Covid19 and school; is it safe for children, parents and teachers if they receive normal classroom instruction?  

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As school returns in the fall, many parents are concerned about their children and their safety.  This has become a controversial subject in the news. School is an important part of our society and children not only learn there, but some also depend on it for proper nutrition during their lunch programs.  Parents also depend on the school as it allows them to work as well. The truth is, the risk level for school return is low for everyone.   Wearing masks can further reduce this risk although the truth is, everyone will eventually get this virus or may already be immune due to cross-immunity from other coronaviruses. The current data also suggests that parents and teachers have little to worry about since most parents are younger as well as their teachers, further reducing their risk. And then, there was this report as seen on the CDC's web site regarding a recent incident where an overnight summer camp in June from  Georgia had an explosion of cases.  Georgia has a high rate of infection and the camp apparently had precautions in place. On the other hand, this does not mean this is happening everywhere and we should not assume this report means it is occurring in every state. The media has reported this and leaves us with the impression that this problem has occurred everywhere yet, this is the only report so far of this happening in the entire country so the perspective is important here. A medical provider posted a great blog post on KevinMD you should consider reading.  It is non-political, data-driven, and offers a science-based view of the actual risks if your child returns to full instruction. The discussion is becoming more heated as we approach the start of the school year, as unions threaten to strike and the media uses the incident in Georgia to increase their ratings but the emotional impact of this hits home.   Is it safe?  Read this doctor's post and you decide.  We do need a national policy on this and depending on your state's infection rates and where the curve is, your risk may be lower or higher and we should not view this through the lens of one size fits all. Your state will likely have a policy or guideline in place or those policies may differ from school district to school district.

Should I send my child back to school? A letter to parents.

SUE ROYAPPA, MD | CONDITIONS | JULY 27, 2020 This is the million-dollar question that I’ve been asked over and over again by distraught parents wanting to do right by their children. Parents want to have their children stay home so they can keep them healthy and safe. At the same time, they are worried about the far-reaching consequences of them not being in school. School is not just about academics but also about social and emotional wellbeing. For some children, school may be the only place where they get a nutritious meal, a safe area to play, or a kind word from an adult. But even if the home is ideal, most parents have to put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that their child gets the most out of online school. In spite of all the evidence supporting in-person classes, parents are terrified that they will compromise the safety of their children by sending them to school. I want to reassure all parents that, according to the data, children are about as safe as anyone can be in this pandemic. Does this mean they will be 100 percent safe? No. But when is your child truly 100 percent safe? Not when they walk on the road, get into the car, go to the pool, or do any number of daily activities that you don’t think twice about. The American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging children to get back to physical classrooms. Many doctors I know say they would send their children of any age back to school. Read more