Empty Class Building

The hallway at Coweta’s Central Elementary remains dark and empty as students left classrooms early in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CHRISTY WHEELAND/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

In the debate over whether schools will reopen this fall, we need to consider the facts.

Although studies suggest that children are less likely to contract the virus, that may not be accurate. Since children are often asymptomatic, they have been tested at a lower rate than adults.

The State Department of Health in Florida tested 54,022 people under the age of 18. Nearly 31% tested positive.

Although symptoms are generally believed to be mild among children, Florida reports that 1.5% of the children were hospitalized and roughly 2% of those died.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported long-term health issues in children who had recovered from the virus.

They found serious side effects in 300 previously healthy children.

This includes a condition called multi-system inflammation syndrome. It affects multiple organ systems with long-lasting effects like brain damage or something that looks like Kawasaki’s disease, an inflammatory condition that attacks the heart.

In two other studies, many of the children developed cardiovascular or clotting problems.

A newly released research study examining COVID-19 and human sperm suggests potential risk of permanent male infertility among young men and prepubescent males.

Given that there is still much we don’t know about the long-term damage this virus can do, putting our children at risk by opening schools without proper precautions and while there is still a high spread rate is not just inadvisable, it is irresponsible.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.

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