In support of this push to win hearts and minds, the propaganda war has today been joined. And while the Mirror asks “ARE OUR KIDS SAFE OR NOT, MR GOVE?” the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph is in no doubt, proclaiming “Risk of virus spreading in schools is ‘extremely low’ … Major study shows negligible transmission of Covid-19 among pupils and teachers as WHO plays down threat”.
Good question ...
And what happened to those who were then in contact with the two who became infected? That is not told, but the Tel wants us to know that “It is the only major study of transmission among children and teachers and shows that the virus’ spread is ‘limited’ in classrooms”. And where does this study originate? “The latest study, carried out in Australia”.
... but maybe they are ...
Richard Bartholomew, who tends to read the small print rather more keenly than many alleged journalists, has looked at the study the Tel is quoting, titled “COVID-19 in schools - the experience in NSW”, and discovered this interesting snippet: “on 23 March 2020 the NSW Premier advised that although schools remained open, parents were encouraged to keep their children at home for online learning. After this date face-to-face attendance in schools decreased significantly and this may have impacted the results”.
Bartholomew then muses “A detail from the Australian study behind the UK Daily Telelgraph's ‘Risk of Coronavirus Spreading in Schools is “Extremely Low” Study Finds’ front-page splash. For some reason it's not included in the article”.
The Tel is trying a bit too hard with that story. The Mirror’s question remains unanswered.