Letter to the Editor: John W. Jenks

We all know it. Closing schools and remote learning is substandard education. The kids, parents, the teachers, the national studies all find remote learning is substandard. They also show that remote learning disproportionally hurts the minorities, ethnics, Blacks and Hispanics. Disproportionally hurting minorities/ethnics is reprehensible. Just so we all agree; remote learning supported by the NJ Department of Education and others is immoral.

By closing schools who are you protecting? The kids, from what? Blowing their noses, sneezing, coughing or DYING? What does the data show? The NJDOH data shows not one NJ child between the age 5 and17 has died from Covid. Therefore, the schools don’t have to protect the kids from Covid-19. Their immune system does it for them. OK, so let’s protect the teachers. Since June the medical community has treatments for Covid. And the morbidity rate for adults has dropped by 90%. So we need to ask the question how many NJ teachers have died from Corona since school started in Sept? Give me the data.

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This leads to the question of what is an adult acceptable risk expressed as morbidity rate We know the risk for K-8 children is Zero. Back in the Spring Gov Murphy saw the Covid death rate as high as 300/day. That was unacceptable so we went to lockdown, shelter at home, etc. With the recent highest daily morbidity rate around 50/day the Gov has not ordered lockdown and we can go to restaurants, box stores, Walmart, most retail stores, bars, and gyms. So, according to the Governor, an acceptable risk (morbidity) of 50 adults per day can be achieved with social distance and masks.

Back to my question; What is the acceptable morbidity rate for teachers? One, five, twenty, per month, per year? We know what the Governor’s metric is for adults. What’s the NJ Department of Education acceptable morbidity rate? Is it 0, 20, 100 teachers per year statewide? How many teachers died from communicable diseases during the 2017-17 H1N1 epidemic? If teachers died from communicable diseases then, and schools didn’t close, what was the previous acceptable risk? Is it different now because of Covid? If so, why? And why would NJ ever allow the schools to open if you find out more than 0, 20, or 100 teachers typically die from communicable diseases per year?

Is anyone interested in data or science? Or are we just a bunch of rats acting on instinct and emotion?

John W. Jenks
Marlton, NJ

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