Children can carry as much COVID-19 as adults. So, let’s open schools!

Elementary school classroom

Children under 5 can carry way more COVID-19 virus than adults, according to a JAMA Pediatrics study. Older children carry it as much as adults. So absolutely, let’s open all the schools. And have few or no guidelines. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Oh wait. Check this Twitter thread from Tom Nichols. An upstate New York school district says masks must be taken off once students are in classrooms with doors closed. Why that’s just an absolutely fine to spread the virus. Unfortunately, many other school districts are equally knuckleheaded, or dithering because they’ve no idea what to do.

If a classroom is used by multiple classes in a day, it should be sanitized after each class. Please join me in realizing this isn’t going to happen because schools are mostly broke now and can’t afford armies of new custodians. Bathrooms should also be sanitized several times a day and of course this won’t happen.

When schools open, COVID-19 infection numbers are going to soar.

Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults.

The results are consistent with those from a German study of 47 infected children between the ages 1 and 11, which showed that children who did not have symptoms had viral loads as high as adults’, or higher.