Yesterday, a chart was shared on social media pertaining to new CDC recommendations involving schools.
The chart sparked frenzy into parents and was shared thousands of times.
We, alone, got the chart emailed to us 11 times and were asked about it on social media more than 30 times.
So, is it true that the CDC changed their guidance regarding schools re-opening? Yes, it is.
Is that chart you're seeing on the Internet an accurate depiction of what post-COVID-19 school life will be for Lafourche? Almost certainly not.
For one, the chart is heavily skewed toward promoting fear and several critical words and phrases are left out.
For example, the first item on the chart says "wear masks over the age of 2," which is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT what the CDC is recommending.
The CDC says that children under 2 should never wear a mask, then it goes on to emphasize that the masking of younger students would be difficult, so that it's likely only a feasible option in older students. But yet somehow, none of that stuff made it into the chart.
Little phrases like "when feasible," "if possible," or "are suggested" are up and down the CDC's actual recommendations, but those are all left out of the "chart", which highly skews the list and makes it nowhere near an accurate depiction of reality.
Secondly, the chart contains the CDC's guidance for schools opening RIGHT NOW, in mid-May.
We, in Louisiana, are not re-opening schools until August.
The CDC has been a rubber band throughout this. They have admitted that there is not a lot of information about COVID-19 available, so they've stretched and bent restrictions and guidance as information comes out. They do this often - just most of the information doesn't make headlines, so we never notice the tweaks.
Just yesterday, the CDC, for example, said that surface-to-person spread of COVID-19 was unlikely, a drastic change from the guidance we'd been given earlier – guidance that had some of us literally scrubbing down our grocery bags after returning home from shopping.
By the time Lafourche Parish is opening up its schools, the CDC will likely change its guidance for schools 5 times, if not more. Let's wait and see what the plan looks like in late-July before we cast blanket judgments.
And lastly, when it's time to figure out how school needs to look, we will tell you. You won't have to rely on some Internet meme created by someone who has a 7-day trial of Photoshop. We will tell you. And we will tell you based on what we've been told by our amazing Lafourche Parish Public Schools System. And they will be creating their plan based on the help and guidance of all of our parish leadership and beyond.
It's fun to see that chart and get all googly-eyed, but please know it's not based in reality.
Because 90 percent of what's there is hogwash and the other 10 percent are half truths.
See the CDC's full guidance on schools, and note that this is based on THE CURRENT PICTURE, not the FORECASTED PICTURE for August.