Kids are back to school in Israel, but with a dizzying number of restrictions and alternate learning days that’s left many parents confused and frustrated.
Professor Yoram Lass, an Israeli physician and former director general of the Ministry of Health, said last week that the situation makes no sense, and that children should go back to school full time with no restrictions or special coronavirus regulations.
“The school year opened [last] week with ‘capsules’ and masks and Zoom and isolation. And all this while we know with complete confidence that coronavirus isn’t dangerous to children at all; fact: no children are hospitalized,” stressed Lass during his program on Israel’s Radio 103 FM.
“In contrast, influenza, which no one cares about, is known to be far more dangerous to children than coronavirus, and it doesn’t interest anyone. But, as usual in today’s situation, the facts don’t matter. Anxiety grows and prevents any logical consideration,” he continued.
Current research, including that put out by the World Health Organization, also suggests that children, at least those age 10 and under, do transmit COVID-19 very easily, and there are as yet no confirmed instance of a child passing the disease to an adult. In other words, teachers are at little to no risk of being infected by their students.
Early in the coronavirus crisis, Lass angered many by arguing against any form of national lockdown. “I’m going to say something that’s really hard to hear,” he told Channel 12 News back in March. “For the sake of a few people who anyways don’t have a long life expectancy, you don’t ruin a country. You don’t ruin the world. You sacrifice.”
Lass’ latest outburst against the coronavirus hysteria came just days before 90 of Israel’s top doctors and scientists signed an open letter urging the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid any further closures related to COVID-19.
In the letter, they argued that while the coronavirus is indeed deadly for the elderly and those with certain preexisting conditions, for the vast majority of the population it is no more dangerous than a variety of annual sicknesses, including the flu.
As such, reacting with closures and lockdowns is a “strategic mistake, based on a lack of basic understanding of the mechanisms of a pandemic.” Dr. Amir Schachar, the head of the emergency wing at Laniado hospital in Netanya and one of the letter’s signatories, told Channel 12 News that the current “hysteria” over the coronavirus is “totally unnecessary.”