A Bad Feeling About D.C.’s School Reopening

Consider this a quick hit, but I think D.C.’s school reopening will lead to a huge surge of COVID positives one to two weeks later. What’s particularly disconcerting is that students who live in wards with low adult vaccination rates also have low vaccination rates among teens combined with high numbers of students. This seems like a perfect storm, especially in light of recent modelling from North Carolina (which assumes far more frequent testing than ten percent of students who opt in* which is D.C.’s policy). We’re potentially looking at thousands of students with COVID-19 over a sixty day window.

While I don’t mean to make light of pediatric infections, these students will bring it home to their parents, who are disproportionately unvaccinated (while natural immunity lowers the likelihood of bad outcomes, it is nowhere near as good as vaccination, especially against Delta). While unvaccinated kids typically don’t wind up in the hospital (though some do), unvaccinated thirty and forty year olds do–and the risk is higher for Blacks in the same age group. East-of-the-river could get really bad.

This is all occurring in the context of a huge increase in COVID prevalence outside of schools.

I really hope there’s something obvious I’m missing that would prevent a huge surge, but I’m not seeing it. We could have a massive surge in COVID (and not just in children), and D.C. doesn’t seem to have a plan for that.

Perhaps nationally, the problem is rightwing MAGA CHUDs, but that’s not the issue in D.C., a Democratic stronghold. In D.C., the problem is a New Democrat-style mayor and a gormless Democratic Council unwilling to confront her (including one of ‘independent’ members, Silverman, who, at the national level, would be considered left).

Again, maybe there’s enough natural immunity that’s effective against Delta such that this doesn’t happen–though we’re not seeing that currently. But September and October could be really bad.

At this point, we just have to hope and try to protect ourselves individually because I fear D.C.’s political leadership has abandoned us, especially when it comes to things like vaccination requirements.

D.C.’s political response to COVID-19 is why I’ve argued eighty percent of elected officials shouldn’t be returned to office.

I hope I’m wrong about all of this.

*Of course, the students who aren’t opted in by their parents are likely the most as-risk for having COVID-19. And ten percent is a fucking joke–that will alert you much of the time after COVID-19 has swept through a class. Of course, we also will be underestimating the actual prevalence of COVID-19. It’s a clusterfuck all the way down.

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1 Response to A Bad Feeling About D.C.’s School Reopening

  1. At the start of the first wave, and for precious months thereafter, Ohio was one of the best-positioned red states. The foremost reason for that was that our Governor shut down the schools very early. (Another factor was that no one travels to Ohio, for any reason, nor has money to leave.) Subsequently, his parliamentary Party told him that they would graciously allow him to retain the title of governor and serve out the rest of his term provided that he made no further public appearances or statements, and accordingly nothing has been seen or heard of him since. So our school opening is going to play out exactly as you predict for DC, most especially complete with the falsification of statistics.

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