Chris Selley: Ontario’s school phobias are completely out of touch with the reality of COVID-19

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“Children appear to be much less likely to acquire COVID-19 than adults when exposed,” write British pediatricians Alasdair Munro and Damian Roland in a summary of available research. “There is reasonable evidence that there are far fewer infected children in the community than adults… It is not known how likely an infected child is to transmit the infection compared to an infected adult, but there is no evidence that they are more contagious. ”

And there is the simple, unassailable fact: COVID-19 hardly ever kills children. Only one Canadian under the age of 20 has died from COVID-19. In an average year, 25 Canadians under the age of 20 die from the flu. Parents need the same perspective: In an average year, the flu kills 440 Canadians under the age of 60. COVID-19 has killed 276.

He’s a virus bastard, don’t get me wrong; not getting it is a perfectly reasonable goal. For some parents, it may be worth keeping their children at home – and they should and will have that right. But it is parents and children who do not have this luxury that the government must relentlessly focus on. Knowing what we know, there is no reason Ontario shouldn’t plan for a safe, cautious yet ambitious and unapologetic return to classrooms on September 8.

• Email: [email protected] | Twitter: cselley

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