“Better safe than sorry.“

The New York Times Opinion: Coronavirus School Closings: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late. “History teaches us that keeping children at home early in an outbreak can save lives.” By Howard Markel. “Dr. Markel studies the history of pandemics. … [He] is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and a professor of pediatrics.”

“Schools are community gathering places where large numbers of people are in proximity to one another and respiratory infections can easily spread among young people and adults alike. Shutting them down can be a key part of slowing the spread of easily transmissible viruses so that hospitals are not overrun with sick people, and it can help to buy time to allow for the development of antiviral medications, medical treatments or a vaccine.

But policymakers working to stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 should remember a key part of this historically informed equation: We can’t wait until it’s too late.

Communities in the United States must shut down schools before, not after, the outbreak becomes widespread here. “Widespread“ is admittedly an imprecise term, but I use it to describe a situation in which there are multiple cases throughout a town or state and more cases with each passing day.”

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