As I read the many pages of our district’s return-to-school plans, I only had two questions in mind: How will you know if somebody has the coronavirus? and Assuming that the virus makes it into the school, because it will, how will you make sure that it doesn’t get transmitted to anybody else? The plan did not answer these questions.
I don’t think there’s any way to answer those questions in light of our country’s current testing situation. If everybody could be tested every day, and you needed a negative test to get in the school building, then maybe. But the truth is, kids and teachers will bring the virus to school, and nobody will know it until somebody gets sick enough to go get a test, and waits for their results, and the test turns up positive and somebody finally notifies the school.
People with the coronavirus can spread it before they start developing symptoms. Some people who have COVID-19 have a mild enough case that they don’t ever realize they are infected. In our current economy, with the threat of no school and no work if you have a positive COVID-19 test, I am sure some people will suspect they have the coronavirus but avoid testing so they can keep working or keep their children in school. Many, perhaps all, schools’ half-assed reopening plans will be defenseless against all of the above.
Contrast that with the NBA’s bubble in Orlando. First, the league limited who was involved: they invited only a handful of teams, and players who are deemed high risk will not play but will receive their full salary. Other players may choose not to participate, without pay but also without penalty. The league is also squeezing the season into less than three months, to limit the amount of time players will have to spend in the bubble.
The players will not be traveling. Fans will not attend. Symptoms will be monitored closely, and there are strict rules about masks and distancing. But there’s more. The