A doctor has warned that if schools reopen in the fall for the 2020-2021 school year as scheduled, they'll be closed by the end of October due to children and teachers sick with both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, Business Insider reported.
Matt Lambert, an emergency medicine physician, said that the novel coronavirus -- the pathogen that causes the respiratory illness that has killed nearly 160,000 people in the United States -- is "more prevalent now than it has been at any other time."
And, he said, if we open schools while the pandemic is still raging, it's all but guaranteed that children are going to pass it to each other and to the adults who work with them.
"Kids can contract the virus — kids can transmit the virus. There might be some varying levels of what it's like in kids compared to adults, but it is clear that they can do that," Lambert said.
He then called it "inevitable" that, somewhere, a child will become infected with the disease and, even if he or she doesn't actively show symptoms, they'll bring it to "a chronically ill teacher or an elderly loved one at home."
Further, Lambert noted that the safety protocols in place aren't necessarily going to keep the virus at bay.
For one thing, he said, schools across the country are acting according to a patchwork of plans to keep children and staff safe, such as mask-wearing, the use of hand sanitizer, and social distancing -- there hasn't been a lot of guidance in this area from the federal government, he said. And while Lambert said those methods are worth a try, they'll only go so far.
By October, another insidious germ will start making its way into America's schools: the seasonal flu, which will bring with it its own set of complications. For example, it may be difficult to tell which pupils have the flu and which are sick with the coronavirus.
By then, he noted, with the flu and the coronavirus intermingling, and with so many youngsters and adults sick or infected, he doesn't see schools reopening fully once the dual epidemics start wreaking their havoc.
There is, in fact, already precedent for what can and likely will happen once the coronavirus gets into schools this fall. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this week a Georgia school had a child test positive on the very first day of classes, causing his or her classroom to shut down, and the 20 students and teacher forced to go into quarantine for two weeks.