Between the genuine threat posed by the Covid-19 Delta variant and the natural, biologically ordered compulsion to protect children, it can be easy to think there must be a “remote option” for city students this fall. After all, Mayor de Blasio says there will not be, and taking the position opposite his is often the right move.

But not this time. After the last school year, it’s clear that remote learning is, for nearly all students, anything but. It’s also incredibly damaging to the social development of children and adolescents, and if you don’t think that’s a vital concern, maybe you’ve never seen a kid sink into drug and alcohol abuse or suicide, or you’ve never read about one of those horrific school shootings. Kids simply must be in class this fall. Those whose immune systems are truly so weak that they cannot attend are actually being offered in-person at home learning, the city says.

So we respectfully differ from Borough President Donovan Richards, who wants that “remote option.” Better answers are to have kids wear masks and have teachers get their vaccines. Maybe we can keep the virus in check but we have to realize it’s not going away. Make peace with that.

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