My fellow coronahawks, can we please pick our battles well?

In Sweden, a grand total of 1 child under age 9 has died of corona. Assuming an infection rate of 7.5%,(the rate for ages 0-19) that would translate to 10 deaths if the infection rate increased to 75%. Given the U.S. population is 32 times the Swedish one, this translates to 320 deaths, though one must consider that many of those infections and deaths would occur regardless of whether the schools are open. So the real value is more like 80 deaths, though the 1 death in Sweden number may be an anomaly. Assume there “should be” five deaths and the number goes to 400. It’s no exaggeration to say that more kids under age 9 will die on their way to school in car crashes than from corona they catch at school.

So why should schools be shut down if bars, indoor restaurants, and hair salons are open? Why should they be shut down if daycare centers are gonna be open? A lot of coronahawks are not thinking this through, they aren’t considering what would happen to those kids if the schools were closed. Some would stay home, but others would be sent to daycare, where they’d be in the same situation and that’s one reason why, as I said, they should be expected to get corona regardless. It’s true that education is to a large extent free daycare, but taxpayer funding of free daycare is better than taxpayer funding of free daycare … and no one getting free daycare.

To answer my question: teachers have unions, daycare workers don’t. Similar to other sectors, many of the teachers want to get paid without working, unlike most sectors, they have a voice that can loudly demand that be put into practice.

In a rational society, we’d have voluntary paid human experimentation, so we could get a bunch of children who already have corona, expose them to adult volunteers, and see how easily it transmits. We’d also be honest enough with ourselves to admit that schooling is more babysitting than education, so we’d replace many of the older, more vulnerable teachers with younger, less vulnerable daycare workers, with the teachers perhaps leading things behind the scenes. And we’d have provocation trials to develop vaccines much more quickly and we’d test variolation as a possible way of achieving herd immunity with minimal deaths.

But we don’t, so the next best thing is to pick our battles well. I am not saying, unequivocally, that we shouldn’t shut down the schools. I’m simply saying there are things that will be both politically easier to achieve and just as effective, and we should do those first. Bars, restaurants, and hairdressers should move to the parking lots or shut themselves down. Churches should do their preaching outside. If it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for our time. Institutions of higher education need to be shut down. Only after those are achieved should we shift focus to shutting down the schools.

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