Hello, Buffalo: After a year of “pandemic lessons,” what do we know – and what don’t we know? |


Public health nurse Jonnie Fabrizio prepares to give an injection of the Pfizer vaccine during a Covid-19 vaccination clinic hosted by the Niagara County Department of Health at the Dwyer Arena on the campus of the ‘Niagara University in Lewiston, Thursday, September 2, 2021.

Derek Gee / Buffalo News

Covid-19 hasn’t wavered, and neither has the need for lessons

This pandemic lesson series began a year ago this week with the headline “Want to keep schools open? Keep the windows open too. The article cited various scientists who emphasized the importance of ventilation – a quality that many aging school buildings lack – in reducing viral transmission.

“Open the damn windows and let them wear their coats,” said Dr George Rutherford, head of global disease epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco. “Keep the air moving. “

It’s still good advice, but we didn’t expect to give it a year later. At least not on a weekly basis. When we launched the “Pandemic Courses” last fall, we called it an “ongoing series” designed to explore key questions by talking to world-class experts. As Covid-19 brooded, my editors and I agreed we would slow down the frequency of these stories.

But with the emergence of the Delta variant, the average number of cases in western New York state now exceeds 400 per day. Although the rate of spread is slowing, the biggest increase is among unvaccinated children – even as a relatively small but noisy choir of parents and lawyers protests and pleads for schools to leave these children unmasked.

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