By Jefferey Jaxen

73% of Chicago Teachers Union members have just voted for remote instruction until “cases substantially subside” or union leaders approve an agreement for safety protocols with the district reports local Chicago KTLA News.

The report also admits that 91% of its more than 47,000 Chicago School District staff, the nation’s third-largest school district, are vaccinated. Despite this fact, the teachers union vote appears to signal that their members are willing to expose children to the serious harms associated with school closings despite their high vaccination rate.

Studies have shown that school closures as part of the pandemic response may have very serious harms on children. One analysis, published in JAMA Open Network, estimated an equivalent of 5.5 million life years for children in the United States during the spring school closures alone.

A newly-published study by world-renowned epidemiologists Jay Bhattacharya, John P. A. Ioannidis and others assessing mandatory stay-at-home and business closure effects on the spread of COVID-19 and found “…no evidence that more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (‘lockdowns’) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain or the United States in early 2020.”

For the students that are lucky enough to not have their formative education disrupted, school policies and media reports are demanding kids wear two masks. “The surgical mask goes on first and then the cloth mask,” NBC investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen said on “Today.” 

At least 3,713 K-12 schools were closed in the first week of January, the highest for the year according to Burbio, which tracks closings

Bloomberg is also reporting that school closings are accelerating nationally as the number of in-person closings has more than tripled since Dec. 19. Large districts like Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago have adopted remote instruction just days into the new year, often leaving parents little time to readjust schedules. 

Chicago’s move isn’t an isolated one as nor are other student stay-at-home lockdowns by other K-12 districts across the U.S. Colleges are also sidestepping the science as Johns Hopkins professor and public policy researcher Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H. recently asked students and their parents to ‘challenge the current dogma with data’ in a new article. He states that COVID policies adopted by universities “have derailed two years of students’ education and threaten to upend the upcoming spring semester—have exposed them as nonsensical, anti-scientific and often downright cruel.”

For the 58% of Yale’s students living on-campus, the university has told them to return between January 14 and February 4 yet they have to quarantine until they have the results of their COVID test. The campus itself is on quarantine until February 7 and is banning students from eating at local restaurants or visiting local business in the nearby city New Haven.

A Post on its Facebook Page Yale Daily News writes, “‘Students may not visit New Haven businesses or eat at local restaurants (even outdoors) except for curbside pickup. Dining is grab-and-go until public health conditions improve.”

Jefferey Jaxen

Jefferey Jaxen is a health journalist and featured in his weekly segment, ’The Jaxen Report’, on The HighWire. As an investigative journalist, researcher, and compelling writer, Jefferey serves as Lead editor of The HighWire News and Opinion Team.

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