Joseph Allen Profile picture
Sep 17 26 tweets 4 min read
A thread from @TheLancet @CovidCommission on school closures:

--> 195 countries closed schools during the pandemic, affecting more than 1·5 billion children and young people and posing enormous long-term and unrecoverable costs to them, their parents, and the economy.

--> School closures have had devastating effects on student learning, mental health, socioemotional outcomes, and lifetime earning potential, such as education backslides, increasing drop-out rates, and increased abuse and neglect.

--> In-person schooling was deprioritised even as other non-essential or less essential community and economic activities centres, schools, or universities.

--> School closures also affected the safety of children, increasing their exposure to abuse.

--> Lack of economic support at home and the lack of protection offered by schools affected girls in particular

--> increased risk of mental health problems, violence, child marriage, pregnancy, female genital mutilation, and HIV infection, with limited or no access to services

--> 11·2 million girls and young women globally are now at risk of not returning to care centres, schools, or universities

--> Across the United States and Mexico, at least 62 million elementary-age and secondary-school-age children (aged 5–18 years) were physically out of school for at least 13 months continuously.

--> In Latin America, more than 165 million young people stopped attending classes in person.

--> To deal with these school closures, the education sector pivoted to online learning and digital resources, immediately redefining access to learning by access to the internet.

--> As of December, 2020, 64% of low-income students in the United States were attending school solely via computer, compared with 48% of high-income students.

--> Black (66%) and Hispanic (64%) students were almost twice as likely as White (34%) students to be learning fully remotely, and were also twice as likely as White students who were also remote to have no live access to a teacher.

--> UNICEF estimates that a third of the world's schoolchildren were unable to access digital learning.

--> School closures have also affected children's physical health, food security, and nutritional status.

--> Since the beginning of the pandemic, UNESCO estimates that nearly 370M children across 50 countries have missed meals since school closures began, and that globally an estimated 39 billion in-school meals have been missed as a result of pandemic-induced school closures

--> An average of four in ten in-school meals have been missed by children around the world, and this number increases to as many as nine in ten in some countries.

--> The absence of a structured, school-led routine and peer interactions has disrupted the lives of children; amplified the anxiety caused by isolation and their fears of the disease; and led to the loss of physical, intellectual, and social engagement.

--> Motivation levels in children have declined because of the inability to play outdoors (which also affects their physical health), meet friends, and be in the classroom.

--> Globally, a median of one in five young people aged 15–24 years said that they often felt depressed or had little interest in doing things.

--> One estimate from the World Bank suggests that this generation of children could potentially lose an estimated $10 trillion globally in their life earnings.

--> The loss of learning could also potentially increase learning poverty levels to 63% and drive countries even further off-track from achieving their learning poverty goals.

--> The estimated economic loss for south Asia due to school closure is projected to be between $622 billion (best-case scenario) and $880 billion (worst-case scenario).

--> For 2020 alone, the IMF estimated learning losses from mandated school closures at 20–25% of the school year in advanced economies and twice that in emerging market and developing economies.

--> As the pandemic entered its third year, schools continued to impose stringent restrictions.

--> Although efforts should be made to reduce undue risk of infection to children, it should further be recognised that it is possible to keep schools open without putting students and adults at excessive risk.

--> Because of the lower risk of severe COVID-19 among children, and considering the harms of school closures, in-person learning should be prioritised.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Joseph Allen

Joseph Allen Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @j_g_allen

Sep 15
"The pandemic has also shown that insufficient attention was previously paid to the design and management of ventilation and filtration systems for healthy indoor environments, including safe workplaces, safe schools, and safe public transport."

The final report from our @TheLancet Covid-19 Commission is out. A short thread highlighting just a few key areas where the work of our Task Force on Safe Work, Safe School, Safe Travel can be found.
A paradigm shift in how we view and address the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases is underway. Airborne transmission in both the near-fields and the far-fields is a crucial, if not dominant, exposure pathway for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 6
"Mysterious outbreak in Argentina solved"

Newly interested in #Legionella? Here's an excerpt from my book, #HealthyBuildings (in the opening chapter, after my FBI story...)

And...good time to edition comes out October 18. First look at the new cover!

It was during one of my first forensic investigations of a “sick building” that I first saw the power and potential of this burgeoning Healthy Buildings movement. This was no ordinary case of sick building syndrome...
It wasn’t a stuffy cubicle farm where people sometimes report symptoms like headaches, eye irritation, dizziness, or allergic reactions. I don’t mean to diminish those types of sick buildings in any way, but this was a hospital and the lives of four people were in jeopardy.
Read 25 tweets
Sep 1
All the strategies people are focusing on now, we knew them 2 years ago:

“Joseph Allen, the directir of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard’s SPH, wrote a 62-page plan with a dozen colleagues listing steps that schools could take to reduce transmission risk.

“To improve ventilation and air quality, schools with AC could upgrade their air filters, while schools without it could make sure that their windows opened and set up fans to circulate fresh air from outdoors; when it got too cold, they could install portable air purifiers.”
And so much of the schools conversation that summer failed to even acknowledge the risks of kids out of school:

“There’s certainly no such thing as zero risk in anything we do, and that is certainly the case during a pandemic,” he said in a conference call to present the plan.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 1
The harms to kids from being out of school, on the other hand, are severe. They are accumulating. And they could last for decades.…
A report by McKinsey examining Covid-19 effects on the 2020-21 school year found that the pandemic left students five months behind on math and four months behind in reading.
Schools with majority Black and brown populations saw deeper losses: six months behind in math and five to six months behind in reading.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 1
“…the worst drop in math and reading scores in decades…”

June 2020

“First, school closures are creating “virtual dropouts.”…This will increase our country’s education gap and exacerbate racial and social inequalities — with impacts that will persist for years.”…
Read 5 tweets
Aug 25
Excellent article by @zeynep on long covid:

"The scale of the pandemic has made the importance of postviral ailments harder to deny and the need for research greater, but we have not yet risen to the task."

THREAD pulls out issues hindering response…
--> "Under the C.D.C. definition, someone with a single symptom just four weeks after illness can be lumped under the long Covid umbrella with someone bedbound for years."
--> "The symptom descriptions for long Covid are too vague. Do “brain fog” and “fatigue” mean people don’t feel as sharp as they were and are a little off their jogging times, or are they experiencing a cognitive crisis so profound that they cannot find words..."
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!