This article on Covid 19 was written by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport and is published here with permission. Views expressed by contributors are their own.
Supposing you had a desperate health condition and had an urgent need for an operation to remediate that condition. You were advised that two experts existed who could perform the operation with a quick recovery and no side effects. These experts came with the highest credentials and the highest recommendations. This inspires you with confidence and you decide to have the experts perform the operation.
Well. The operation is screwed up. You have developed all sorts of side effects due to the operation and your recovery will take many months. There is no guarantee that you will ever fully recover. The experts claim that they did their best.
Meanwhile, you develop another health problem that is in the particular realm of the two experts and you will need an operation. Do you go back to them?
Consider then, if you will, Pence’s and Birx’s actions made in June concerning the reopening of states. And consider where those states find themselves today.
I am reminded of the immortal words of Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.”
I no longer give any credence to the statements of Birx, Pence, the coronavirus task force or the CDC, which has been politicized and is now yet another organ of the Trump propaganda machine.
The latest pronouncements of this gang of “experts” state that we should open our schools. NOW.
So we find ourselves receiving recommendations from the same group that botched the original response and made the pandemic much worse.
The opening of schools requires science based fact, not pie-in-the-sky wishes. There are many unanswered questions. Let’s look at two obvious ones.
If children go back to school, will they catch Covid-19?
Data are mixed. One Australian study found that 18 people (9 students, 9 staff) with confirmed cases of the disease were in contact with about 750 individuals in a normal, non-socially distanced school environment and only two children became infected. Another study in Ireland had similar results. On the other hand, there have been cases of schools that suffered significant outbreaks, including in Israel and Sweden.
Will teachers and staff be safe from COVID-19?
There will be risk, depending on the mitigation measures undertaken. Today, A sizable percentage of teachers and staff members say that they do not feel safe, and already some are saying they will simply refuse to return to school.
The virus was originally considered to be a respiratory disease, but is is now considered to also indiscriminately attack the vascular system. Our knowledge of the virus increases daily, but there is so much that we don’t know. Hence, risk is still very high.
The school question is framed as “Should we open our schools?” This is the wrong question.
The correct question is, “How much risk do we wish to assume when we open our schools?”
Schools should remain closed until we can answer that question using science based facts to make a rational and reasonable decision. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of our recent past using the lives of our children as gambling chips.
Arthur Ahrens (Richelieu/D’Artagnan/Athos/Porthos/Aramis)
Branchport, NY 7/1/2020