Better ventilation and universal mask-wearing are key to keeping the virus at bay, so children’s education can continue

Since the start of the pandemic in England, discussions about Covid-19 in children and schools have been fraught. While many parents rejoiced that schools would remain open in England through its second national lockdown, some worried this would limit the effectiveness of new restrictions, while nearly half of teachers reported feeling concerned for their own safety.

Although respiratory viruses typically hit children hard, Covid-19 has had surprisingly mild effects in kids, and fewer detected cases in children also suggest that they could be less susceptible to infection than adults. Yet the actual data about Covid-19 in children is murky. In early household contact-tracing studies, younger children were less likely to be infected by family members or to be the first or “index” case. But this may have been because children infected with Covid tend to have mild or even no symptoms.

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