Coronavirus Back To School: Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle not knowing what to do.

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Both Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer demand children return to school

Both Tory and Labour Party leaders are demanding our children return to school but how this virus affects our ‘children’s’ is still a mystery.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown is an unprecedented situation in modern times. Nobody can argue It is hard to gauge the full impact that the situation is having on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. 

While both Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer insisting children return to school with an’ ifs no but’ dictate from Starmer it is still uncertain how this virus could affect our children’s health both long and short term.

Children are not immune to the virus, and there have been confirmed cases of Covid-19 in children.

The scientific world is full of opinion, with only one thing certain, that’s the fact nobody is certain. Reports from around the world have recorded evidence that Covid-19 can affect children along with a Kawasaki type syndrome.

Fighting covid-19 is not guess work other country’s use successful track and trace systems.

Every year, children are a major driver of transmission for the viruses that cause the flu and the common cold. So this March, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Tina Hartert of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine expected the same to be true for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. But months later, Hartert and other respiratory disease experts are still trying to pin down the elusive virus, which has surrendered only hints about its effects on children and their ability to spread the infection.

What has become clear is that children, especially younger children, do not get nearly as ill as adults, especially older people, and rarely die from COVID-19. However, children do catch COVID and do mix obviously with parents and in many cases grandparents.

Another recent study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which used data from China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada and South Korea, found that people under 20 were about half as likely as adults to be infected. But the researchers qualified their findings, noting that there were variations among countries and age groups. Recent data in England, they noted, found little difference in infection rates among children and adults. Nicholas G. Davies, an epidemiologist and modeler who led the study, said what happens with kids and COVID remained a mystery.

The fact that children are less likely to exhibit symptoms while infected makes the problem of determining how well they spread the coronavirus even trickier to figure out. But emerging studies and the history of the common coronaviruses being transmitted by children makes for a compelling case they can spread the COVID-19 virus.

Where is the test and trace app we were promised?

Is it a wonder perants have no confidence in this government, the one small weapon in this fight and originally deemed essential but failed to materialise, is the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app. Officials originally hoped the app could help to keep a check on the community transmission of coronavirus by tracking each and every new case of it.

However, efforts didn’t go to plan with the contact tracing app. On June 18, the government confirmed that after months of development, the app created for use in England, would not launch and be completely changed.

In England, the emphasis is now on local public health teams contacting those who may be infected using test-and-trace, although a second attempt at a tracing app is currently being piloted. Test and trace is the equivalent of two cans and ‘a piece of string’ compared to a smartphone.

Other countries have launched apps with different objectives in combating Covid-19, such as symptom monitoring. For example, South Korea requires new arrivals in the country to download an app through which they must report any symptoms while in mandatory quarantine. South Korea’s broader contact tracing effort does not use a Bluetooth contact-identification app, instead using location data from phone networks among a range of personal information to reconstruct the movements of confirmed cases.

More and better info is needed to build confidence.

We simply do not know enough and if the government do maybe they should spend some of our public money in the public interest and send every parent’s a booklet on keeping their families safe.

World health officials are increasingly hearing about cases of an inflammatory disease similar to Kawasaki disease in a few countries, including the United States and Italy, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said during a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

The WHO said initial reports hypothesised that this syndrome, which can cause high fever and swelling in blood vessels, may be related to Covid-19.

“We need more information collected in a systematic way because, with the initial reports, we’re getting a description of what this looks like, which is not always the same,” Kerkhove said. “And in some children, they tested positive for Covid-19 and other children have not. So we do not know if this is associated with Covid-19.”

The World Health Organisation’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that relatively few cases are seen in children, but that more research was needed to understand why.

China, which currently has the largest number of Covid-19 cases, has seen several hundred cases of children under 10 with the disease, including newborns. In general, children have been found to present similar, although generally milder, symptoms than adults. But, as in adults, children with underlying health issues seem to have more severe cases of Covid-19, but the data is extremely limited.

Most children do not become seriously ill with COVID-19. Less than 1.5 % of all admissions to hospital with the virus are of people under 20, with even fewer of these requiring admission to an intensive care unit. But doctors have seen a small number of children and teenagers with an unusual condition which seems to be linked to the virus.

Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (called PIMS-TS or PIMS for short) is very rare and most children with the condition will not be seriously affected. In a very few cases, it can be serious and even life-threatening.

Seriously affected children or teenagers will have symptoms which are very similar to other life-threatening conditions such as sepsis or meningitis.

Uncertainty is an issue and there are simply not enough known about this virus

Today the French government shut 22 schools in metropolitan France and the overseas territory of Réunion due to fresh cases of Covid-19.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer insisted that back-to-school had gone smoothly for the vast majority, but parent associations are concerned that too much is being left up to families to manage.

“The health protocol is working,” assured Blanquer, speaking to Europe 1 radio on Friday morning, marking the end of the first week since the new school year began.

“There are 22 establishments which have had to close due to cases or suspected cases of Covid-19,” he said, “Twelve of those were in mainland France and 10 in the overseas territory of Reunion Island.”

Scotland outbreak

Scotland witnessed a huge outbreak at a Dundee school, 17 staff and multiple pupils have tested positive for Covid-19. this comes less than two weeks after schools in Scotland have reopened. The school which has now been shut until at least next week to undergo a deep clean.

All staff and children at Kingspark School in Dundee, which reopened along with other schools in Scotland on August 12, have been told to self-isolate for two weeks.

NHS Tayside confirmed positive cases among three ‘community contacts’ linked to the cluster at the school, which has about 185 pupils aged between five and 18.

No matter how statistics are played with the evidence is clear children’s health cannot be guaranteed if they return to school.

Health officials confirmed a single positive case has also been linked to the primary 2A class at St Peter and Paul’s School in Dundee.

A positive case has also been linked to Happy Times out-of-school club at Downfield Primary School in the same city.

The NHS also confirmed that a child attending the nursery at Newburgh Primary School was now isolating at home with other household members.

Lack of opposition

Face coverings U-turn for England’s secondary schools

Sir Keir Starmer instead of demanding children return to school “No ifs, no buts” would do well to demand the computer devices promised to low income kids are delivered and more rolled out. It is very obvious as towns and cities continue to fall under local lockdown, online lessons will be needed. These lessons should be premade and attendance mandatory and recorded, there are plenty of online school models and curses from Australia and Canada that could be emulated. Starmer would also do well to push for more teachers and teacher assistants, if only on a temporary contract, much like the national call for NHS staff at the beginning of this outbreak, more teachers and staff are needed. A reduce class size will alleviate the risks of contracting COVID by allowing workable social distancing spaces and more staff to cover, who knows wasn’t it always said smaller classes made smarter kids…

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