Like every other parent with a school-age child, I want schools to reopen in the fall — including the one I’m attending.
On the best of days, my son can be described as “spirited.” After four months of being cared for by his grandparents, he is practically feral. He needs the physical and social outlet that school provides, and I need the anatomy lab to reopen because human dissection is an irreplaceable part of my medical education.
But I am also an epidemiologist, and after reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for school reopening and the various accompanying news coverage and think-pieces, I can’t convince myself that following its rules will keep my family — or yours — safe.
Why? Because the primary way Covid-19 is transmitted is through respiratory droplets that careen through the air, and yet the capricious nature of air circulation and the lack of filtration systems in our already underfunded public school systems is absent from the conversation.
About Xandra Feathers ’06
Alexandra (Xandra) Feathers is a graduate of the Antioch College Class of 2006. Xandra is an epidemiologist and first-year medical student at SUNY Downstate. She has a Master’s in Public Administration and Public Health from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and majored in Social and Global Studies at Antioch College.