Covid-19 will go away if we just keep our schools closed

Good news from the Department of Correlation DOES Equal Causation: if we keep our schools closed, coronavirus will go away and leave us alone. From the maximally prestigious JAMA: “Association Between Statewide School Closure and COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality in the US”

Some excerpts:

All 50 states closed schools between March 13, 2020, and March 23, 2020.

The absolute effects associated with school closure during the 26-day period after school closure (days 17-42), which were calculated using model estimates with the assumption of linear growth, yielded 638.7 cases per 100 000 that would have occurred if schools had remained open (Table 3). Compared with the 214.8 cases per 100 000 estimated from the school closure model, the absolute difference associated with school closure was 423.9 (95% CI, 375.0 to 463.7) cases per 100 000.

In March 2020, states enacted multiple nonpharmaceutical interventions, including closing schools, nonessential businesses, and restaurants and bars, and prohibiting large gatherings, to curb SARS-CoV-2 spread and prevent death. Completely isolating the effects of any single nonpharmaceutical intervention is impossible because recommendations for increased handwashing, cleaning, and wearing of masks evolved simultaneously. Measured COVID-19 incidence also was affected by testing availability, which was limited early in the pandemic and varied nationally.

The authors reject the “Flatten the Curve” dogma as it was explained to us back in March. Infections are not merely delayed. They are prevented. The shutdown was “to curb SARS-CoV-2 spread and prevent death” and “school closure may be effective in curbing SARS-CoV-2 spread and preventing deaths during future outbreaks.”

Should we be more afraid of touching a dog with coronaplague in his/her/zir/their fur (an often-voiced concern of neighbors here in the Boston area) or a child?

Studies have documented lower attack rates for children, and children comprise a small proportion of documented infections. Children may be less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection; however, studies have documented viral shedding in asymptomatic children.

#AbundanceOfCaution time! #KeepThemSafeKeepSchoolsShut!

If you’re going to criticize this paper, keep in mind that, based on the journal, this is the absolute pinnacle of American medical thinking! I would like to re-title the paper, though, even if I don’t feel distinguished enough to criticize the statistical methods employed. Philip’s title for this work: “We closed our schools in March 2020 and coronavirus has hardly bothered us since then.”

Below, a picture of something we won’t be doing any time soon… bringing one of the flight school helicopters to a local school and explaining to the youngsters how it flies.

Related:

  • “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”
  • “Teachers Are Wary of Returning to Class, and Online Instruction Too” (NYT, July 29): Unions are threatening to strike if classrooms reopen, but are also pushing to limit live remote teaching. Their demands will shape pandemic education. … remote learning failed many children this spring, deepening achievement gaps by race and income. … one of the stickiest points of contention being how many hours per day teachers should be required to teach live via video. … a full school day over video would not be feasible for either students or teachers (although some private schools have embraced it).

16 thoughts on “Covid-19 will go away if we just keep our schools closed

  1. That is a wonderful photo of you and the kids. Note they are all paying attention (unlike Zoom meetings!) and listening to you (adults as well). Thanks for doing that. PS Were you telling a epidemiology joke ? 🙂

  2. I fear we will be in the grip of this virus for years. We have no coordinated plan in the US to deal with it. We have no leadership. No direction. We have conflicting science. We have a huge percentage of people who will refuse to take a vaccine…if we even get an effective one. We have the highest infection rate in the world, and it’s getting worse. We’re a pariah to the rest of the world. I’m retired and have given serious thought of temporarily moving to Canada. I’m searching for a path to do that.

    Instead we argue about masks, social distancing, hand washing, letting children go to school. Many folks ignore any advice whatsoever…so it doesn’t matter what you do. We will watch our economy go to shit because even if you do open it fully, many will still isolate.

    Might as well let the kids go to school and see what happens.

    • “ We have no coordinated plan in the US to deal with it. We have no leadership. No direction. We have conflicting science.”

      Isn’t all this going to be fixed on November 3rd?

    • UN says the lockdowns are killing ten thousand kids a month https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-hunger-10000-children-per-month-dead/507-13ba37fa-e5db-40e9-a356-f26da0d86479
      But if lockdowns save one boomer from a slightly earlier death it is worth it. Am I right? Boomers are special they were the first generation to watch the previous generation fake a moon landing.
      I do wonder how much of the nonsense is driven by government grabbling for more control and how much is caused by the boomer’s fear of death.

    • I don’t think that logic applies in the US since the typical America would be healthier and probably actually live longer if they consumed less food.

      Also, as governors all around the country are discovering, it’s not possible to make the economic damage go away by ignoring the problem and letting the hospitals fill up and loading the bodies en masse onto refrigerated trucks. No matter how much you try to cook the numbers, people will find out eventually and some fraction of them will reduce their economic activity to protect themselves. Getting the virus under control is a much better way to help the economy.

    • Sorry, Canada doesn’t have a wide-open immigration system like the U.S. They aren’t letting in people old people like you!

  3. tl;dr: zinc + Trump pills for everyone, manufactured in the USA by Kodak pharmaceuticals. Stop covid and create American jobs, what’s not to love?

  4. This fall, Massachusetts universities that reopen are the de facto testing grounds for the measures governors will be using in the future on the general population. Everyone on a college campus is legally an adult, but they can be required to submit to all of the strictures: the invasive contact tracing, forced quarantines, movement restrictions, twice-weekly testing, use of electronic monitoring, etc. Once it’s been done to the students, everyone else is next.

    https://patch.com/massachusetts/medford/medford-mayor-concerned-over-tufts-reopening-amid-rising-cases

  5. If this polling matches reality, it explains many things about the public’s reaction to covid. This is the from the detailed data of a poll in the US:

    https://www.kekstcnc.com/media/2787/covid-tracker-4-usa-tables.xlsx
    ” Q40. Which % of the population in your country do you think… – Have died from coronavirus
    Base: All respondents
    Mean 9.3%”

    The subgroup breakouts are interesting to look at. The question is: does this indicate the pubic doesn’t have a clue what the number of deaths in the US is, or the population of the US, or how percentages work? Or do they just not think it through and panic porn in the media has led them to just have that as their off the top impression of the magnitude of this? Or is there something odd about the way the polling company did the poll?

    I ran into it on a UK site that summarized:

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/2020/07/29/latest-news-88/
    “This is astonishing. An opinion pollster – Kekst CNC – has discovered that the people of Scotland believe that 10.23% of the UK population have died from coronavirus! That’s approximately seven million people, more than the entire population of Scotland (5.454 million). No wonder mobs of nationalists are setting up makeshift roadblocks on the English border.

    Admittedly, Kekst only asked 89 Scots, so it’s a tiny sample, but the polling company asked 527 women across the UK the same question and they think that 9.91% of the population have succumbed to the virus. Men are less pessimistic – they believe 3.45% of the population have died – but the mean figure is 6.76%, or four-and-a-half million. And in the US, the mean is a whopping 9%! That’s twenty nine-and-a-half million.”

    The overview page from the polling company:

    https://www.kekstcnc.com/media/2793/kekstcnc_research_covid-19_opinion_tracker_wave-4.pdf

  6. Apparently not only Sweden, but also other Nordic countries do not believe much in maskology:

    “According to a recent survey by YouGov, only five to 10 percent of respondents in the Nordic countries said they used a mask in public settings, a figure that has remained stable since the start of the crisis in March”

    “In supermarkets, on buses, and along the streets of capitals — such as Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and Reykjavik — face masks are a rare sight, worn only by a small minority, many of who are tourists.”

    https://news.yahoo.com/no-country-face-masks-nordics-brush-off-mouth-095007454.html

  7. Dr. Fauci doubles down on masks, saying they’ll also help prevent the flu this year, and he raises with goggles and/or face shields. Symptoms of the flu will commingle with those of COVID-19 so people who have a fever will be quarantining because of the flu, not COVID.

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/dr-fauci-wear-goggles-eye-shields-prevent-spread/story?id=72059055

    “You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye,” he continued. “Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”

    Meanwhile Pritzker in Illinois is warning he’s going to roll back reopening, and we know that Massachusetts and New York are poised to do the same thing. In the background, GDP cratered 32.9% in Q2, unemployment claims are spiking again, the benefits are expiring, and it looks like we’re going to crash the economy into the wall for a second time.

    All of this is GOOD. COVID-19 is saving the planet.

    Right on cue, Climate Change is being added to the mix, through the National Geographic ad at the top of the article, which takes you to their Roundtable on Climate Change:

    “Climate change is not just happening in the future.
    It’s happening right now.
    And while over time it will effect everyone,
    The impact it is having today is not felt equally.

    But there IS A SOLUTION and we have even witnessed some of its impact:

    During recent lockdowns, there were fewer cars on the road, fewer planes in the sky, and fewer factories in full gear. The air was clear. Pollution levels were down. And nature was making a comeback. We saw signs of a new path forward. Nature took charge.

    It’s time we FOLLOW HER LEAD. So let’s not go back to normal. Let’s not go back to how it was…”

    So there you have it. COVID-19 and its lockdowns may be inconvenient for us, but they’re good for the planet.

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