Hello, Buffalo: After a year of “pandemic lessons,” what do we know – and what don’t we know? |
COMPILED BY SHAWN CAMPBELL
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 âWant 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. âKeep 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 âPandemic Coursesâ last fall, we called it an âongoing seriesâ 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.