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Governor Cuomo gave thumbs-up to reopening schools in New York so long as their plans are approved by the state. Some parents and teachers are happy. Some are worried. Sone wonder how schools will pay for testing and tracing.
Schools have already opened in a few other states, and their experiences bear watching.
There is still much about the virus that is unknown, and some states (California and Georgia) reopened too soon, sone states are watching upticks in the infection rate (Massachusetts, New Jeraey), some nations reopened too soon (Israel, Spain, South Korea).
A seven-year-old boy with no pre-existing conditions died of COVID-19 in Georgia.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote today:
If the national failure has an image, it is the photo of the crowded hallway of a high school in Paulding County, Ga., this week, where schools rushed to reopen with a mask-optional policy even though an outbreak was underway. As schools reopen without safeguards, the virus is already hitting students and staff in Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Kansas.
It didn’t have to be this way. Cornell researchers report that other countries have found ways to reopen schools — with self-administered tests with overnight results (Germany), daily temperature checks (China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan), staggered arrival times (Japan, Israel), measures to let vulnerable staff work remotely (Britain, Israel, Denmark), and policies prioritizing elementary schools for reopening (Denmark, Norway). They’ve expanded transportation, limited class size, spaced desks, installed partitions, closed public spaces and moved classes outside.
The successful countries also had a crucial precondition: a low infection rate. A new article in the Lancet calculates that in order for British schools to reopen full-time in September, 75 percent of people with symptoms would need to be tested, positive cases isolated and 68 percent of contacts traced. Otherwise, a resulting new wave could be twice as bad as the first.
Here in the United States, testing, isolation and tracing capability lag badly, while Trump falsely claims children are “almost immune” from the virus and his education secretary claims children are “stoppers of the disease.”
How was the most powerful and advanced nation on earth brought so low? Of the various causes, one rises above all: The incompetence and selfishness of just one man.