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Coronavirus

Close the schools!

(185 Posts)
GagaJo Thu 24-Dec-20 09:01:23

The Times yesterday reported that the infection rate for secondary pupils last week was 2,509 out of 100,000!! With the rate for primary school pupils close behind.

Rates of 300+ per 100,000 in the South East led to the emergency Tier 4 announcement at the weekend.

Rates among secondary school children are approx nine times this and primaries not far behind.

There can no longer be any conversation about schools remaining open. They need to close to all but key workers and the vulnerable and not reopen until the government has provided the money and means to make them truly ‘Covid secure’ or until enough people have been vaccinated.

How many deaths will we have in a months time when those infections have transferred to the elderly and vulnerable? How many more mutations will we have if the virus is allowed to carry on running through children?

It’s time to do what needs to be done. It’s tough and awful for everyone but it has to be done. The schools need to close.

So much for all those on here a few months ago accusing teachers of being lazy and scaremongering. Schools reopening have caused the new mutation, Christmas lockdown and the intro of Tier 4. Not to mention thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Retiredwell Thu 24-Dec-20 09:35:51

Looks as if someone wishes to start a good Chrismas Eve row on GN. ?

The Covid-19 situation seems to be now developing so quickly that who knows what will be required in the New Year. Yesterday was, I felt, the worst day of the crisis so far with the announcement of two new strains of the virus along with the situation at Dover. It may well be that at the start of January a total full lockdown will be required with only essential industries operating as was the case in March.

So, all should wait to hear what is to happen while in the meantime Dover has to be got working efficiently again for if not that will have very serious implications for us all.

MiniMoon Thu 24-Dec-20 09:36:45

The infection rate here has gone up and up since the schools reopened. The factory where my DS works had no cases until the high school opened, then several of the workers caught covid, and infected others. They are now running with a skeleton staff. Fortunately they close for Christmas, so with luck, things will be better when they reopen.
Are the government blinkered with regards to children spreading this disease?

Ellianne Thu 24-Dec-20 09:46:46

No row here on Christmas Eve!

BUT close secondary schools yes, primary schools no.

Bathsheba Thu 24-Dec-20 09:58:21

BUT close secondary schools yes, primary schools no.
Well I think that distinction may depend on whether this new variant Covid infects, and is transmitted by, younger children more easily, something that is currently being researched.

Ellianne Thu 24-Dec-20 10:01:50

Yes Bathsheba I agree on that. We will have to see.

Retiredwell Thu 24-Dec-20 10:20:19

There is much we do not know in view of recent developments regarding Covid-19.

Will those who have had the first strain discovered be immune to the new variants????

Will the vaccines be effective against the new strains?????

Will the infection rate be so great with the new strains that a full March style lockdown will be required in January???

The schools are an important part of the above and the defences required to combat the infection, However, they are only part of what is becoming an evermore complicated and serious scene.

My view would be that announcements will be made over the weekend following New Year and what will happen in the protection of the schools, the food industry, the utility and transport industries will be made then. I do not expect that to be good, but all should wait and see.

basicallygrace12 Thu 24-Dec-20 10:23:34

i read an article about the south africa mutation, over a week ago! in south Africa, they were seeing more younger teens and children, otherwise healthy, in intensive care. So i am guessing we will have more dither then in new year schools will have to close.

Daisymae Thu 24-Dec-20 10:32:13

I raised this as an issue a few weeks ago when my own experience flagged up the number of positive cases in schools. At that time there was little mention in the press as far as I could see. Now it feels as if we are on the verge of a crisis of epic proportions fuelled by mixing in schools. I think that a national lockdown is inevitable in the new year, in fact it should be in place now. As far as I can see schools should have closed earlier, it might have broken the chain.

NannyDaft Thu 24-Dec-20 10:36:54

Secondary schools most definitely !
Primary no!

Retiredwell Thu 24-Dec-20 10:44:45

In the area where we live it is undoubtedly the pubs that are the major source of passing on the infection. Many have never made any checks on those entering and we all know that alcohol and social distancing etc do not go together.

Each time the pubs are closed the infection rate falls, but each time they reopen the infection rate quickly climbs. Those affected in the pubs then take it home to infect all those there which is then passed on to workplaces and schools

The pub owners claim there is no evidence to the above, but as many do not collect any data that means, no data, no evidence.

Simple as that I believe.

oldmom Thu 24-Dec-20 10:47:02

I don't know where you read that. I live in South Africa. We are seeing many cases in the 15 - 19 age group due to illegal partying. There's been nothing about children in intensive care, and there were few problems in schools before they closed for the summer.

Sounds like scaremongering.

Roswell Thu 24-Dec-20 10:47:22

As a 65 year old Teaching Assistant working in year 6 I am feeling very nervous about going back in January, especially as a few of the children's families will be breaking the rules over the holiday.

Authoress Thu 24-Dec-20 10:48:43

The vaccine (2-dose version, anyway) should be almost as effective against both new strains, because although the change in shape of some of the protein spikes make it less amenable to being grabbed by the vaccine, the vaccine's other function is to wake up the T cells to attack any viral load. There was an interesting discussion about it on Radio 4 earlier in the week - forgotten which day, sorry!
Also, the Pfizer CEO said on a TV interview yesterday that now they know what they're doing with RNA transport, it would take them about 6 weeks to work up a defence against any variant that mutates far enough away from the original to make the vaccine ineffective. Of course then you need to do the trials; but new variants are not a reason to despair.

Septimia Thu 24-Dec-20 10:49:03

Where primary schools are concerned, I'm not sure that it's the schools themselves that are the problem.

In school, the children are kept in their class bubbles.

However..... it seems that one parent or carer often picks up several children from different classes and households so there's a lot of mixing going on before and after school.

SusieFlo Thu 24-Dec-20 10:54:58

It seems obvious to me that schools will be hotbeds for the virus. Secondary schools at least! There most of the kids are virtually adults, you wouldn’t put 30 adults in one room would you?. Most probably without face masks too.

Nannan2 Thu 24-Dec-20 10:57:19

Roswell- i understand why you're worried.But tbf its not that they're 'breaking the rules' - the stupid Gov't has given PERMISSION to mix on christmas day!! (Unless you're all in tier 4 of course!)

4allweknow Thu 24-Dec-20 11:00:15

The new variant apparently affects children more than the original. There hasn't been any doubt children can spread the virus(es). Schools should be kept closed and children should wear masks when in confined public areas. Think Scotland's has had rules for children 5 years and over wearing masks for weeks now. What's happened with the official GP certified exemption badge. Never seen one yet worn by anyone without a mask. Overseas travel should be stopped with only a very few exceptions, not the novel length list currently applied.

moleswife Thu 24-Dec-20 11:03:36

Thank you for all the very positive responses here, there are a lot more understanding folk out there than I previously thought! Because few are listening to the teachers who are readily describing the conditions they are experiencing - academy heads saying no change in school dates and times, the Government saying staff can move between bubbles, buildings inadequate for any form of distancing, testing not up to the job:
www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/22/plans-for-30-minute-covid-lateral-flow-tests-in-england-halted-over-accuracy-fears
Quite apart from the extreme levels of work that the online lessons require - lack of appropriate resources for such a task, home broadband levels inadequate, primary teachers in single form schools with no other colleague to prepare lessons with - and that's every lesson, every day and often with little response from pupils who also don't have the resources, family support or capability to be taught remotely when they have very specific special needs. It will need parents and students to boycott a return to school until it is a safe place to go and for the rest of us to highlight the hard work, care and support going on in our schools and question blanket decisions made by politicians and CEOs to just have schools open.

Nannapat1 Thu 24-Dec-20 11:06:02

Without a doubt infections have risen this Autumn since educational establishments of all types have reopened. Also, colder weather means we all spend more time indoors, so I imagine that both are factors. I don't think that these are a direct cause of the virus mutating though!! Viruses are in the habit of mutating.

Aepgirl Thu 24-Dec-20 11:08:29

Whatever decision is made about schools, or anything else, there will be those who accept, and those who oppose.

Who’d be in any government at the moment?

Nannan2 Thu 24-Dec-20 11:08:33

But yes they should close ALL education at least until they truly know what/how these new variants affect us all.And that im afraid should include key workers kids and even the vulnerable kids- Gov't should sort those somewhere safe to be- and keyworkers - well could one parent work while other has the kids- then swap over- or maybe only only one parent is the key worker? Or perhaps in case of one parent family some other arrangement can be found? But All schools/colleges/uni's need to be closed- to help stop this spread- and keep teachers/kids/and their families safe!I am sick of hearing gov't say "oh they need their education"- yes they do- BUT THEY NEED NEED THEIR LIVES MUCH MORE!!?

Bbbface Thu 24-Dec-20 11:09:52

Most of you are grandmothers yes?

I’m a single parent of two children.

Trust me - the impact of closing schools on mental health and education would be much worse than not closing them.

Happysexagenarian Thu 24-Dec-20 11:13:55

I personally think there should be a TOTAL nationwide lockdown for 3 months, and I mean total - England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - closing county and national borders and only allowing food and medical supplies in. Yes, it would be unpopular and we'd all hate it but if we really want to get on top of this virus it seems the only way. Too many people are still not taking it seriously enough. If this was Ebola, which I believe kills 90% of people who get it, then they might be more worried about it. Severe lockdowns have worked in other countries, surely it's worth a try however awful it might be or we're going to be living with this virus for a very l-o-n-g time.

I'll dive behind the sofa now!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sparklefizz Thu 24-Dec-20 11:19:31

But Happy, the country would go bankrupt.