Opening schools increase the spread of COVID-19 ~24%

I get that.
And if teachers are actually not (as opposed to “supposed to be”) getting vaccinated, it’s still an issue for those teachers.

Patience, non-parenting parents. Patience.

If that were the case I would be sympathetic. If the teachers were saying that they didn’t want to go back until they were vaccinated, I would have sympathy (though still aware of the fact that doctors and police officers and speech therapists have been working without vaccines for the better part of a year).

But that’s not what they’re saying. They’re refusing to go back to work until cases fall below some arbitrary level that we are nowhere remotely close to. Even if they are vaccinated. And the ones I know have either already gotten or in one case refused the first dose of the vaccine.

Kids haven’t been to school in nearly a year. It’s too much, IMO.

I’m not sure teachers around us have gotten the vaccine, once they have if you want to talk about reopening great.

Because teachers, certainly at the high school level, CAN work from home. Like actuaries.

Mental health professionals are all working from home, too. My internist is mostly doing telemedicine, with extremely limited in-person visits for the extremely limited stuff that needs to be in-person. My personal trainer is doing remote training.

Yeah, you can’t do the job of a grocery clerk or a massage therapist remotely. Nor a police officer. But there’s no reason to push people into crowded, poorly ventilated places if they can get the job done – or even a substantial fraction of the job, in a safer way.

I think this is the issue. I’m not sure that this is really happening effectively with teaching.

Certainly not the fraction of the job that is watching the children while their parents are at work. But even the education piece.

I know that most of my friends who are teachers, especially the ones who are elementary teachers and music teachers are saying that it’s better in-person. And they do the best they can online and learning is still happening, but not as much / not as effectively. Particularly for the most at-risk students.

Yeah two years ago when I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection and wanted my PCP to just call in an Rx they wouldn’t do it because she needed to see me in person and feel my sinuses and have the nurse take all my vitals, etc.

8 days ago when I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection the need for the doc to see me in person magically disappeared and she was mysteriously capable of calling in an Rx without knowing my blood pressure, without listening to my heart/lungs, without feeling my sinuses, and taking my word for it on my weight & temperature.

Not enough :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes: in the world…

“First, do no harm… to me.”

I, and quite a few of our friends, flocked to the Catholic school not because they are run by weak-willed idiots who would be easily bullied, but because they told us before we enrolled that they would do everything they could to stay open and in-person because they believed it was important for the kids, and could be done safely. And they were right. Our kids (not just my family…a group for 3 or 4 families who switched just for this year), on the whole, seem a lot happier than other kids that we know who are mostly home and isolated.

I think the shutdown of schools is only serving to exacerbate the differences between the haves and the have-nots. As Lucy noted above those with the means are able to either head over to a private school option and/or fully support online learning for their kids. Those that do not are falling further and further behind.


Completely agree with EC and will further note that (at least where I live) the public schools in the wealthier areas are the ones that are open and the ones in the poorer areas are the ones staying shut, so again, further exacerbating the already considerable differences in quality of education.

Now the wealthier areas are probably cramming fewer kids into each classroom to begin with, and thus better equipped to distance. But I’m guessing even they are averaging less than 6’ between kids / desks.

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Yeah, I worry about long-term mental health issues from a massive portion of society being isolated for so long.

The country can cope with losing 1% of our population much more readily than it can deal with 25% of our population developing what I’ll call “excess mental health issues”… that is, mental health issues that wouldn’t have cropped up were it not for the extensive period of isolation.

And so far we’re at 1/8th of one percent dead. I very much doubt we’ll get to 1%.

But the excess mental health problems worry me a lot.


"…the preponderance of available evidence from the fall school semester has been reassuring insofar as the type of rapid spread that was frequently observed in congregate living facilities or high-density worksites has not been reported in education settings in schools. "

There is no winning situation. In the poorest school districts, the kids who have to be in a classroom to be educated, monitored by a caring adult, and often even fed two of their meals, maybe all of them, are also the kids who are being watched by a network made up of the most at-risk population. These kids don’t have parents who can send them to another room to do schooling while they work from home, because the kids are being watched by elderly relatives or neighbors, or not watched at all, while their parents are working multiple jobs in person.

Do we force these kids back into the classroom for their own wellbeing, potentially killing their very caretakers, and in some cases, even them? Or do we keep them at home where long-term damage is being done to them? Where ground is being lost that would be difficult to make up in a world where budgets didn’t exist, and virtually impossible in the real world where they’re barely scraping by as it is?

The school districts with the luxury of having been in person since August are NOT the same ones who have to weigh these factors when coming up with a decision. It’s heartbreaking to know that there IS NO SOLUTION that is equitable. Yeah, kids need to be in school, but the only ones that can manage to be in school are the ones who would be able to make up the difference if they weren’t, for a few more months.

We wouldn’t even BE in this situation if people took personal responsibility seriously. We prioritize indoor dining and social drinking over the wellbeing of children, and that is America.


I get so angry when people point to the school district and the teacher’s unions as the only ones who have the power to change these decisions, as if they’re taking the decision to keep kids out of school lightly.

We as a society have made that decision for them; they’re just the messenger. Want kids in school? It comes at a cost, at a sacrifice. Who’s paying the cost, who’s making that sacrifice? If it’s not us, it’s them.

We’re at a point where even if we vaccinated all the teachers and caretakers, it wouldn’t be enough to get kids back to school by the end of this school year safely in many school districts, and in some places, teachers AREN’T EVEN PRIORITIZED. We’ve had a gd year to figure this out, ****ing get it together already.


In my state, the law changed and allowed much more to be done by telemedicine. That was literally illegal the years ago and legal now.

Are schools open where you live? In Southern Indiana where I live we reopened schools at the beginning of this school year. In Louisville they have not reopened at all yet. Kentucky is a mixed bag with some closed and some open. Indiana is almost entirely open I believe. It’s weird to me that areas have not opened schools.

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K-5 is open (5 days in-person schooling) in our area starting mid-January. Not likely to see the remaining grades opening to this extent; although, they have a hybrid (2 days in-person, rest virtual).

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How do you seat kids 6ft apart if the classrooms are at capacity? Our schools can barely make 50% capacity work with social distancing.

50% of the class is in attendance for 2 days, the other 50% attend a different 2 days. When not in-person, watching the “Zoom” session of the same class (I believe).

IIRC, those physically present still join in the Zoom session so that they can “see” their peers as well.

My son opted for 100% remote learning, but has a good friend that opted to do the hybrid set up.

Back in September, elementary started hybrid, middle school started hybrid, high school was a hybrid/all online mix (most classes online, limited number of classes still met at the school).

In late November, K-5 and MS went to all online when the virus was crazy here.

Mid-January K-2 went back full time.

Beginning of February, 3-5 went back full time. MS went back hybrid.

Beginning of March the plan is for MS to go back full time.

I have not heard of a plan for HS going back yet. I assume that it will happen at some point if numbers stay low.

I’m jealous of this set-up. We have in-person two days a week, asynchronous work two days a week (and the teachers are assigning a TON of work, it’s impossible to get it done if both parents work, heck we have a hard time with it and my husband is a homemaker) and zoom calls on wednesdays while the schools are closed for cleaning. I wish they could figure out a way to stream the classrooms. It might not be great for our kindergartener, but I think the third grader could follow along ok.