It truly is shocking to see this completely miserable failure by FCPS (and all public schools really).
The school board should have opened with the kids in school.
There is a lot of anxiety and debate over this issue, but one thing everyone knows is that the virtual experience will be an extremely poor substitute for actual classroom teaching. Even the kids are well aware of this.
Is it safe for kids to reopen the schools? If the definition of safe is zero risk of contracting COVID-19, obviously it is not and probably never will be safe to reopen. But COVID-19 is clearly not a serious safety issue for normal, healthy school age children. Data shows the State of Virginia has had 10,148 pediatric cases of COVID-19 (ages 0-19). 147 have been hospitalized (1.4%). The survival rate is 100% among this sizeable sample.
A reasonable argument can be made that regular flu is a more serious safety issue among this age group.
The only valid argument against reopening schools is that is it not safe for faculty and staff. But even the risks here I think are greatly exaggerated. Again, looking at the data from Virginia, there have been 81,108 cases of COVID-19 in people under the age of 70. There is a 99.38% recovery rate among that population, and we don’t know about the possible underlying health conditions of the 0.61% who died.
I doubt there will be many faculty or staff over the age of 70 where you start to get into a high risk area.
Teachers and staff who may fall into a high risk category due to age or health should not be in school and can be reassigned. This would be the sort of “can do” planning the board should be doing to allow kids to return to school.
Sure there are families with at risk kids due to health issues. And families with at risk parents due to age or health. And maybe families with grandparents in the house. Children in these families may well need to stay home from school. There are multiple options for people in these situations.
What is wrong with our society that we live in such unreasonable fear? How can we survive as a species? I'm not making this up. The data is all right here: