Thomas House, a statistician at the University of Manchester, said there are pros and cons.
“It helps to contain the spread of infection, but it creates a wider problem in society, like missing out on an education,” he said.
But most experts come down in favor of shuttering schools in order to slow the disease’s progress and distribute the number of critical cases over a longer time period in order to avoid overwhelming critical care units in hospitals, as happened in Wuhan and Italy.
Doctors in both places described war-like triage in which they incubated a patient on the last available respirator knowing that one or more others in equal need was likely to die.
For Nachman, pulling children out of school is “a very reasonable measure.”
“We assume that all children will get infection,” she said in an interview. “But if they pass it to their parents and household contacts, it will be over a longer period of time.”
“Instead of getting a hundred people sick tomorrow, we’ll get ten sick for the next ten days, which means less people coming into the hospital all at once.”
by Marlowe HOOD / Amélie BOTTOLLIER-DEPOIS