We have dealt with COVID-19 for nearly two years now. For the most part, we understand how the virus works, and we certainly know who is most at risk. So, how is it that school closures are still being announced after 22 months?

Schools in Maryland, New York, Michigan, Utah, Oregon, and Missouri have announced they will be transitioning back to remote learning when students return from winter break. The city of New Orleans is mandating vaccines for students as young as 5. Children in New York City are also barred from playing sports and dining indoors unless they are vaccinated.

There is no excuse for any of this. We have known since very early in the pandemic that children are, thankfully, not at serious risk from COVID-19. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself, the flu in a given year is more deadly for children than COVID-19. The CDC estimated that more than 52,000 children were hospitalized due to the flu during the 2019-20 flu season (roughly seven months). That is more than 10 times the number that the CDC records as being hospitalized from COVID-19 (5,153) over the last 22 months.

Any state, city, or school district that is closing down schools and forcing children back into the catastrophe that is remote learning is ignoring 22 months of data. They are sacrificing children’s education on behalf of the panicked segment of the population that is afraid to go outside without a mask on. COVID-19 is not a serious risk for vaccinated adults or children. No one is being protected by shutting down schools and mandating that children be vaccinated, masked, or constantly tested.

Children should be in schools. The adverse effects of remote learning and treating them like disease bags that must be monitored at all times are well documented, as is the lack of health risks relative to previous years. States such as Florida kept schools open in 2020 because they recognized this. Anyone not following that same path is punishing children for the outlandish fears held by adults.

Children should be back in school. It’s that simple. Anyone who is pushing them back to remote learning should be run out of policymaking. They are ignoring data, science, and any responsibilities they may have to children and parents in favor of fear. It was terrible policy in 2020. In 2021 and into 2022, it is inexcusable.