The moral case for reopening schools—without masks | City Journal

Take those masks off and open the schools!

According to the epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, you should do just about the opposite of what’s being preached by college presidents, teachers’ unions, political leaders, and the scientific and media establishment.

Unless you’re elderly or particularly vulnerable, you shouldn’t be wearing a mask all day, or shaming others for going unmasked. You should be careful not to endanger the vulnerable, but otherwise you should be exposing yourself to the virus in order to promote herd immunity.

Gupta, 55, wants to teach her classes at Oxford [England] in person, without a mask, and she is appalled at her colleagues’ reluctance to go back to the classroom. …

Martin Kulldorff, a Harvard epidemiologist and one of Gupta’s few allies, noted that not a single child in Sweden has died from Covid, and that Swedish teachers did not suffer unusually high rates of infection, even though the country never closed schools for those under 16 and didn’t force students to wear masks.

For American children under 14, the risk of dying from Covid is lower than the risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia, according to the calculations of Avik Roy, president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. For teenagers and young adults, it’s much lower than the risk of being murdered.

Source: The Moral Case for Reopening Schools—Without Masks | City Journal

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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66 Responses to The moral case for reopening schools—without masks | City Journal

  1. Fred says:

    Hey nathanemarks, I see a lot of your replies criticizing posts that are full of “a lot of emotion and hyperbole”, but I see you haven’t commented on my reply to your post above that was full of data. Here’s a little more, since you keep bringing up the national 200,000 death count. As with our county, the summer spike started around mid-June so let’s stay with 6/21 being the interim measuring spot. My data source reports 192,741 deaths as of 9/22 so for consistency, I’ll use that number.

    Nationally as of 6/21: there were 2,270,347 positive cases and 113,452 deaths. Since then, there have been 4,588,580 more positives and 78,991 more deaths. So, positive cases have doubled, deaths have dropped by 30%. On 6/21, 28,219 people were hospitalized for COVID, on 9/22, 29,448 people were hospitalized. Total hospitalizations on 6/21 were 232,369 on 2.27MM positives. After 4.6MM more positive cases, 165,380 more people have been hospitalized. Despite blaring headlines about how poorly the US is handling this, clear that every metric except total cases and total deaths is headed strongly in the right direction.

    The initial goal was to flatten the curve to save our health care system from being overwhelmed. No one can argue that has not been achieved. Then it was to crush the curve; also seems to be achieved. Then, not one more death can occur from COVID, an impossible metric that allows anyone that only focuses on that number to shout down everyone else. Absent a widely adopted vaccine, getting to no new positives is also impossible.

    No one is (or should be) arguing that COVID isn’t more communicable and deadly than the flu. No one wants to lose someone they know or love to COVID. But, tell me what will be different in six months? Does anyone think a vaccine will be out and widely accepted before the end of 1Q21? In the meantime, how many people are we going to lose to suicide, how many more people will become addicted to drugs or alcohol, how many people will die of something due to skipping/delaying preventative care, how many people will lose their jobs/businesses/homes, how much more destruction will occur in the economy?

    Given all of the metrics that are headed in a positive direction, shouldn’t we at least be having the discussion of what is the collateral damage of keeping everything locked down so tight? Especially since many will opt out themselves anyways. There’s obviously judgment to it but all that’s happening right now is anyone that even mentions getting back to work and loosening things up gets cudgeled over the head with 200,000 deaths and we can’t have one more death due to COVID.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      Mighty fine collection of figures there, Fred!

      Something else to ponder; how many deaths have been incorrectly attributed to the WuJan Virus?

      The Gotch


    • nathanemarks says:

      Hi Fred — you make excellent and thoughtful points throughout your post. Yes, we should always talk with open and clear minds about alternatives.

      I don’t think anyone is worried about “one more death due to covid”. I mean, every life is sacred, but no one would argue that the costs of preventing 1 death could balance out the consequences of hundreds of millions of people suffering in quarantine.

      The point I keep trying to make is that *with* horrible/punative/crushing government interference, the death toll here due to Covid has still averaged 28k per month. Therefore any conversation about lifting restrictions, must acknowledge that the mortality rate will go higher than what we are currently seeing. Likely, it will go much higher.

      UW Madison demonstrated the problem very clearly for us in September. School opened, and within two weeks, 6% of the undergrads were sick. Lucky for them, the kids don’t seem as vulnerable as others are.

      It’s painful that I am only capable of being a critic. (I don’t hold a high opinion of people that just b!tch all the time.) I wish I had actionable ideas. But I will conclude by saying that I am not OK with tens-of-thousands of preventable deaths happening each month. Anyone who is OK with that much preventable death does not deserve to sit with the adults.


  2. madisonexpat says:

    Neuman! You don’t measure a virus by a monthly average. Look at mortality rates and remember the curve that was to be flattened?


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