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Schools Must go “Back to Normal” in the Fall—A Scientist’s Perspective

Children’s Health Defense Note: This is a letter from Renata Dziak, a Canadian forensic scientist trained in immunology and microbiology (and the mother of two children), explaining in detail, on the basis of (real) science, why schools should reopen as usual, without smaller classes, “social distancing” or face masks.

She wrote this letter to her representative in Parliament; and a group called Fearless Ontario has posted it on Facebook, as a template to be used by other parents who don’t want their children’s schooling to become the daily nightmare that the CDC is recommending here [in the United States].

16 June 2020

This is a letter written by Renata Dziak, a Forensic Scientist with a background in both microbiology and immunology.

It is all the proof and research anyone should need to conclude that our children must return in September to a school environment that is the same as when they left it in March.

This is for both their mental and physical health.

She has sent this letter to her MPP as have I and others who feel that this information and up-to-date research should be considered by the decision makers in government.

Please read this, and if it resonates with you and you feel that it’s important, copy/paste and send to your MPP, Stephen Lecce, Christine Elliott or Doug Ford. I have sent it to all of them.

Dear XXXX,

I am a scientist and mother of two children who attend Runnymede Junior and Senior PS in Toronto. I am writing to you in response to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s request for input on how schools should reopen in September.

The science does not support the need for reducing class sizes, social distancing in classrooms or at recess, or the wearing of masks or other PPE. It is deeply concerning that the federal and provincial governments, as well as public health authorities appear not to have adjusted their COVID-19 strategies to take account of the large and growing body of scientific data that shows that COVID-19 is not the deadly threat that was originally thought.

There are thousands of scientists from around the world, including Nobel-Prize winners, doctors, virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists and molecular biologists who have spoken out against the lockdown and any forms of social distancing, with some even stating that these measures should never have been put in place for COVID-19.[1]

As you determine how schooling will work when the children return, I respectfully ask you to consider the following points—information based in real science.

COVID-19 Is No More Infectious Or Deadly Than A Seasonal Flu

The lethality of COVID-19 has been massively overstated, especially when compared to the seasonal influenzas we face every year.[2][3][4] Recent data from the CDC suggests that COVID-19’s lethality is about 15 times lower than originally assumed and stands at 0.26% in the US, one of the worst hit countries. For those aged under 50, the rate is even lower, at 0.05%.[6] The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious preconditions.[7][8][9]

In Canada “the combined influenza and pneumonia, which is a common complication of influenza, kills more than 8,000 people a year.”[10] At the time of writing, there have only been 7,717 COVID-19 deaths in Canada[11] – and this is despite the COVID-19 death toll being erroneously elevated by systematic over-reporting.[12][13][14]

Additionally, there is no scientific evidence that strict ‘social distancing’ measures are the reason why COVID-19 fatalities are lower than the regular flu.[15] Countries without contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea or Sweden (which kept restaurants, bars and grade schools open), have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries.[16][17] The WHO even declared Sweden’s response a model for the rest of the world.[18]

Science is emerging to show that COVID-19 is less infectious than previously thought. Epidemiologist Dr. Gerald Evans, the medical director of infection control at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, recently stated, “To get infected with this virus, you have to be in close contact with another person (and) that contact has to be for a significant amount of time. It’s not 10 or 15 minutes, it’s hours. It needs to be in a closed environment, a house, and in the environment, there has to be a significant amount of contamination. I’m describing exactly what you would see in a household.”[19]

Children Not Seriously Affected By COVID-19

When determining what the future of school looks like, please consider that children are the least affected by COVID-19 in both number and severity. Since January 15, 2020 Public Health Ontario has not recorded any COVID-19 deaths in anyone aged under 19 – that’s zero deaths in a population of 3.14 million children and teenagers.[20]

The vast majority of people who do get COVID-19 experience no or very mild illness[21] and Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, said that data indicates the majority of COVID-19 infections in children are mild and do not require hospitalization.[22]

Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from COVID-19 have turned out to be false: many of these people either did not die from COVID-19[23], or they had already been seriously ill[24] (e.g. from undiagnosed leukemia).[25]

There’s no scientific evidence to support recent news reports of a mysterious Kawasaki-like illness in children that “could” be linked to COVID-19. Of 20 pediatric cases in the UK, half tested negative for COVID-19.[26] Of 147 children with Kawasaki-like symptoms in New York City, only 69 (47%) tested positive for COVID-19 or the virus antibodies.[27] Kawasaki disease is a vasculitis that can be caused by any infection and last year, Canadian researchers identified Kawasaki disease as a condition of interest for pediatric vaccine safety surveillance. In fact, over 27 separate studies have identified a potential link between immunization and Kawasaki disease.[28]

Children Not Major Vectors Of COVID-19 Transmission

Studies show that children do not appear to spread the virus. A survey of Australian COVID-19 cases at schools shows almost no transmission to other children,[29] a result echoed by a study in France.[30] Furthermore, a Swiss study found that, “Children are very rarely infected and do not pass on the virus”, and that children under 10 pose no risk of coronavirus infection because they do not have the receptors targeted by it.[31][32] A study in The Lancet shows that closing schools in order to manage the spread of coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19 was never medically warranted.[33]

In fact, emerging science shows that asymptomatic carriers of any age do not transmit the disease. When 455 individuals who had close contact with an adult asymptomatic COVID-19 patient were tested, none of them were positive for the virus, despite the median contact time being between four and five days.[34] The government of India has stated that COVID-19 cases with mild symptoms and no fever do not spread infection.[35]

COVID-19 Responses Causing A Mental Health Crisis

Over 120 experts, including Nobel Prize winners, scientists and doctors have criticized the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.[36] The Ontario Civil Liberties Association has called the government’s approach unscientific, unnecessary and unconstitutional.[37] Researchers have warned that the COVID-19 lockdown has created a mental health crisis,[38] and children are suffering too.

Save the Children surveyed over 6,000 children and parents in the US, Germany, Finland, Spain and the UK, and found that almost one in four children living under COVID-19 lockdowns, social restrictions and school closures are dealing with feelings of anxiety, with many at risk of lasting psychological distress, including depression.[39]

We should not inflict further psychological damage on our children with unnecessary and unscientific social restrictions and forced separation when school finally reopens.

Social Distancing And Mask Wearing Ineffective

There is no peer reviewed scientific literature that proves the ‘six feet’ rule stops the spread of viruses like COVID-19. In fact, the concept of forced human separation or ‘social distancing’ comes from a 14-year-old student’s high school science project, which was based on a simplistic computer simulation.[40][41]

Many scientists, including the highly esteemed Prof. Dolores Cahill, Vice Chair European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative Scientific Committee, argue that social distancing is unnecessary and should stop immediately.

Nobel Prize-winning professor Michael Levitt from Stanford School of Medicine has been statistically analyzing the COVID-19 outbreak and declared that strict lockdowns are a huge mistake and that developing herd immunity is a better strategy.[42]

Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets, not through airborne transmission[43] or smear infections (e.g. on door handles).[44]

Additionally, the latest studies show that masks “do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses.”[45] In fact, wearing a mask may even be harmful, causing problems from “headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.”[46]

Excessive And Harmful Sanitization Methods

The CDC has recently updated its guidelines to note that touching contaminated objects or surfaces does not appear to be a significant mode of transmission.[47][48] This means that the over sanitization of school surfaces and objects with harsh chemical cleaners is not necessary and actually poses serious and potentially long-lasting health effects, especially for the young and those with pre-existing conditions.

According to the Environmental Working Group, “Cleaning products can release a plethora of chemicals into the air including ones linked to asthma, developmental harm and cancer.” For example, it rates Lysol IC brand disinfectant spray as posing “potentially significant hazards to health or the environment,” because it contains “ingredients with potential for developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; damage to DNA.”[49]

Any cleaners that use ammonia and chlorine bleach are highly toxic. Those containing hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium or potassium hydroxide, or ethanolamine can cause skin burns, blindness and lung irritation. Air fresheners and scented products can trigger allergies and often contain suspected endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates. The antimicrobial Triclosan has been linked to increased allergen sensitivity and disruption of thyroid function even at low levels.[50]

However, natural cleaners with active ingredients like thyme oil and citric acid have been approved for use as disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 by both Health Canada[51] and the US Environmental Protection Agency[52] and pose significantly less health risks than chemical cleaners.

The Recommendation Of Flu Vaccines

In a letter from Dr Eileen De Villa, City of Toronto Medical Officer of Health, dated February 28th, 2020 it was recommended that all school-age children and their families should get an annual flu vaccination in order to protect themselves from COVID-19. However, a number of peer reviewed studies indicate that flu vaccination actually raises the risk of coronavirus by 36%[53] and of other non-influenza viral respiratory infections in both adults and children.[54][55][56][57]

Give Education A Scientific, Data-Driven Way Forward

We have never closed schools or imposed social restrictions for influenza in the past, and the science shows COVID-19 is no more dangerous for the majority of children or staff than a seasonal influenza.

There are three simple, scientifically proven strategies to prevent the spread of any infectious illness, including COVID-19, that will allow our children to return to school without measures like social distancing and compulsory mask wearing:

School is vital to our children’s intellectual and social development, and to the future health and success of our economy and society. Let’s ensure that this generation of students get the educational experience they deserve—and on which the future of our country depends.

Yours sincerely,


  1. [] Per Dr Rashid Buttar, via London Real: 100 Voices Strong - Dr. Rashid Buttar Hosts A Doctor’s Covid-19 Roundtable, (video, 1:34:15)
  2. [] Fauci, A., Lane, H.C., Redfield, R.R., “Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted,” New England Journal of Medicine, 26 Mar 2020
  3. [] Verity, R., Okel, L.C., et al. “Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis,” The Lancet, Jun 2020
  4. [] Silverman, D. et al. “Using ILI surveillance to estimate state-specific case detection rates and forecast SARS-CoV-2 spread in the United States,” doi:, Apr 2020
  5. [] redundant source
  6. [] Sullum, Jason, “The CDC’s New ‘Best Estimate’ Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3% - That rate is much lower than the numbers used in the horrifying projections that shaped the government response to the epidemic.,” Reason, 24 May 2020
  7. [] Facts about Covid-19, Swiss Policy Research
  8. [] People Who Are at Increased Risk for Severe Illness, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  9. [] Vulnerable populations and COVID-19 Government of Canada
  10. [] Seasonal Influenza, Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza, Infection Prevention and Control Canada
  11. [] COVID-19 Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
  12. [] New ICD code introduced for COVID-19 deaths, COVID-19 Alert No. 2, National Center for Health Statistics, 24 Mar 2020
  13. [] See point #8, Facts about Covid-19:
    Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
  14. [] Newey, Sarah, “Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy? The country’s high death toll is due to an ageing population, overstretched health system and the way fatalities are reported,” The Telegraph, 23 Mar 2020
  15. [] Denis G. Rancourt, All-cause mortality during COVID-19: No plague and a likely signature of mass homicide by government response DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33512.62725, Apr 2020
    Short URL:
    Local copy: AllCauseMortalityDuringCOVID19.pdf
    The latest data of all-cause mortality by week does not show a winter-burden mortality that is statistically larger than for past winters. There was no plague. However, a sharp “COVID peak” is present in the data, for several jurisdictions in Europe and the USA. This all-cause-mortality “COVID peak” has unique characteristics:
    • Its sharpness, with a full-width at half-maximum of only approximately 4 weeks;
    • Its lateness in the infectious-season cycle, surging after week-11 of 2020, which is unprecedented for any large sharp-peak feature;
    • The synchronicity of the onset of its surge, across continents, and immediately following the WHO declaration of the pandemic; and
    • Its USA state-to-state absence or presence for the same viral ecology on the same territory, being correlated with nursing home events and government actions rather than any known viral strain discernment.
    These “COVID peak” characteristics, and a review of the epidemiological history, and of relevant knowledge about viral respiratory diseases, lead me to postulate that the “COVID peak” results from an accelerated mass homicide of immune-vulnerable individuals, and individuals made more immune-vulnerable, by government and institutional actions, rather than being an epidemiological signature of a novel virus, irrespective of the degree to which the virus is novel from the perspective of viral speciation.
  16. [] Facts about Covid-19, Swiss Policy Research
  17. [] Lisa Du and Grace Huang, “Did Japan Just Beat the Virus Without Lockdowns Or Mass Testing?,” Bloomberg News, 22 May 2020
  18. [] Jackie Salo, “WHO lauds lockdown-ignoring Sweden as a ‘model’ for countries going forward ,” New York Post, 29 Apr 2020
  19. [] Steph Crosier, “New evidence: Most common place to contract COVID-19 is at home,” The Kingston Whig-Standard, 29 May 2020
  20. [] Ontario COVID-19 Data Tool, Public Health Ontario
  21. [] Scott W. Atlas, “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation, The Hill, 22 Apr 2020
  22. [] “Ontario to monitor inflammatory illness in children with COVID-19,” CP24 - The Canadian Press, 13 May 2020
  23. [] Ariel Zilber, “Coroner refuses to rule COVID-19 as cause of death of six-week-old baby after Connecticut governor claimed toddler was ‘youngest coronavirus victim in the world’, The Daily Mail, 6 Apr 2020
  24. [] “Spanish football coach Francisco Garcia dies of coronavirus aged 21, Yahoo! Sports, 16 Mar 2020
  25. [] Facts about Covid-19, Swiss Policy Research
  26. [] Societi Scientific Advisory Board response to press coverage on Kawasaki Disease and Covid-19, 28 Apr 2020
  27. [] Melissa Russo, “Up to 147 NYC Kids Sickened by Severe New COVID Syndrome; 15 Cases Confirmed in NJ,” NBC New York, 18 May 2020
  28. [] Phuong, L.K., Bonetto, C., Buttery, J. et al. “Kawasaki Disease and Immunisation: A Systematic Review, Vaccine 2 Mar 2017
  29. [] Amanda Pfeffer, “Public health officials take seriously new research that children may not be superspreaders after all, Survey of Australian coronavirus cases at schools shows almost no transmission to other kids,” CBC News, 4 May 2020
  30. [] Danis, K., Epaulard, O., et al. “Cluster of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the French Alps, February 2020,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, Feb 2020, and “Boy with COVID-19 did not transmit disease to more than 170 people, research shows,” CTV News, 20 Apr 2020
  31. [] Justin Huggler and Robert Mendick, “Children under 10 can hug grandparents again without risk, Swiss health officials say, Swiss scientists conclude that young children pose no risk of coronavirus infection because they do not have ‘receptors’ targeted by it,” The Telegraph, 28 Apr 2020
  32. [] Steph Crosier, “New evidence: Most common place to contract COVID-19 is at home,” The Kingston Whig-Standard, 29 May 2020
  33. [] Viner, R.M., Russell, S.J., et al. “School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: a rapid systematic review,” The Lancet, Child & Adolescent Health, 1 May 2020
  34. [] Gao, M., Yang, L., et al. “A Study on Infectivity of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers ,” Respiratory Medicine, Aug 2020
  35. [] “Cases with mild symptoms & no fever can’t spread infection: Government,” Times of India, 21 May 2020
  36. [] Jens Bernert, “120 Expertenstimmen zu Corona, Weltweit kritisieren hochrangige Wissenschaftler, Ärzte, Juristen und andere Experten den Umgang mit dem Coronavirus.,” Rubikon, 20 Apr 2020
  37. [] Denis G. Rancourt, All-cause mortality during COVID-19: No plague and a likely signature of mass homicide by government response DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33512.62725, Apr 2020
  38. [] Chantal Da Silva, “Researchers Warn of ‘Deaths of Despair’ as Hardship and Grief in COVID-19 Lockdowns Create Mental Health Crisis,” Newsweek, 10 May 2020
  39. [] “‘Children at risk of lasting psychological distress from coronavirus lockdown’: Save the Children,” relief web, 7 May 2020
  40. [] Jeffrey Tucker, “The 2006 Origins of the Lockdown Idea, American Institute for Economic Research, 15 May 2020
  41. [] Glass, R.J., Glass, L.M., et al. “Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nov 2006
  42. [] Nobel prize-winning scientist: the Covid-19 epidemic was never exponential, (34:33, mp3) UnHerd, 2 May 2020
  43. [] Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations, World Health Organization, 29 Mar 2020
  44. [] Facts about Covid-19, Swiss Policy Research
  45. [] Denis G. Rancourt, Masks Don’t Work - A review of science relevant to COVID-19 social policy, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.14320.40967/1, Apr 2020
    Local copy: Rancourt-MasksDontWorkRevSciC19pol.pdf
    There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.
    Furthermore, the relevant known physics and biology, which I review, are such that masks and respirators should not work. It would be a paradox if masks and respirators worked, given what we know about viral respiratory diseases: The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective-dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.
    The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.
    By making mask-wearing recommendations and policies for the general public, or by expressly condoning the practice, governments have both ignored the scientific evidence and done the opposite of following the precautionary principle.
    In an absence of knowledge, governments should not make policies that have a hypothetical potential to cause harm. The government has an onus barrier before it instigates a broad social- engineering intervention, or allows corporations to exploit fear-based sentiments.
    Furthermore, individuals should know that there is no known benefit arising from wearing a mask in a viral respiratory illness epidemic, and that scientific studies have shown that any benefit must be residually small, compared to other and determinative factors.
    Otherwise, what is the point of publicly funded science?
    The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.
    Re-published on:
  46. [] Russell Blaylock, “Blaylock: Face Masks Pose Serious Risks To The Healthy,” Technocracy News & Trends, 11 May 2020
    There is another danger to wearing these masks on a daily basis, especially if worn for several hours. When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath. If they are wearing a mask, especially an N95 mask or other tightly fitting mask, they will be constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. We know that people who have the worst reactions to the coronavirus have the highest concentrations of the virus early on. And this leads to the deadly cytokine storm in a selected number.

    It gets even more frightening. Newer evidence suggests that in some cases the virus can enter the brain.[11][12] In most instances it enters the brain by way of the olfactory nerves (smell nerves), which connect directly with the area of the brain dealing with recent memory and memory consolidation. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.[13]

  47. [] Ben Guarino and Joel Aschenbach, “Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states, Washington Post, 21 May 2020
  48. [] How COVID-19 Spreads, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 June 2020
  49. [] EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning | LYSOL IC Brand III Disinfectant Spray Cleaner Rating, Environmental Working Group
  50. [] Cleaners & Air Fresheners | EWG’s Healthy Living: Home Guide, Environmental Working Group
  51. [] Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19): List of disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19, Government of Canada
  52. [] Pesticide Registration List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), All products on this list meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Environmental Protection Agency
  53. [] Wolff, G., “Influenza Vaccination and Respiratory Virus Interference Among Department of Defense Personnel During the 2017-2018 Influenza Season,” Vaccine, 10 Jan 2020
  54. [] Cowling, B.J., Fang, V.J., et al. “Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine ,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, 15 Jun 2012
  55. [] Riklin, S., Haomiao J., et al. “Assessment of Temporally-Related Acute Respiratory Illness Following Influenza Vaccination ,” Vaccine, 5 Apr 2018
  56. [] Kelly, H., Jacoby, P., et al, “Vaccine Effectiveness Against Laboratory-confirmed Influenza in Healthy Young Children: A Case-Control Study,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Feb 2011
  57. [] Dierig, A., Heron, L.G., et al, “Epidemiology of Respiratory Viral Infections in Children Enrolled in a Study of Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness ,” Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, May 2014
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