It is easy to be confused about whether it’s safe to resume in-person instruction. Schools in Europe, which were quick to reopen a few months ago, are closed now due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Experts, including the new head of the CDC, say it’s safe to reopen, even if teachers have not been vaccinated.

Steven Singer does not agree. From the onset of the pandemic, he has worried about reopening too soon. Now he wants to know why Dr. Rochelle Walensky says it is not safe to go to a Super Bowl party, but safe to reopen schools without vaccinating teachers. He says Dr. Walensky is engaged in magical thinking. He asks: Why are schools safer than Super Bowl parties?

Mercedes Schneider deconstructs a report by the Journal of the American Medical Association that has been widely misunderstood as a blanket endorsement of full-time in-person instruction. She pulls the study apart to show its caveats. She is teaching in-person classes. She is prepared. She concludes:

Potential impact of variants aside, the JAMA article does not offer unconditional, blanket support for opening every K12 school nationwide for in-person learning. I can tell you that I would not feel nearly as comfortable in my own classroom if I were not able to arrange my room to keep myself over six feet away from my 17- and 18-year-old students for most of my instruction; if masks were not mandatory in my classroom, and if I did not have two air purifiers in my room.