The calamity of school closures and zoom!
November 8th, 2021
"School closures made up more than one-fourth of all public health interventions in the HIT-COVID database that were implemented from January to June 2020. The right to an accessible and affordable education is protected under article 26 of the UDHR. Epidemiologically, in-person school settings were initially considered a high-risk environment for the spread of COVID-19, but updated data analyses consider them a lower-risk environment regarding for transmission, especially at the elementary school level. School closures have profound consequences for students’ learning, social well-being, and mental health, as well as the ability of parents to work. While various governments have provided virtual education due to in-person school closures, it is not feasible to guarantee quality education or equal access to virtual learning during the pandemic due to inequities in resources (such as internet access) and in parents’ availability to supervise children adequately. Many of these inequities were preexisting and were exacerbated during the pandemic. Thus, this disruption of learning inevitably results in substantial educational gaps for children across the world. The effects of educational gaps have been shown, both historically and currently, to negatively impact learning and life outcomes. A mere three-month school closure could reduce students’ long-term learning by a year, as suggested by modeling simulations. School disruption during World War II was found to be associated with significant income loss 30 years later in life.
School closures also lead to increased prevalence and exacerbation of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, among students. School closures place vulnerable children at higher risk of food insecurity, and in many low- and middle-income countries, lack of access to education puts girls in particular at increased risk of child marriage, gender-based violence, sexual assault, and teen pregnancy. For example, the rate of child marriage in Malawi increased by 83% from March to May of 2020 compared to 2019, and the rate of sexual assault, which is linked to child marriage, increased by 151%. Given that child brides are more likely to drop out of school and face gender-based violence, protecting access to education, particularly for girls, should be an imperative in the COVID-19 response, especially in low- and middle-income countries." (Zweig et. al. 2021)
More and more of these net negatives for our children will show up over time. We need to remain hyper vigilant to their needs over the coming years and vow to never repeat this process again.
Section III -
For the Unifying Theory of SARS2/COVID19 pathology that was published in September, please follow this link. In this piece, I lay out what appears to be the pathway to infection and subsequent significant illness. It will be updated in the coming months.