Can We Re-Open Schools?

This year has introduced many parents to involuntary home schooling. Some may wish to continue the independent guided learning and others are looking forward to a return to public education - but when? Consider steps when new cases are low (<5%) or leveled out.

 

We all want to keep our children safe and healthy, at the same time, they need an education, one on one time with teachers, playtime and connection with peers. The CDC has developed guidelines to keep our children as safe as possible. There are many unanswered questions regarding the epidemic and until things sort out, the CDC has outlined ways to safely re-open schools. Why not make the adjustments so our children can learn? The good news is, more and more, there are findings that indicate there is no asymptomatic spread and that immunity is long-term. They have also shown that there is no transmission from healthy children (with healthy being the key word) [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268273/   and https://alachuachronicle.com/behind-the-mask-and-the-shower-curtain-covid-19-and-the-plight-of-children/ ] Here are some of their guidelines for a return to the classroom:

CDC: Promote healthy behaviors - Teach kids to take care of their health with good hygiene, rest and proper nutrition (i.e. no junk food). Don’t share materials, utensils, drinking cups or straws or personal items. Throw out tissues and wash your hands. Desks can be spaced out a bit (2 arm lengths).

CDC: Maintain a healthy environment – This includes having good ventilation in the schools, circulating outdoor air, maintaining clean bathrooms, wiping off surfaces and having soap, water, paper towels and cleaning supplies on hand. We might need to temporarily hire more facilities personnel and teachers, but our children are worth it.

CDC: Lunch/meals – staggering meal times or deliver box lunches to classrooms

CDC: Keep sick people home. This really should be a policy at work or school, even without this pandemic. You would not believe how many times over the years I have told people with the flu to stay home and they responded “But work will get mad” My response was “So they want everyone to get sick?” Best to stay home, rest and recover so you can get better faster and not put yourself at risk of secondary infections or worse.

Now that the numbers are in and there are potential treatments, let’s get back to living and work… 

I have been getting inquiries/emails about my statement indicating that less than 10,000 deaths were due to COVID alone.

The key word being - alone, without other risk factors, without comorbidities….otherwise the mortality rate in HEALTHY, robust, people…NOT those at risk 

 

That number was true in early September (9683 total from February 1 – August 31) it was since updated to 12,608. 

 

Until the new numbers were in, less than 10,000 mortalities were from COVID alone, without comorbidities (that number is now 12,608). The number with comorbidities (189,072) is sadly, much higher. CDC link: (COVID-19 Provisional Counts - Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics) (excerpts below from CDC.gov)

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR2-muRM3tB3uBdbTrmKwH1NdaBx6PpZo2kxotNwkUXlnbZXCwSRP2OmqsI   

  

(From the CDC site verbatim,  highlights are mine)

-------------------------------------

Comorbidities  

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups. For data on comorbidities,  Click here to download

2/1/2020 to 10/10/2020

Updated October 14, 2020

Total COVID-19 deaths as of 10/10/2020  201,141

---------------------------------------

New 9-month total from COVID alone is 12608 (201141 x 0.06) for the entire country. It means the risk of dying if you are healthy without comorbidities is low. If you are at risk, you should take precautions and we should absolutely protect the vulnerable (the elderly and sick). (A question for a different day is why are there so many comorbidities and what can we do to help people get healthy and fit?)

 

Point being – Why are we preventing healthy people from going to work or school when their fatality rate is so low, especially when there are treatments available? Why are businesses still limited or shuttered? Why are we quarantining healthy people? The initial pause gave us time to slow the spread and gather data, but now that we have a better handle on things, perhaps we should reconsider our approach. I do not wish this nasty disease on anyone and I do not want anyone to suffer. We need to protect the vulnerable/those at risk, without the destruction of lives, cities, families and businesses. We can be smart about it. It is time for a more reasonable, yet safe, solution. 

 

These numbers might also be interesting to some
 

TOTAL U.S. DEATHS [ALL CAUSES]: (that we did not pay attention to before this year)
2017 Total Deaths US: 2,813,503 (234,000/month) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db328.htm


2018 Total Deaths US: 2,839,205 (237,000/month) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db355.htm


2019 Total Deaths US: 2,855,000 (238,000/month) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/provisional-tables.htm


2020 Total Deaths US (Jan - week 9/26): 2,130,000 (236,000/month) https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Weekly-Counts-of-Deaths-by-State-and-Select-Causes/muzy-jte6
2,130,000 + (236,000/month x 3) [Oct, Nov, Dec] = 2,838,000 [assumption based on monthly avg]

 

Simplified:

2020: 2,838,000 [w/3-month assumption]
2019: 2,855,000
2018: 2,839,000
2017: 2,814,000

KATHLEEN "DOC" KELLEY