Sunday, January 17, 2021


This is from the Wall Street Journal:

BERLIN—As U.S. authorities debate whether to keep schools open, a consensus is emerging in Europe that children are a considerable factor in the spread of Covid-19—and more countries are shutting schools for the first time since the spring.

Closures have been announced recently in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands on concerns about a more infectious variant of the virus first detected in the U.K. and rising case counts despite lockdowns.

While the debate continues, recent studies and outbreaks show that schoolchildren, even younger ones, can play a significant role in spreading infections.

“In the second wave we acquired much more evidence that schoolchildren are almost equally, if not more infected by SARS-CoV-2 than others,“ said Antoine Flahault, director of the University of Geneva’s Institute of Global Health.

Please, someone, send this news to Mr. Cuomo, Mr. de Blasio, Mr. Mulgrew, Mr. Trump, and Mr. Biden. This is the Wall Street Journal, not some left-wing pro-union publication.

Kids may be less likely to die from COVID-19 but they are not immune. 

From Wired:

In April 2020, children under the age of 18 made up just 1.7 percent of reported coronavirus cases, according to data from the CDC. By August, that figure had shot up to 7.3 percent. As of January 13, 2021, more than 2 million kids have caught Covid-19, and children comprise 10.8 percent of the nation’s caseload. According to a report released by the CDC on Wednesday, about 12,000 kids were hospitalized with the disease between March 1 and December 12, 2020. During that time, 178 died.

Do kids spread COVID-19?

Again, to Wired:

When it comes to the debate over opening schools, the other crucial questions are not about severity, but about spread. How easily are kids getting infected, and often are they transmitting the disease to others?

One way researchers have gauged that is to track infections within households where at least one person has tested positive. Two early studies in China found that kids were less likely than the adults in their household to contract the coronavirus. But scientists at the CDC had a hunch that something else was going on. The researchers leading those studies were only swabbing family members if they started to feel sick. Anyone who had been infected but wasn’t showing symptoms would be missed. Moreover, schools in the areas where the families lived were mostly closed. Kids were staying home, reducing their odds of exposure to the virus.

“Back then, there was a ton of discussion about how susceptible kids really were,” says Melissa Rolfes, a CDC epidemiologist with the agency’s Covid-19 response team. “So we set out to get really good data across age spans that wouldn’t be biased by things like symptoms or seeking medical care.”

Rolfes teamed up with researchers in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Nashville, Tennessee, who’d worked with the CDC in the past on flu surveillance. They quickly stood up a new study focused on finding the coronavirus in kids. It worked like this: If a person tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and they lived with at least one other person who wasn’t sick, the scientists would try to recruit that whole household for 14 days of daily nasal swabbing and questionnaire answering. That allowed them to capture any viral spread within the household, regardless of who showed symptoms.

What they found between last April and October was stark. People who had the virus spread it to half of their household companions. (In the earlier studies from China, it had been more like 20 to 30 percent.) And it didn’t matter whether it was a kid or an adult who brought SARS-CoV-2 home, they transmitted it to their family at similar rates. Within households, kids also got infected just as often as adults. But they tended to get less sick than the grown-ups, avoiding fevers and a cough most of the time. “Maybe they’d just have a stuffy nose, or maybe nothing, but when you swabbed them you’d find the virus,” says Rolfes. She realized earlier studies had been overlooking a lot of cases, especially in kids, because they didn’t appear ill. “We were really floored when we saw that data. A secondary infection rate above 50 percent for household contact was just mind-boggling.”

As for the new strain:

It’s still early, but all evidence so far suggests the UK variant increases transmission—by about 30 to 50 percent—equally across all age groups. So while schools might be a lot riskier, so is everywhere else people congregate indoors.

This article does not call for preemptively shutting down schools to stop the new variant from taking hold but there we disagree. I have maintained since early March that school buildings should be closed until community spread is gone. If you shut things down and get the virus under control, you can get that V shaped economic recovery that has eluded us in the USA.

From Bloomberg:

New Zealand’s economy bounced back strongly from recession in the third quarter, achieving a so-called V-shaped recovery as massive fiscal and monetary stimulus fueled consumer spending.

Gross domestic product surged 14% from the second quarter, when it contracted a revised 11%, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. Economists forecast a 12.9% gain. From a year earlier, the economy grew 0.4%, confounding the consensus forecast for a 1.8% decline.

New Zealanders have gone on a spending spree since the nation eliminated community transmission of Covid-19 in May and then successfully contained sporadic outbreaks. However, the border remains closed to foreigners, crippling the tourism industry, and many businesses have put investment and hiring plans on hold, which is projected to push the jobless rate higher in 2021.


Anonymous said...

The time is always right to do what is right.


Anonymous said...

I was discussing remote learning with someone.she blames lack of participation on the parents.this person has a 10 year old who goes on remote while she works out of the hone.she keeps in close touch with teachers and the kid is expected to work.while not always true, generally, if the parent is making sure their kids are participating, remote would be of my ignorant coworkers just allows her kids to not go on when they dont want to.they go to a learning bridge program.masking are not really enforced.also true at learning bridges near isnt fair to blame teachers for lousy parenting.not off topic here because if people took this seriously, it wouldnt be so bad to stay closed for safety.they complain that remote learning is a disaster and that is why we need to be open.well maybe some of these parents could do better.of course, these are likely the same ones who dont care even when we are live.
Today, I went into a bagel store for the first time.the cashier's mask was by his chin.i walked out.i passed 2 hair salons and saw the can people do this and expect to eradicate the virus??so for now, I am iso a haircut!

waitingforsupport said...

@740 pm...

waitingforsupport said...

Im retired and don't have a real dog in this fight. IMO, schools should stay closed.

Anonymous said...

My nephews go to school in South Carolina and are doing fully remote. They are expected to be on the computer at 8:00 and are expected to keep their camera on and have until 7:00 that night to turn in the assigned work. They also get marked absent if they either don't show up for part of the class or don't turn in their work. Remote learning works when kids are held accountable, but the city never holds anyone accountable, so kids do whatever they want. The kids will learn when they are in the real world competing with people who were held accountable when they were kids.

James Eterno said...

My 2 kids are expected to be online for Meets for school at 8:30 each morning and have to turn in their assignments by the end of the day. We are in NYC.

Anonymous said...

James, would you like to tell that to my colleagues?

Anonymous said...

James, your kids nyc school experience is not the typical experience. I’ve worked in 4 schools . All in low income high crime areas. The majority of parents are not holding their kids accountable and neither is the doe. We’re told to pass whether or not work is done. The reality is if your kids were in my school the only reason they’d do their work is because your kids hold themselves accountable as do you and your wife. Bad parenting is the cause of most academic failure.

Anonymous said...

No one trusts anything anymore from anyone. And for good reason. This is from The New York Times :

Early in the pandemic, many health experts — in the U.S. and around the world — decided that the public could not be trusted to hear the truth about masks. Instead, the experts spread a misleading message, discouraging the use of masks.

Their motivation was mostly good. It sprung from a concern that people would rush to buy high-grade medical masks, leaving too few for doctors and nurses. The experts were also unsure how much ordinary masks would help.

But the message was still a mistake.

It confused people. (If masks weren’t effective, why did doctors and nurses need them?) It delayed the widespread use of masks (even though there was good reason to believe they could help). And it damaged the credibility of public health experts.

When people feel as though they may not be getting the full truth from the authorities, snake-oil sellers and price gougers have an easier time,” the sociologist Zeynep Tufekci wrote early last year.

Now a version of the mask story is repeating itself — this time involving the vaccines. Once again, the experts don’t seem to trust the public to hear the full truth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

TeachNY said...

Yup. Cameras on should be a requirement. It drives me nuts. I call on people randomly all the time to make sure they are there. Some are not.

Anonymous said...

Elementary schools are not going to close again in NYC. The DOE considers us babysitters. End of story.

Anonymous said...

8:35 is correct. Fauci admitted he lied about masks and lied about percent for herd immunity because we the public can’t handle the truth. I no longer takes advice from Fauci or other government bureaucrats who call themselves scientists but don’t tell us about the fucking science. So yeah, even though I wear a mask, I get why others don’t. They’re convinced it’s all bullshit and the likes of Fauci contributed to that belief.

Anonymous said...

The reason they do not require cameras is because they are afraid that students will stop showing up for Zoom entirely. They are not able to or willing to mandate attendance.

Paul said...

I can tell you right now, I taught every single day live. Not a chance I do that next term. I got suckered. The other teachers don't bother. Then I'm verbally assaulted for giving honest grades. Never again.

Anonymous said...

I don't trust the government to tell the truth. They change their findings to suit them.
We don't need a mask then oh yeah you do. We didn't want to be honest because help care workers needed them more. How about TELLING THE TRUTH. USE A BANDANA OR SCARF AND COVER YOUR FACE!

Trump says Schools need to be open-NY gov says he wrong. Now NY GOV and NYC mayor says they need to be open! Another 360 to suit them.

Now it's get a shot with little testing. My friend's mother 80 years old got the shot 5 days ago and suddenly had trouble breathing this morning and died.

I DO NOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. They lie and change "the truth" to fit their needs.

Gov Cuomo give Matilda the shot! Show us it's safe for your parent.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I will add my two cents again about Johnson and Johnson's upcoming one shot vaccine in the pike.As far as J and J. They couldnt even get it right with their super tampons causing women to die of toxic shock (for those of us who were around then)why would i trust them with a vaccine when they cant be trusted with tampons!!
Sorry for being a bit immodest here, but it is funny and sadly, there is your haha for this evening at comedy central free of charge!

Anonymous said...

So we're talking about an indefinite military occupation of the nation's capital? Oh okay well it's a good thing this isn't absolutely terrifying and awful on every conceivable level.



Lydia H. said...

Join UFT Solidarity tomorrow at our council meeting. RSPV here:

Anonymous said...

6:01, sorry to hear about your friends mom. You realize she might have already had Covid when she was administrated the vaccine. There isn't typically a test before the vaccine. Perhaps a post mortem would be conclusive.

I wouldn't step foot in a classroom if the students weren't wearing masks.