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Washington Post: States are rushing to close schools. But what does the science on closures say?

March 17, 2020

Washington Post: States are rushing to close schools. But what does the science on closures say?

Excellent work on this. I'm glad former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden was given the opportunity to speak out and the authors had the courage to interview him and do this piece. I am pleasantly surprised that the Washington Post permitted its publication. This gives me a small bit of renewed optimism in the potential unfolding of a new era of responsible journalism. This is a very important read.

We know historically “containment” policies for similar upper respiratory outbreaks in modern times has a failure rate >99%. Normal policy would involve recommending quarantine measures to those at highest risk, in this case - elderly and immunocompromised populations.

Yes, you’re going to see the diagnoses and death rate go up because they’re rapidly expanding vigilant testing and the media is going to report it everyday, fueling even more societal problems. The level of hysteria that’s been generated is unprecedented in our generation. The country and people are suffering as a result.

As a former policy worker at the National Institute for Health Care Management, public health and healthcare is only one element to be considered when contemplating broader government policy and rules.  

Current directives are taking us all down a dangerous path and we need to stem the tide. Rational people, including all of us here, need to work quickly, calmly, and diligently to dial down the hysteria and reassure people in our communities.  Don't be scared to speak up and push leaders to make decisions that are in the best interest of our neighborhoods and communities.

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