Dogs in schools would be one way to put children first during the pandemic.

Months ago, Malcolm Gladwell made a pretty convincing case on his Revisionist History podcast for dogs as allies to help us avoid the most draconian anti-pandemic measures, especially in schools.

It looks like some schools in Massachusetts got the message:

COVID sniffing K-9s have gone through all five schools in the Freetown-Lakeville district throughout the school year and now they’ll be used in Norton, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO).

Huntah, that’s Hunter with a Boston accent, and Duke are the first law enforcement K9s in the country trained to detect the scent of COVID, which is odorless to humans but has a specific scent to their trained noses.

Obviously, this could go very wrong, if having dogs sniff our children becomes an aggressively precautionary measure where it’s really not needed, but as an alternative to closing schools or even imposing masks, it would be much preferable.  In short, COVID-detecting dogs would be the sort of thing we might try instead of panicking and crushing a generation of our children.

One could even imagine multiple levels of attention with the goal of ensuring that risk is tolerably low.  First the dog.  Then a test that determines the level of the virus, perhaps with the option of the student’s wearing a mask and staying if it’s not too high.

“Close down everything and go home” is really just a declaration that we don’t value education.  Of course, Rhode Island has been proving that for decades.

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