"Singapore, which has been heralded for its response to Covid-19, decided that closing schools would do more harm than good."

"Political leaders and health officials there have addressed concerns about Covid-19 through clear, consistent and transparent communications about their response to the virus. If schools remain open, officials could enact measures to limit any potential spread among children and staff. All students could be checked daily for fever, a possible sign of Covid-19 infection. Even more attention should be given to hand washing and reminding children not to touch their faces. Children should be taught to sneeze into their sleeves. Schools can consider changing seating arrangements to keep children six feet apart.... Nonetheless, government officials may feel pressure to close schools. For true effectiveness... [c]hildren couldn’t gather in other settings, which would be very difficult to enforce. If schools close, child care programs will likely close too and working parents may have to stay home to watch their children. Health care and critical infrastructure workers would not be able to do their jobs for the same reason...."

Writes Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in NYT.

Are classrooms big enough to put all the children 6 feet away from any other child? That strikes me as absurd, but the main message I'm seeing from this column is that schools are better than families at keeping an eye on children and controlling them. And also schools are childcare facilities, and if they shut down, vast numbers of adults won't be able to go to work, and that will have a terrible effect not just on the economy but on the provision of health care services.

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