Contagious Disease Current Events

LA: Distance learning only

The New York Times reports:

California’s two largest public school districts said on Monday that instruction would be online-only in the fall, in the latest sign that school administrators are increasingly unwilling to risk crowding students back into classrooms until the coronavirus is fully under control.
The school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego, which together enroll some 825,000 students, are the largest in the country to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August.
The decision came as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced some of the most sweeping rollbacks yet of California’s plans to reopen. Indoor operations for restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters and zoos were shut down statewide on Monday, and churches, gyms, hair salons, malls and other businesses were shuttered for four-fifths of the population.

Is this a good decision? The decision likely will help limit the spread of the disease, but also put a significant burden on working parents with school-age children. Further, children’s learning, likely will not be the same with distance compared to in-person learning. A difficult decision to make for any politician.


  1. My district is looking at a hybrid approach and potentially resuming full time instruction for K-5 in October. The weird thing in many locales in the fall is the potential for empty classrooms but full restaurants. I think it’s a quirk of the timing of the virus (things started to open up when school was out of session already), but few have given any thought of balancing where people gather. I don’t see many proposals (from decision makers) for pulling back on the allowed capacity of restaurants and other public gathering places in order to open up schools. Teacher safety should be taken into effect, but many people (teachers included) who make this argument don’t mind in engaging in market activity that requires many service workers to face what are probably riskier work environments than schools would be (like getting takeout: the cook line workers are not socially distanced at all and are more vulnerable to the virus than kids, making the number of potentially infected people that service workers interact with much higher than what teachers would face).

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