UK Study: Closing Schools Because of COVID Was a Mistake in the First Place


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last seven months, you’re probably aware that much of the country — indeed, the world — is still locked down in the name of fighting the coronavirus.

In many areas, that includes schools, even though observational evidence has long shown that children are rarely seriously affected by the coronavirus and don’t easily spread the virus to adults.

Now, a study out of the U.K. titled “Association between living with children and outcomes from COVID-19: an OpenSAFELY cohort study of 12 million adults in England” has confirmed it: Close contact with children, even while school is open, isn’t a factor in coronavirus transmission.

According to the American Institute for Economic Research, the study actually showed fewer coronavirus deaths among adults living with children than among adults living without children.

“[O]verall our findings suggest that on a population level transmission from school age children does not result in an increased risk of serious outcomes among the adults they live with,” the study concluded.

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“We found no evidence for a reduction in risk following school closure.”

This shouldn’t be surprising, as children are basically tiny germ factories. Children in the home probably provide a boon to the entire household’s immune systems.

The study makes it abundantly clear that closing schools due to coronavirus fears was never a good idea.

Do you think it's time for schools to reopen?

Anecdotally, we’ve known this for months.

Back in July, many pediatricians agreed that schools should reopen.

The CDC director himself said he would “100 percent” want his grandchildren back in school.

Nevertheless, bureaucrats and teachers unions have fought to keep schools closed.

Indeed, schools that previously reopened are now closing amid rising coronavirus numbers — despite little to no evidence that school closures make any difference in infection rates.

Not to mention, there are many negative effects of extended school closures that are not outweighed by the comparative risks of the coronavirus.

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The school closures have had a disproportionate impact on women, who are more likely than their male counterparts to take time off their jobs to stay home with young children whose schools are closed. The number of women working or looking for work is at the lowest level since 1988, erasing decades of workplace gains.

Many children do not have adequate access to resources to thrive in online schooling. In no small part due to coronavirus policies, parent satisfaction with public schools has plummeted.

The negative effects on special-needs children have been particularly pronounced. Check out this New Jersey dad’s devastating thread on how his school district is handling things.

Of course, we should take the coronavirus seriously and take reasonable measures to limit its spread.

However, there are plenty of considerations other than simple infection and death rates to consider.

This study makes it clear that schools should reopen, and bureaucrats should stop playing politics with people’s lives.

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Erin is a freelance writer and attorney based in Colorado. She is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Erin is a freelance writer and attorney based in Colorado. She is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.