Boston, Somerville have misplaced priorities
I was disheartened to hear about Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s decision to further delay in-person school for children in our communities (“Boston slows down return to schools,” Page A1, Oct. 8). His decision mirrors that of my own mayor, Joe Curtatone, who has continued to be extremely conservative in implementing in-person school.
This is not to say that we should not be reacting to an increasing coronavirus rate. Yet in contrast to France, for instance, where an increasing rate has led to the closure of bars and limited access to gyms and other spaces, the decision here in Massachusetts is to further delay the return of children to in-person school.
This is an era of hard choices and of trade-offs, and the mayors of Massachusetts, by continuing to drag their feet on in-person school while not retrenching opening of businesses and restaurants, are sending a clear and disappointing message. The signaling could not be more stark in Somerville, where gyms and restaurants continue to function and school sports conditioning has restarted, but not a single child has set foot in a classroom.
The data on coronavirus in schools is far from perfect, but they overwhelmingly support a return to school for the youngest children, who are least likely to be affected by coronavirus and most likely to be negatively affected by remote learning. In addition, there have been few documented cases of coronavirus transmission within classrooms of young learners.
Close the gyms, open the schools.
Dr. Jessamyn Blau
The writer is a physician and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School. The views expressed here are her own.
College students welcomed back as elementary pupils are kept away
How much of the spike in coronavirus cases in Boston is due to college students returning to Boston? Have we sacrificed the education of our elementary school students, particularly the ones too young to learn remotely, for the benefit of college students? Is this fair?