Openings Should Be Guided By Health Metrics, What We Open Should Be Guided As Well
Fairfax County Public Schools will pause its reopening plans. Expanding in-person earning will be delayed. The updated COVID dashboard of the county shows 400 new cases in the past 24 hours. Unfortunately, this simply portends an exponential growth in the next few weeks. It is true that some are now experiencing a fatigue with these non-pharmaceutical interventions. How long do we have to wait? Are these working, anyway? These interventions only work with majority compliance. And we are failing because we are not recognizing what it takes to open schools, what it takes to control this pandemic. I receive every morning an update from the New York Times. Here is a part of this morning's edition:
Schools obviously involve indoor gatherings. Closing schools is therefore a non-pharmaceutical intervention to help control the spread of the coronavirus. If only the schools are closed while restaurants, bars, gyms and churches remain open, then we are basically fooling ourselves. The coronavirus is not choosy when it comes to what type of indoor gathering it uses to spread. Closing restaurants and bars at midnight or even earlier, for instance, 10 pm, is stupid because the coronavirus does not pick a specific time of day to spread. A half-baked approach is destined to fail. As long as we allow indoor gatherings, we will never reduce the spread of the coronavirus. As we keep our bars open, we will never see our schools open. And the data from Europe shows that we are making the wrong choices. We want to make exceptions all the time. The virus does not make exceptions.
Here is the announcement regarding Fairfax County Public Schools from one of its school board members.