COVID-19, Schools, and Children: Debunking the Myths
BC’s politicians and public health leaders seem to have abandoned all ideas of preventing the rapid growth of Omicron, telling both businesses and schools to prepare for “functional closures”, with widespread illness expected to disable the ability to operate due to lack of staff.
What does this mean for our children, to let COVID-19 spread through their population, when only 40% of 5 to 11 year-olds have received just one dose of vaccine, and all children under 5 are unvaccinated?
Prof. Colin Furness, infection control epidemiologist from the University of Toronto, joins our education panel. He explains many of the concerns that are echoed by the scientific community regarding what is missing from the protections given to children in both school and childcare settings. What are the differences between what the scientific community is saying and what political and public health leaders are doing? Dr. Furness provides an analysis of how Omicron’s rapid unchecked transmission through the under-vaccinated child community could affect BC pediatric hospitalization numbers and Long COVID sufferers.
Actions we can take to prevent a surge of pediatric cases via community spread in schools and childcare facilities will be discussed.
The panel also features Jennifer Heighton, teacher and co-founder/director of Safe Schools Coalition BC, and Jaclyn Ferreira, parent, disability advocate and co-founder of Safe Schools Coalition BC. They provide local insights about the province’s response, and the experience of BC parents and teachers, into the discussion. Dr. Brenda Hardie, Vancouver Family Physician, facilitates.
- Prof. Colin Furness, MISt PhD MPH, Infection Control Epidemiologist, University of Toronto
- Dr. Brenda Hardie, Vancouver Family Physician
- Jaclyn Ferreira, Researcher, Disability and Inclusion advocate
- Jennifer Heighton, Community advocate, Teacher