 in 20,000 rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. While controversial to some, Sweden’s policy of keeping primary schools open even at the height of the pandemic serves as an excellent counterpoint. With over 1 million children, Sweden did not have a single death of a school-aged child despite full attendance and no masks.
Sweden is not alone in sending kids to school. Denmark opened its schools back up in April. Finland kept normal class sizes when it reopened. Parts of Montana opened schools back in May, as did parts of Canada and Germany. The Netherlands announced that Dutch students didn’t even need to socially distance anymore as they experienced very low transmission rates. Schools all across Europe have reopened successfully, both with and without masks. The risk to the children themselves therefore cannot be used as a justification for the massive damage created by ceasing in-person education. But what about the teachers?
The whole article is filled with links and sources, so I recommend going to it to pull from more primary material. Either way, the case against school closures is profound. The rest of the world will send their children to school while the United States, in virtuous hysteria, keeps them home.
I found the first paragraph entertaining in its on right. I didn’t realize how absurd it was, but California, in the “name of science”, really did shut down at trivial levels of infection only to open up when infections were 20 times more prevalent. I oppose all shutdowns of all kinds, but for those who buy into their efficacy (in contradiction to the evidence), there’s no excuse for this sort of thing. It fails even the spurious lockdown rhetoric.