Alerta de conspiración para cerrar las escuelas
Se alerta a la ciudadania de una posible conspiración, que incluye a periodistas, académicos y contratistas, estos últimos cesanteados por el Departamento de Salud (del Archipiélago) de Puerto Rico (DSPR), para desinformar respecto a la transmisión en las escuelas del SARS-CoV-2, el virus causante de la pandemia COVID-19.
La teoría de conspiración se construye así:
- socavar la confianza de la ciudadania en las estadísticas del DSPR,
- difundir estadísticas alternativas «crudas» (sin análisis epidemiológico) que sugieran la posibilidad de «brotes» en la escuelas, y
- ofrecer sus servicios profesionales (remunerados, preferiblemente) como expertos de datos, ungidos por la prensa.
Como en toda teoría de conspiración, quienes la proponen no tiene que probar nada; sólo necesitan sembrar la duda —camuflageándose como transparencia— difundida por supuestos paladines de la democratización de las estadísticas «para el pueblo».
Muy alertas al uso de la palabra incendiaria «brote». Con ese cóctel molotov algunos cosasos intentan intimidar a la ciudadanía para sabotear el proyecto de la reapertura presencial de las escuelas.
Procuremos el COnocimiento, la SAbiduría y el COmpromiso Social de acreditados y experimentados epidemiólogos antes de sucumbir ante el terror de la desinformación.
Que la LUZ de la VERDAD disipe toda ansiedad y temor.
What risk do students and teachers face?
Reopening schools safely means protecting everyone in the school, not just students. COVID affects younger individuals differently than adults. Here is what we know about the risk these groups face:
Evidence suggests that students are not at increased risk of COVID from school reopenings.
As we come to better understand how COVID spreads, we see that both susceptibility and infectivity increase with a person’s age. A CDC report on COVID infections in U.S. children found that between March 2020 and September 2020, children ages 12 to 17 were diagnosed with COVID twice as often as children ages 5 to 11. The infection rates for both groups is significantly lower than that of adults.
The National COVID-19 School Response Dashboard collected extensive data on American students who returned to classrooms from September 2020 through November 2020. Over that time period, 1.2 percent of in-person students had an assumed or confirmed positive case of COVID, compared to 1.5 percent in the general community in the same areas. This suggests that in-person learning does not increase students’ risk of COVID transmission compared to the community overall.
Teachers and other school staff likely face no greater risk by returning to in-person instruction than other relatively low-risk front-line workers such as grocery or retail workers, but rigorous infection control measures are essential to ensure their safety.
Based on extensive data collected in the U.S., the National COVID-19 School Response Dashboard found that, from August through November, school staff have a cumulative infection rate of 1.9 percent compared to 1.5 percent for the community in which the school is located. This gap is concerning, but we should also consider that the 1.9 percent figure includes suspected and confirmed cases, while the 1.5 percent figure includes only confirmed cases. The numbers may also be impacted by more COVID testing among teachers than within the community overall, as well as a lack of robust infection control in many schools.
Moreover, according to workplace-sector data collected in the U.K., COVID risk for school staff is comparable to other low-risk front-line workers, and it is well below the risk faced by healthcare workers. While public health authorities in the U.S. do not currently collect this kind of workplace-sector data, it would be beneficial to do so. The risk that teachers and other school staff face can and should be mitigated through rigorous infection control strategies.
José Becerra, MD, MPH, FACPM
Atlanta, GA and San Juan, Puerto Rico
Retired Centers for Disease Control Medical Epidemiologist
Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Graduate School of Public Health, Medical Sciences Campus
University of Puerto Rico