- - Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Several years ago, I happened to mention to my doctor that my hay fever allergies were bothering me much less and I was happy about that. However, he told me that it was an indication my immune system was “closing down” as I got older. That was the first I ever heard of this problem for senior citizens. This is now obvious to all in the death statistics from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reopening of schools is now controversial and political. While the instances of sickness and death from the coronavirus are very rare among children, they are higher for teachers, especially older teachers and teachers with health conditions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is firmly in favor of the reopening of schools. There are many benefits to keeping schools open this fall, including mental and physical health boosts, social adjustment and better education.

Distance learning is inferior to classroom learning. The evidence is in. Statistics show distance learnings results in a 30% drop in reading ability and a 50% drop in math skills.

Yet, the teachers’ unions continue to ignore children’s welfare. Their contributions to the Democratic Party give them a strong position at the bargaining table. Perhaps they are looking for full pay for the months they are away from work.

I suggest schools’ focus be on the benefits to the children. Keeping schools open should be the top priority. Older teachers who are most vulnerable should be given the option of early retirement at reduced pension or a substantial severance package.


Fort Lee, N.J.

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