Category Archives: School and Education

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

Tomas Pueyo: Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. “What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time”. (March 19, 2020)

Here’s the Epidemic Calculator that is being used in the article.

Older article by the same author: Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. “Politicians, Community Leaders and Business Leaders: What Should You Do and When?” (March 10, 2020)

Deutsche Übersetzung: Coronavirus: Warum du jetzt handeln musst!.

Here in Germany all schools and daycare facilities have been closed for one week already and will remain so for at least the next four weeks.

Our state and our county have issued a general decree, imposing the following rules starting last night at midnight: All public places are closed, including roads. People are not allowed to leave their houses except to go to work, or to the doctor, or to shop for essential groceries. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. However, you are still allowed to go for walks by yourself or with people living in your own household if you keep at least two metres (six feet) of distance to other people. The decree is in effect for at least two weeks. (Our county shares a border with the Grand-Est region of France to the South, which has been declared an international risk area.)

“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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