World News

The Folly of Pandemic School Closures: A Reminder by Anthony Furey


A remarkable new survey out of an Ontario university has concluded that closing schools was likely not necessary to deal you the COVID-19 virus.

The survey isn’t remarkable though for what it says. It’s remarkable both because we knew back then what they’ve concluded, yet we went ahead with school closures anyway. It’s also remarkable that we’re finally able to talk about this sanely, whereas such a study would have led to attacks on the researchers had it been released in the middle of the pandemic response.

Academics at McMaster University conducted what they described as an “extensive” two-year review of all the data related to COVID-19 in schools and daycares and found that those facilities weren’t a meaningful source of transmission of the virus.

The report was published this past week in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, a leading journal. It studied over 34,000 sets of information from various other studies, databases, school resources, and more.

“We found that after that initial shutdown where everything was locked down, schools did not appear to have much impact on community level transmission when infection prevention control measures were in place,” wrote Sarah Neil-Sztramko, a professor at McMaster and one of the review’s authors.

Related Stories

This study has already provoked much reflection and conversation among regular people who, while not dogmatic in their pandemic views, were likely supportive of school closures at the time. It’s bittersweet that this is only happening now.

It appears that decent, well-meaning people are likely to now admit that the lockdown measures they supported a few years ago were perhaps a little over-the-top and that we could have proceeded with a lighter touch.

If only we had. And if only those had been their views back then.

School closures led to much family drama and even trauma at the time and have caused significant learning loss among young people. Too many kids are far behind on their education.

It would be one thing if it was necessary or if we just weren’t sure, but we knew then that children weren’t seriously affected by the virus and that schools weren’t the super-spreader locations that some people tried to claim they were.

All we needed to do was compare jurisdictions. Ontario had some of the longest, harshest lockdowns in the world and this included school closures. Yet British Columbia—Canada’s only NDP-governed province—mostly kept schools open and didn’t even mandate masks for most students.

The sky didn’t fall in B.C. They did just fine. Yet Ontario could never bring itself to look around at real evidence from around the world and acknowledge that a better way was indeed possible.

We knew all of this quite early on. A column I wrote on the schools issue in December 2020 quoted Dr. Robert Redfield, the director the US Center for Disease Control. “The infections that we’ve identified in schools when they’ve been evaluated were not acquired in schools,” Redfield said. “They were actually acquired in the community and in the household.”

Redfied continued: “The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that we follow the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close.”

Here in Ontario, news reports would regularly toss out a number purporting to be “cases in schools.” This led people to believe hundreds and thousands of kids were acquiring the virus in class every day.

But the details revealed that it was often one case per school or class, with no one else going on to catch the virus from that lone case. This means the child got it from home and never passed it on to anyone else.

Then there’s also the fact that kids were just never severely affected by COVID-19 at any point throughout the pandemic. Rather tragically, about 10 Canadian kids die from influenza every year. During the pandemic, only a few kids a year died of COVID-19.

Likewise, when it comes to reporting on youth hospitalized with the virus, further details explained that many of these kids were in hospital for a broken arm or cancer treatment and just happened to also test positive for the virus during routine screening.

The virus wasn’t spreading in schools and, for the vast majority of kids who did catch it, it was a very mild illness.

What this new report really does is simply remind us of the folly of widespread school closures and how poorly we treated the youth.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Source link


I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.