Following the second wave (or not) in the US as the States open up

I hadn’t really thought of that, but you’re absolutely right. And SMU isn’t known for having the most perspicacious of students when it comes to the outside world and their effect on it.

I read an article a week or two ago that pointed out that while kids may not show symptoms or show very mild symptoms, they often have HUGE viral loads in their mouths and respiratory tracts. That’s what worries me about in-person school; it’s like a giant petri dish that will get their parents, the teachers and staff sick. I’m not sure how well schools will cope if something like 30% of their teachers are out sick, which is not entirely unlikely. Or half the custodians/lunch ladies/etc… A few is one thing, but a significant number will cause big problems. Even military units cease to function effectively at about 30% casualties, and they’re designed for that kind of thing.

Here’s that article:

This is bodycam footage from a cop in Ohio who was called about a college students having a house party. After checking one of the IDs, he finds that the kid has tested positive. He asks the kid if anyone else who lives in the house is positive and the kid says all of them are. I believe the cop speaks for anyone with good sense with his “oh my gosh” response. You know this is happening all over the country.

“The infected children were shown to have a significantly higher level of virus in their airways than hospitalized adults in ICUs for COVID-19 treatment”

Won’t adults in the ICU be a lot less infectious than an adult with mild, moderate, or no symptoms? Why did the study add an additional variable into the comparison?

I think it was a way to emphasize just HOW infectious the kids might be, with someone hospitalized for COVID-19 presumably having a very high viral load, and the asymptomatic children being even higher.

The main reason someone in the ICU might not be as infectious is more of a consequence of their situation- they’d probably be dead otherwise. But until that point, they’re probably the most infectious of all.

Stunning. Is this a college-kid idiocy? Or are there other tested-positive adults having house guests?

“You are supposed to be quarantining…”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m home”
“But you had all these people in your house”
“Honestly, they were just passing by…”

Highest nasal viral load is a day or so before onset of symptoms to first day or so of illness and drops from there, often undetectable by two weeks. Peak ICU admission point is two weeks into illness. So yeah an … odd … choice.

Long established however that infected children can have nasal viral loads as high or higher than infected adults (every new report gets presented like it is new and shocking). Not established that such is correlated with effective transmission.

And out of curiosity… many school districts that rushed in even where angels would feared to tread have been open a month now. What do you pin the lack of surge in those communities on?

If with cooler weather and after Labor Day community case increases are seen in districts that have kept school closed, to similar degrees of those that went in person that are similarly matched for other actions taken, what would you conclude?

Bear in mind that kids go back to school in a wide range of times, from early August to after Labor day. Here in New Hampshire, for example, kids didn’t go back to school until Tuesday or Wednesday last week, dependent on whether schools are used as polling places.

El Paso hasn’t opened schools yet, and your first source is about this summer. We really don’t have much evidence either way.

It looks to me that there is a long lag between major shifts in data and when it is cohesive enough for a report. The Florida data is relevant and concerning, but even there, it’s very crude. In addition ti schools starting at different times, the areas with the highest level of community spread still haven’t gone back to in person school. Furthermore, it takes an extra cycle or two for infected kids to infect family and from there the community.

So I don’t think we really know the impact of school reopenings yet.

None of which is a response to the question I asked which is specific to schools being open as a significant driver for community spread. In fact the NYT bit demonstrates that increases in kids (which they note sometimes includes young adults) both absolute and as share of infections (as adults get infected less often, a good thing’s ) was occurring before schools were opening.

Admittedly communities otherwise similarly matched for actions is a hard thing to find. Generally communities and broad regions with relatively strict other actions have been more likely to keep kids on remote and those otherwise less stringent have gone in person more. Even then community spread, inclusive of within districts with early starts, has not consistently been followed by community surges, at least that I can see.

Anecdotally I can say that my communities include public schools that began remote and Catholic schools that went in person. Few cases occurring in either.

I will also state two other certainties.

  1. Diagnosed infections will go up dramatically in children over the next weeks to months. We are having many kids sent home from preschools on up with any symptom of anything and the directive from the school to have a test proving not Covid or out for ten days. Positivity rate will be low in these areas and rates high.

  2. There will be individual schools with flares of cases. And flares of cases in kids in communities with schools all remote. Guess which ones will get coverage?

Of course not everywhere opens schools at the same times. So far though no surges consistently seen in places that have. At what point after does the hypothesis of schools are drivers of community spread predict a resultant community surge? Or is any surge that occurs at any time explainable by schools in districts that opened and by other factors in districts that did not?

Again if communities otherwise matched experience similar outcomes in terms of community spread, hospital utilization, death rates, so on, what will you conclude? That it is dangerous because kids were a higher share of diagnosed infections?

But that’s the problem. A COVID patient in ICU has a very low viral load, but the average person who isn’t following the disease closely will think they have a very high viral load.

A person is most infectious around the onset of symptoms. Someone with a severe case of COVID will be infectious up to 20 days after onset. That’s “up to”, so it’s usually less than that. The average time from onset of symptoms to ICU is 10 to 12 days. The average time spent in ICU is 10 to 13 days. So, someone in ICU has had symptoms for 10 to 25 days. Most of them are probably not infectious, and those who are infectious have a very low viral load.

I believe the authors of this study know this information and are deliberately misleading people into thinking children are far more infectious than they really are.

Yeah, because that’s what doctors do in the Journal of Pediatrics. :roll_eyes:

If you think that authors of papers do not ever have positions they are trying to support and are always neutral devoid of bias, well welcome to how sausage gets made. The process of critical evaluations ideally corrects for it.

Meanwhile how do you explain it? The fact is that nasal viral loads follow that course. Citations available if desired. Most who follow this at all closely know that. Did the authors not? Possible. More likely they did but made a choice to present this comparison anyway.

Around here, mostly rural and church schools are open with in person teaching. Most of the mid-sized cities and larger are remote. Also the state universities have gone in person to the extent possible. All of this started about a week or two before Labor Day. Over the past 2 weeks the 7-day infection moving average has doubled. The state has had open bars and inside dining since Memorial day and rates were dropping through most of August, starting to drop before the governors mask mandate. I’ve been to weddings, fairs, auctions, funerals, inside dining all along. The only change to drive the rates up was the opening of schools.

Be great to know which state you are in.

Then to break it down by county in your state. If true that mostly rural and church schools are open in person and most of the mid-sized cities and larger are remote, then we should be able to see if there is a difference in rate rise between those areas that correlates with schools opening two to three weeks ago, pulling out the college town counties (which is a whole different set of high level messy confounders). Especially if you know which rural or city counties were the exceptions to that “mostly” and see if they bucked whatever pattern was established.

That’s the analysis that needs to be done nationwide trying to match counties by mitigation and other factors otherwise as best as possible. (Unfortunately “around here” is not much more useful by itself than “My cousin on Facebook knows someone.”)

It could demonstrate a fairly consistent difference by county that correlates with schools opening for in-person (and again keeping college numbers as a separate factor than children). I’ll state in advance that if such does show an increase in diagnosed case numbers among adults correlating in that way, I’d conclude that the evidence was strong that opening with those background levels of community transmission was in fact a contributor. Would you state in advance that a lack of such consistent correlation falsifies that hypothesis?


Eight Wisconsin metro areas have landed on the New York Times’ list of places across the country where new cases of COVID-19 are rising the fastest.
La Crosse is number one on the New York Times’ list, which was updated Thursday afternoon. In third is Whitewater, and the Oshkosh-Neenah area is in eighth. Stevens Point, Appleton, Platteville, Madison and Green Bay take up the 15th through 19th spots of the list, respectively.
With the exception of Appleton, all the Wisconsin cities on the list are home to a University of Wisconsin System campus.

Not in the article are the private colleges and the 2 year extension and technical schools.

Also from there charts seem to show the infections per 100k for ages 10-30 has been a large contributor this month. (may be paywalled but you should get 5 freebies)

And on a personal note, my daughter is at the Whitewater campus. My youngest son and I go to the aforementioned technical college in Appleton.

There’s a big difference (dare I say YUGE?) difference between authors trying to support and/or having bias, and authors deliberately trying to mislead people. One is deliberate and malicious, and the other isn’t necessarily so.

Multi-quoting to make clear what the question asked was.[quote=“DSeid, post:587, topic:854191”]
… many school districts that rushed in even where angels would feared to tread have been open a month now. What do you pin the lack of surge in those communities on?

If with cooler weather and after Labor Day community case increases are seen in districts that have kept school closed, to similar degrees of those that went in person that are similarly matched for other actions taken, what would you conclude?

So again, the narrow question is about school districts, not colleges opening. Colleges opening is a very important question, a discussion with lots of confounding factors to consider, but a very different one than the question about children and school districts as drivers (silent or otherwise) of infection into adults in the community.

From what you posted it does NOT seem like rural areas that are having kids in school in person are (yet at least) having significant increases of community spread into adult populations above and beyond rates in mid-size cities and larger (pulling out college towns).

Of course there is that “yet” … increases in case from opening should be expected to follow in kids in about two weeks of opening schools date and spread into adults over the next week or two (agreed?). Most school districts on Wisconsin opened 9/1, so we would just be expecting to see those increases and that rural/urban divide showing up now and over the next two weeks. It may yet happen.

OTOH that also means that the increases occurring since 9/1, were from exposures occurring BEFORE schools were open, not caused by schools opening.

Again though -

If not what would? Is the hypothesis falsifiable in your mind?

An intention to mislead is certainly deliberate but may not be malicious when one honestly believes that a greater good is being served by misleading others. It is not within my ethical bounds but some think they are playing fair if what they say is truthful even if it misleads the reader into a conclusion.

Meanwhile here’s the bottom line quote from the actual journal article.

The presumption that nasal viral load level correlates with transmissibility is without any evidence, even if the author (and some others) a priori thinks such is “likely”.