Deep Dive - Online learning isn't working and our kids will suffer
Last night I tuned in to one of my most reliable sources of informed debate and information(Or "disinformation" according to the MSM).
In this latest episode, host, Freddie Sayers, tackled the issues surrounding the closure of schools in response to the Covid pandemic. This subject is one close to my heart as I have 2 teenage girls in my house who are currently experiencing the destructive consequences of "online learning".
I will return to talk about what was discussed on Unherd, but first I would like to highlight some points which I feel underpin this whole debate.
I've never agreed with the closure of schools as a method of bringing down the rate of infection and when I hear people talk about these closures in relation to protecting children from Covid-19 I really start to lose my shit. From the beginning of this, so-called, pandemic, it has been observed and generally excepted that children are at minimal risk of severe symptoms, let alone hospitalisation. As time has gone by the data collected has confirmed this initial hypothesis was correct.
As you can see, the figures clearly show that our younger generation is at very low risk and I would like to add that these figures would support this even moreso had it not been for the age range used between 15-44 year old. It appears this is the only section of this graph that contains a 29-year age range, whereas all the rest of the columns observe an age range from 9 to 19 years. This is a very important point to considering for those attempting to ascertain how harmful this virus is to those of school age. I strongly suspect that if the 3rd age range would have been from 15-24 the figures would show a near-zero death count, subsequently confirming that all those attending their final exam year and those attending 6th form/college education are also at very low risk from Covid-19. So, from the standpoint of schools being closed for the sake of the pupil's health, it is clear that there are no grounds to base such claims.
Obviously, there are those who support the closure of schools on the ground that children will unknowingly spread the virus within the community through what has been labeled "asymptomatic spread". To my knowledge, the largest study tasked with the observation of asymptomatic patients and whether or not they can spread the virus concluded that there was very little chance of an asymptomatic person passing on the virus, as explained in a publication from the highly reputable BMJ(British Medical Journal)
Covid-19: Asymptomatic cases may not be infectious, Wuhan study indicates
"A mass screening program of more than 10 million residents of Wuhan, China, performed after SARS-CoV-2 was brought under control, has identified 300 asymptomatic cases of covid-19, none of which was infectious."
source - BMJ
A total of 1174 close contacts of the asymptomatic positive cases were traced, and they all tested negative for the COVID-19. There were 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 cases who participated in the screening. Of the 34,424 participants with a history of COVID-19, 107 tested positive again, giving a repositive rate of 0.310% (95% CI 0.423–0.574%).
Virus cultures were negative for all asymptomatic positive and repositive cases, indicating no “viable virus” in positive cases detected in this study.
All asymptomatic positive cases, repositive cases and their close contacts were isolated for at least 2 weeks until the results of nucleic acid testing were negative. None of detected positive cases or their close contacts became symptomatic or newly confirmed with COVID-19 during the isolation period.
It is important to keep in mind the fact that the Wuhan study did not concentrate on the younger population and the probability of asymptomatic spread in their particular age group. In order for us to gather more specific information in relation to whether or not school children are likely to increase infection rates, we must cross-reference the Wuhan study with other evidence and base our judgments on that.
Teacher infection rate similar to other key workers
The analysis states there is “no evidence of differences in the positivity rate between primary and secondary school teachers, other key workers and other professions”.
During the same period 0.4 per cent of other key workers, including resident facing care-home workers, patient-facing and no patient facing healthcare workers and protective service occupants, tested positive for Covid.
While 0.44 per cent of workings in ‘other professions’ tested positive.
With this information I think we can start to find some confidence in the fact that school children pose less of a risk to teaching staff than adult customers pose to someone working at Mcdonald's or Tesco, yet those businesses still remain open. And bearing in mind that nearly half of a child's day is spent at school, and in close proximity to their teachers, it would be safe to presume they pose a similarly low risk to adults in their own home.
To further support my argument that schools pose little risk and should remain open, I would like to turn your attention towards France and Sweden, who have refused to forsake their children's education and wellbeing. Both countries have kept their schools open and still witnessed a fall in infection rates.
Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, admits there were flaws in the country’s permissive approach to the virus — Sweden has a high death rate, particularly in nursing homes — but says there’s little evidence schools exacerbated the outbreak.
The risk to teachers was also lower than many feared.
While Sweden’s no-lockdown approach was shunned by its Nordic neighbors, health officials in Denmark and Norway came around to Sweden's stance on schools.
Both made reopening them one of their first steps out of lockdown. Neither has seen a resurgence since.
Knowing that this data exists, I find it astonishing that it's the Teachers Union who is the ones calling for schools to remain closed. Furthermore, there is another side to this debate and those advocating school closures would rather it be ignored, even though the consequences of their ignorance amount to something much more harmful to our children. And this point brings me back to where I started with Freddie Sayers latest episode of Unherd...
Amongst other issues, which I will come back to shortly, one of the points raised was the obvious impact school closures are having on children's mental health. A shocking example of this was mentioned by one of the guests on Unherd...
The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation’s fifth-largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible. This month, the school board gave the green light to phase in the return of some elementary school grades and groups of struggling students even as greater Las Vegas continues to post huge numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths.
You would be foolish to believe this isn't happening in your own country and while not all of our kids will be suicidal that doesn't mean they are not feeling the negative effects of this forced isolation. As much as the UK government and lap-dog-media agencies try to downplay this situation the evidence is mounting, fast. But as of yet, those with the power to change things appear stubborn in their belief that a solution more harmful than the initial problem is still, somehow, a solution.
Mental health, however, has a wide spectrum of possible disruptions, each one having its own manifestation. The kind of damage and the extent of it is completely unknown as our Government pushes forward, pig-headedly, with the same old blunt-force tactics. It reminds me of the comedy series, Blackadder when General Melchett explains his "top-secret" plan to win the war.
Unfortunately, the side-effects of these lockdown policies stretch way beyond the damage we cause to our children's social capabilities. By continuing to keep our schools closed and thereby forcing our children onto a course of "online learning" we further destroy their development. But unlike the mental health problems that are somewhat unknown, the substandard education being offered to the next generation is well understood to be inadequate. These inadequacies are explained to Freddie Sayers in no uncertain terms during the interview on Unherd TV. As one guest explains;
"Online learning just doesn't work and the reason I know this to be true is this...After the first lockdown ended, we tested our students to see how much information they had retained during online learning and it was shocking to realise that retention levels were around 20%. Also, it is important to note that these were 6th form pupils who were eager to learn and need little or no encouragement. Attendance levels were 100% in this group and still we get only 20% of what we taught being absorbed. Now, put that in the context of younger children who often need constant monitoring and encouragement, and where attendance levels vary drastically from school to school. Now imagine what kind of results we would likely see in younger age groups and from under-privileged schools, probably less than 20%..."
learning is supposed to be fun
Imagine yourself when you were at school...Now imagine doing it all on a laptop with nobody onscreen except the teacher. It's quite hard to imagine how tedious that must be for a youngster and I suspect that the teacher who spoke about retention of information will be proven correct. But still, in the face of all this evidence, the UK's Minister of Education, Gavin Williamson, insists that everything is fine and our transition to online learning is something to be proud of...
People have "lost sight" of how the coronavirus pandemic has "changed learning for the better", the education secretary has said.
While some consequences of remote learning have been "challenging to say the least", others have actually been an "unqualified success", according to Gavin Williamson.
Obviously, he either hasn't got children, or he has and they're privately educated. Either way, the woes of the Plebs are far from this man's conscience.
This is a sad state of affairs that we find ourselves in, but it really shouldn't be this way. The evidence is there to support a complete u-turn on our schooling policy, but, like rabbits caught in the headlights, our elected officials seem dumbstruck. Why? I just don't understand, because it is pretty hard to argue against opening up schools when it is clear to see the damage it is doing.
As things stand, the government has implied that schools may reopen in march, but that isn't a certainty. And if you think our trouble is over when schools finally do reopen, think again. Our kids will have to be tested for covid over and over again, using the same old flawed PCR test which will be manipulated through its cycle threshold to yield the appropriate outcome. And maybe we go a step further into this 1984 dystopian future, by insisting our children be vaccinated before being allowed back into school? You think that would be a step too far, but just listen to what's going on over in the USA, the land of freedom...
The head of Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that all students will have to have a COVID-19 vaccine, once it’s available, in order to return to classrooms.
For me, this is where I draw the line. I am skeptical enough about the efficacy of these vaccines, not to mention the data coming out recently about how many elderly are dying after taking the shot. So, anyone in support of such a policy should be removed from whatever position they hold and then banished to some deserted island where they can only do harm to themselves.
Anyway, I will leave you to think about all this, and maybe someone out there can shed some light on the teacher's unions and why they seem hell-bent on destroying the education of our children? Below, I have posted the latest episode of Unherd so you can listen to the 3 teachers talk about the situation as they see it.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this post and found it informative. Until next time, take care!