Health Editor’s Note: Schools closed in the U.S. during March. Did the school closures make a difference in the spread of coronavirus? Some children became the victims of “home schooling” but for others, March was the end of their school year. Children lost about one third of their school year.
My concerns are for the children who needed the extra weeks to catch up with their classmates in their reading/math/etc. skills. How will the greatly decreased school year impact children as they come back to school? Will those who needed more intensive learning environments be able to “catch up”?….Carol
How likely are kids to get Covid-19? Scientists see a ‘huge puzzle’ without easy answers
by Helen Branswell/STAT
In January, when it became clear that a new coronavirus was transmitting with ease among people in central China, one of the top questions scientists who study disease dynamics wanted answered was this: What role are children playing in the spread of the new disease, now known as Covid-19?
Five months later, they and the rest of us would still like to know.
There is some evidence that kids are less likely to catch the virus and less likely to spread it, but it’s not clear exactly how strong that evidence is. Much of it was generated at a time when children were caught up in the topsy-turvy world of Covid-19 transmission suppression, with schools closed and families cocooned, limiting their chances of catching or spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In reality, it may take reopening schools and returning children to a closer-to-normal life for the picture to come into clearer focus.
If we’re lucky, and the hints in the data hold true, a normalizing of children’s lives — and the lives of their parents — could be safely achieved. If we’re not lucky, and the hints were false harbingers, more disruption likely lies ahead.