China Brings Back ‘Online’ Schooling, Tells Parents Not to Overwork Children as Pneumonia Sweeps Nation

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by Frances Martel, Breitbart:

Beijing’s local education authority sternly warned doctors and parents this weekend not to force sick children to attend school or assign overly burdensome homework to children who are ill, a response to a surge in child hospitalizations and respiratory illnesses throughout China.

Beijing, Shanghai, and much of the Chinese northeast have been experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of diagnosed cases of pneumonia and hospitalizations of individuals diagnosed with respiratory disease in the past month. Those cases have increased particularly among children, compromising the communist state’s education system and challenging overpopulated local hospitals.

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The Chinese Communist Party has attributed the rise in pneumonia cases to the spread of various known pathogens including viruses — such as influenza, adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — and mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterial infection. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) claimed last week that Chinese authorities have not documented the presence of any novel pathogens, such as the Wuhan coronavirus that caused the pandemic of 2020, in those affected by the ongoing wave of disease.

The Chinese government propaganda outlet Global Times, citing regime-approved “experts,” conceded last week that the prevalence of severe respiratory disease among children in the country could be attributed to an “immunity gap” created by China’s “zero-Covid” policy of placing millions under house arrest, forcing thousands into torturous quarantine camps and essentially outlawing free association for nearly three years. Many of the children most severely affected by these illnesses were born during the lockdown era, the Global Times observed on Monday, so their immune systems have not been sufficiently exposed to certain diseases and their bodies are not prepared with sufficient antibody counts.

This photograph taken on August 17, 2020 shows a medical worker taking a swab sample from an elementary school student, to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus before schools open for the new semester, in Handan in China's northern Hebei province. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

This photograph taken on August 17, 2020, shows a medical worker taking a swab sample from an elementary school student, to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

China ended its “zero-Covid” policy in late November 2022 in response to a wave of mass protests nationwide.

The rapid increase in the number of cases of sick children diagnosed with pneumonia has been so dramatic that the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) is urging schools to prepare for “a smooth transition between online and offline teaching” to keep children from being in the same room.

“Thorough health monitoring for both teachers and students should be conducted to make sure that no one attends work or class while ill,” the Global Times paraphrased the BMEC’s warning.

“Schools should not issue any mandatory requirements for student homework during illness, and should treat student health as priority,” the communist education authority reportedly demanded.

“Online teaching,” “virtual schooling,” or “remote learning” are methods of education that became prevalent throughout the West during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in which teachers interact with students via an online video link. The children then spend all day in front of a computer listening to their teachers, with no interaction with other students.

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