The first paper deals with schools and their role in transmission and was published in the journal Pediatrics. (Ped. Article) The study looked at 11 school districts in North Carolina which had been open for 9 weeks of in-person (i.e., real) education. The researchers attempted to ascertain levels of within-school transmission. Over 90,000 students and staff were included. 773 of these persons, or less than 1%, had a positive test. The associated infections were community acquired. There were 32 additional infections which were the result of school transmission. There was not a single case of child to adult transmission. This study again shows the extremely low risk of allowing in-person school attendance. On the other hand we are damaging, potentially irreparably, the lives of tens of millions of school-age children by denying them the benefits of in-person schooling, all to cater to the capricious whims of teacher unions and politicians. Utterly disgraceful, and once more, I would call for an investigation and potential criminal investigation of the persons responsible for this situation. We are supposed to care so much for our children but it is clear that many teachers, union leaders, administrators and politicians care a lot more about protecting against a negligible threat to their own health, while ignoring immense harm to children. And the politicians, including our Governor, only care about the contributions they get from the unions.
The second is from a team included Jay Bhattacharya and John Ioannidis and they examined supposed benefits of lockdown interventions. (EJCI Article) The authors compared the effect on case growth of “less-restrictive” and “more-restrictive” non-pharmaceutical interventions (which by the way, is a euphemism for actions that close businesses, schools and other activities and that restrict the freedom of citizens). Their method was designed to isolate the impact of more-restrictive interventions from normal epidemic dynamics. They used ten countries, most from Europe, the US, Iran and South Korea, to test the effects. Sweden and South Korea had the lightest set of restrictions. Enacting some form of interventions was associated with a modest effect on case growth. Enacting the more restrictive ones was not associated with lower cases, in fact in France it appeared to be associated with faster case growth. I continue to say just look at the case curves and it is apparent that these mitigation measures simply don’t make much difference in outcomes.