Letter to the Editor: Children are not immune from virus

The letter submitted by Spangler Klopp (“Kids need to be in classrooms this fall,” July 20) makes several assertions with which I cannot agree.

Mr. Klopp makes the point that because the fatality rate from COVID-19 for young people is low (about .4%) that the pandemic is an elderly people’s issue, and that it is best to reopen schools.

There are 138,000 K-12 students in Delaware, meaning that if we were to open schools and children became infected, 552 of those students would die if we assume that fatality rates stay where they are.

Furthermore, Klopp fails to consider the fact that children are not the only people in schools. Adults are the ones who are teachers, administrators or staff, and many of these adults are older individuals who face a greater risk of fatality from COVID-19. Not to mention the families of school children who may be older, have compromised immune systems, or simply spread it around in their places of employment after becoming infected by their school-age child.

Children are just as capable as adults of contracting and spreading the virus, which is clearly illustrated by the recent disastrous openings of schools in Georgia, making the danger posed to older/immunocompromised people by school children even more important to consider.  

While I understand that children do benefit more from a real classroom environment, I think the opinion put forth by Klopp is a shortsighted one which does not take into account the reality of our situation which we can see playing out in other states. Let’s learn from their mistakes, listen to science and KEEP SCHOOLS CLOSED.

Jack Heavner