Although Florida and Texas did not have significant coronaplague, they did go into full coronapanic, including shutdown of schools even for children under 10 whom the Swiss say cannot be relevant spreaders of infection.
Most schools have a lot of additional land, e.g., a vast parking lot as well as athletic fields. What about building some big palapas on some of this land, with warming lamps in the ceiling, to serve as outdoor classrooms? It could look like this restaurant in Mexico:
Alternatively, a boring American-style aluminum shade and screen structure (“Florida room”).
Either way, if the weather isn’t truly nasty, hold classes outdoors where plague transmission is unlikely. Will it cost a lot to have government-built shade structures? Sure! But it can’t be significant compared to what we’re currently spending as we try to flee in terror from coronavirus.
Obviously this can’t work in the core plague regions of the U.S., i.e., Boston and New York City. But why not in the parts of the U.S. where the weather is generally pleasant from September through May?
(Maybe extend this a bit farther north with (a) heated seats, and (b) wind barriers that can be raised or lowered as necessary.)
Readers: What’s wrong with this idea? Children in poor countries all over the world learn in some fairly basic spaces, sometimes even under just the shade of a tree. Are Americans so fearful of Covid-19-that they would shut down a school in which 95 percent of the activity is outdoors?
- “Social Distancing Is Not Enough” (Altantic, one day later this this post): “A Hong Kong paper awaiting peer review found that of 7,324 documented cases in China, only one outbreak occurred outside … The risk of infection indoors is almost 19 times higher than in open-air environments … Every noncontact activity—talking, eating, working out—becomes significantly safer when you take it outside.”