Outbreaks in Schools: Predictable & Predicted

(issued & written by the Harmony Party UK Media Working Group)

Today schools in England have opened for the first time since lockdown in March. That day in March there were 714 new confirmed cases. Yesterday there were 2,988 new cases. It has already been long known that children carry a similar viral load to adults; it has equally long been clear from other countries that cluster outbreaks occur around and in schools.

And very predictably, we are already hearing news of schools – over two hundred at the time of writing – with pupils and teachers alike testing positive. These reports have come so thick and fast today, Monday the 7th of September, that it has been hard to keep track – just seven days after schools reopened in England.

We call on the government to immediately close schools again, and focus on remote learning until it is safe to return to physical lessons.

We absolutely back any parents out there making the choice to keep their children home from school. This is clearly the right call for them, and for their wider community.

While much time is given in the media to death, as the most drastic outcome of COVID-19, it is utterly crucial to remember that death is not the only negative outcome of an infection.

In the United States, around a third of all NBA athletes who tested positive for the virus also showed signs of myocarditis – a condition which, unchecked, can be lethal all by itself. It made no difference, statistically, whether the athletesin peak condition! – were asymptomatic or not.

We still do not understand the long-term effects of infection of COVID-19.

With what evidence we do have, this Party anticipates that it will in the years to come stand with a new wave of disabled people against a government that has already failed the disabled at every turn.

And we still do not fully understand the effects of PIMS-TS in children. Some children have been very poorly indeed as a result of it. We ultimately won’t know until it’s too late to change the decisions that have already been taken, so we must take the right decisions now.

And that is why, ultimately, the decision to reopen schools was always a bad one – and one we have always opposed.