London, Ont.’s top doctor says closed schools actually hurt COVID efforts. Is he right?

Author of the article:Jonathan Juha Publishing date:Jan 11, 2021

Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health for London-Middlesex. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)

London’s top public-health official is challenging Ontario’s school shutdown, suggesting the move may actually worsen COVID-19 spread – a stance that’s drawing criticism from other experts.

Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health for London and Middlesex County, wrote on social media that schools remaining open is “a public health measure that likely slows the spread of COVID,” noting 80 per cent of student cases were “linked to a previous COVID case at home, not at school.”

Schools in this region are closed until at least Jan. 25, with students learning from home instead.

“It may seem counter-intuitive, but the data shows that students catch more COVID at home than at school,” Mackie said.

Ryan Imgrund, a biostatistician, called Mackie’s comment on Twitter “shameful misinformation” and “dangerous.”

He wrote: “When you’re in a position of power, people rely on what you say.”

Dr. Mario Elia, a family physician in London and adjunct professor at Western University, was also critical of Mackie’s comment on Twitter.

“Yes they catch more COVID more frequently at home than at school,” Elia wrote. “However it would be a mistake to then infer that spending more time at school would be protective. Doesn’t change their home contacts”

Mackie defended his position to The Free Press on Monday, saying it’s based on data collected by the health unit.

“This is not something we’re making up and obviously it’s an unpopular position, so I’m not putting it out in order to win people over,” he said.

“I’m putting it out because I think it’s the right thing to do. We need to open up a realistic dialogue, not have knee-jerk, emotional reactions guiding policy.”

Mackie said the health unit investigated more than 80 cases of COVID-19 among school children during the fall term. Of those, the vast majority acquired the coronavirus at home.

He also said the health unit tested close to 1,000 students deemed close contacts of positive cases at schools and only one per cent of the tests came back positive.

“In other words, there was very little transmission, if any, happening in schools,” Mackie said. “And that one per cent is smaller than what we’re seeing in terms of the percentage of young people who were testing positive in the community.”

He said keeping school closed will force many parents to find alternate arrangements for their kids, including sending them to other households, which he described as “unstructured environments” that pose a higher risk of transmission than schools.

“The school environment is, in general, safer than the home environment.”

Mackie’s position drew fire from the head of an Ontario teachers’ union, who also took aim at the “contradictory messaging” from provincial and public health officials that is leaving the public “uncertain and anxious.”

“The statement of this public health official is simply the illogical extension of (Education Minister Stephen) Lecce’s claim that open schools are not a problem but closed schools are part of the solution,” said Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

Elementary pupils were supposed to return for in-person classes Monday, but the Ontario government last week pushed the start date until at least Jan. 25 – the same day high school students return to in-person classes – as a way to protect students and staff from surging rates of COVID-19.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, however, has already warned the current lockdown, initially in place until Jan. 23, may be extended and “extreme” new measures could loom if skyrocketing COVID-19 rates do not slow.

“If these basic measures continue to be ignored, the consequences will be more dire,” Ford said Friday.

London, Ont.’s top doctor says closed schools actually hurt COVID efforts. Is he right? | Toronto Sun


Even Angela Merkel is worried about Trump’s Twitter ban

Martel : ” As ever with Big Tech there is a curious lack of consistency at play; if President Trump is to be banned from Twitter why are senior Iranian figures still on Twitter given their consistent output of the kind of vile Anti-Semitic tropes that Hitler would have approved of? Of course, Big Tech will not ban Iran because they are seen as victims by dint of their opposition to the West and let us not forget in Big Tech world the West is an evil and being a child of the West bestows upon you some digital version of Original Sin.
Whether one agrees with President Trump or not, to see him censored in this way suggests Big Tech is setting itself up as judge, jury and executioner and that is not remotely acceptable.”

Germany’s chancellor has described the censorship of the president as ‘problematic’.

SPIKED11th January 2021Even Angela Merkel is worried about Trump’s Twitter banShareTopicsFREE SPEECHPOLITICSSCIENCE & TECHUSAWORLD

The social-media silencing of Donald Trump has set a terrifying new precedent – so terrifying that even Angela Merkel, hardly known for her commitment to free speech, is uncomfortable with it.

Click on link to continue reading article Even Angela Merkel is worried about Trump’s Twitter ban – spiked (

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