As more and more countries prepare to ease their lockdowns, they must prioritize schools in their re-opening plans — for the sake of children, but also for the sake of the economy. How will parents return to work if they have nowhere safe to leave their children? With women accounting for more than 60% of health workers in most countries, do they need help looking after their children while they are busy saving lives?
One thing is clear: It is critical to balance the overwhelmingly damaging effects of school closures with the need to control the spread of Covid-19. Yes, children are at risk of infection, and yes, that is terrifying for parents. However, the vast majority of children display mild symptoms and recover well.
The risks of keeping schools closed outweigh the health risks caused by the pandemic.