Teachers and Corona

There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisers.

Mark Woolhouse, a leading epidemiologist and member of the government’s Sage committee, told The Times that it may have been a mistake to close schools in March given the limited role children play in spreading the virus.

Not that this will convince people to stop begging for more austerity.

12 thoughts on “Teachers and Corona”

  1. I do not say schools should stay closed, especially for younger students, but “no recorded case anywhere in the world” is a ridiculous lie.

    “Schools in Jerusalem Shut as Dozens of Students, Staff Test Positive for the Coronavirus
    … The majority of them – more than 130 people – came from a single school, Gymnasia Rehavia.”

    I am sure this person you quoted would say it’s a coincidence teachers also had it.

    Making such claims only hurts the point one wants to defend.
    And again, no differentiation between different ages. We should not talk about high schoolers as if they were together with children Klara’s age.


    1. I’m not seeing in the quote you gave any indication that children gave it to the adults and not the other way round. Was there any indication of the transmission vector in the article you quote?

      Nobody has ever denied that adults can pass it on to teenagers. But that’s unimportant because teenagers have no symptoms. It’s the movement in the opposite direction – from teenagers to adults – that’s in question.


      1. “It’s the movement in the opposite direction – from teenagers to adults – that’s in question.”

        Why? Teenagers are already adults biologically.

        If there is a huge number of teens with the virus at the same school, is the more normal assumption that they all got it from a teacher or that they infected each other too?

        Teenagers infect each other just fine outside of school. One of Hebrew articles I found says:

        “The celebration and the price: 12 students from the twelfth grade at the “Dercha Hamer” school in Bat Yam fell ill in Corona, after celebrating at a private birthday party of one of the students.

        The birthday party was attended by more students from different schools.

        In addition, one of the teachers at the school also became infected after meeting with the students for reinforcement for the matriculation exam.”


        1. So you are calling the article I linked a lie because you assume it’s got to be a lie because it doesn’t confirm your assumptions? A lie is a heavy word. It means the person is intentionally misleading. You’ve got to have more than “common sense” assumptions to conclude that.


        2. Here’s a question I have. “A teacher became infected after meeting with a student” is the most primitive logical fallacy. I had a car accident after eating a peach, ergo peaches cause car accidents.

          After I see this attempt at manipulation, I immediately put the whole article away and never trust the source again. And it’s done several times in such a short quote. Students “fell ill after” attending a party. Ill? Meaning they are manifesting symptoms? Are hospitalized? If that were true, it would be worldwide news because that’s unheard of with this virus.

          So many lies. One has got to start asking why at some point.


          1. // Ill? Meaning they are manifesting symptoms? Are hospitalized?

            No, merely coming home and infecting their old(er) relatives who are likely to develop symptoms.

            Some interesting info:

            In America today (2020) “Nearly one third of teachers (29.2%) in the United States are ages 50 and older”


            In Israel today the median age of teachers in junior high and high schools is 50. Meaning, the entire half of the teachers are ages 50 and older. And there is a lack of teachers so much that this year extremely low number of teachers were fired. (This info is from the head of a high school teachers’ union.)

            If teens usually don’t experience symptoms themselves, but can make older people around them seriously ill, shouldn’t this also be discussed?

            // “A teacher became infected after meeting with a student” is the most primitive logical fallacy.

            I understand it’s impossible to prove 100% where anyone became infected and from whom. However, when there are many cases of clusters of virus transmission, it may hint at a connection. We had many cases of large groups of students from same grades having this virus.


  2. NYT claims there is a new study proving “Older Children (between the ages of 10 and 19) Spread the Coronavirus Just as Much as Adults, Large Study Finds. The study of nearly 65,000 people in South Korea suggests that school reopenings will trigger more outbreaks.”

    I don’t say one should believe NYT. Let’s check the study:

    Contact Tracing during Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, South Korea, 2020


    1. The study says the exact opposite than the NYTimes claims, obviously, but OK.

      The study confirms what we have known since early April: this is a nocosomial and household transmission virus which is aggravated by lockdowns.


      1. I should not have called it ‘a lie’ since you’re right the quoted person may not be ‘intentionally misleading.’

        I do think it is a heavily politicized issue because of RL consequences. You rightly posted many examples of attempts to sow panic. Otoh, I have also seen some articles quoting people, including supposed experts, whose inconclusive evidence about the safety of ill teenagers to older people is interpreted as the final verdict OR who told untruths about whether masks worked and whom they protected.

        It is fine to say “I am for opening the entire education system, including high schools, without any distant learning even if 16-18 year old teens transmit as well as adults.” Claiming we know 100% older teens are safe and don’t transmit is another matter, specially when there have been many cases of ‘clusters’ of disease in Israeli high schools.

        // The study says the exact opposite than the NYTimes claims, obviously, but OK.

        The study says:

        “We defined an index case as the first identified laboratory-confirmed case

        We also found the highest COVID-19 rate (18.6% ) for household contacts of school-aged children and the lowest (5.3% ) for household contacts of children 0–9 years in the middle of school closure.

        We showed that household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was high if the index patient was 10–19 years of age.”

        Looks like the older the child, the higher transmission rate, no? The study doesn’t differentiate among 10-19 years old, probably because of the total number is too low to do that. However, had it done so, wouldn’t we have seen the highest rates among 16-19 year olds?


        1. This is household transmission. You can’t extrapolate household transmission to anything else.

          Somebody told me yesterday that surgeons wear gloves so we should all wear surgical gloves all the time. If it protects surgeons, it should protect us, too. This is an example of a false analogy.

          I want to repeat, though, that elderly people should absolutely either self-isolate or choose to take their risks. But isolating children, teenagers, young adults, and mature adults because the elderly can’t be bothered to self-isolate is deranged. If a 70-year-old needs to retire, that makes a lot more sense than locking kids up to make him less anxious.

          My parents are in the high-risk group. They chose to not self-isolate. I respect that choice. They are functioning adults and they decide. That’s how it should work.


          1. https://ziarulunirea.ro/o-cresa-din-alba-iulia-inchisa-de-covid-19-o-fetita-si-o-educatoare-au-fost-depistate-cu-noul-coronavirus-639614/

            Here’s another case of a toddler catching COVID-19 from home and passing it to the daycare lady that was in charge of her. No other adults in the daycare were infected so this is not a case of adult to adult transmission. Also, the area this happened in has had 3 new cases per 100k people in the past two weeks, so the daycare lady being infected from a different source is quite improbable. We’ve had multiple ones like this, normally I don’t post them, but I was reading the news on one computer screen and your blog on the others.


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