The Quarantine Repercussions of In-class K-12 School Openings

The Quarantine Repercussions of In-class K-12 School Openings

The quarantining period for the Coronavirus is exceptionally long, 14 days.  It also is absolute isolation, even from members of your family.  And not going into work or even grocery shopping.  Take for example Hawaii, for entering visitors.

So, when K-12 schools reopen for in-person classes, even on a hybrid basis, what happens when one student tests positive.  Shouldn’t the twenty other kids in the class who interacted with the student for the whole day be quarantined, and also their teacher or teachers?  Then, shouldn’t their families quarantine from going into work or other group activities?  That is 40 adults for one sick child.  And shouldn’t the other kids and adults in the family even quarantine from each other as much as possible?  Industries and businesses might require such quarantines of their workers.  A lot of families have multiple kids in school, and one quarantining implies that the others also have to quarantine.  So, you always have to have the on-line classes available by some teachers to tide these students over.

The fall will further complicate knowing what kids are really Coronavirus infected.  Only 30% of infected people show temperatures.  Kids will get sick with ordinary colds and their coughs, and with the flu and their temperatures.  So many people want tests now, that their results are delayed a week by a lack of processing chemicals.  So the quarantining may start without real Coronavirus infections.  Finally, the avoidance of standard doctor’s visits have set back needed vaccinations.  Will all school districts enforce such standards to protect their children?

So while kids are supposed to go back to school in order to allow their parents to return to work, there could be flowbacks to hinder work.  It is of course necessary for children to stay masked and social distance in school to prevent transmission and prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. 

In the actual America, where 25% have been misled to thinking that the Coronavirus is no worse than a cold, those parents would not keep sick kids home, would not quarantine at all, and would keep up the high third wave.  This will be mostly concentrated in the Trumpian States of America, run by Trump tied Governors.  It will be a disaster.  Sensible cities, counties, and states may be able to bring this under control with school modifications, and with testing, tracing, and quarantining.  Without extra federal funds, it won’t be easy, since their budgets are already down by 20%.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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