Lockdown is a blunt instrument. It helps in containing the spread of Covid-19, but also causes severe damage to the economy and individuals. It assumes that all residents are equally susceptible to the adverse consequences of the pandemic, that everyone has the financial means to cope with the lockdown, that everyone can conform to lockdown rules, that everyone is equally affected by lockdowns, and that lockdowns lead to social distancing for all residents and, thus, protect everyone from Covid-19 equally.There is substantial evidence available to prove that each one of these assumptions is wrong. Lockdown is not exactly a strategy, it is a panic reaction. It should be accompanied with planning and then implementation of strategies that minimise the collateral damage.Several state governments are extending complete lockdowns till July 31. Could there be a better strategy to cope with Covid-19?The effects of Covid-19 are highly skewed across age groups: the aged are the most vulnerable; children and youth are the least. The effects of lockdowns are also skewed: the aged and the retired are the least affected; nonelderly adults, youth and children are the most. Lockdown will not affect the incomes of the aged who have already retired; it may affect their wealth.Lockdowns are a disaster for the youth who are about to start their working life. Empirical research shows that cohorts that enter the workforce during recessions not only have problems in getting their first job, they also have to settle for a lower lifelong trajectory of earnings.The effects of lockdowns also vary by economic status, whether you live in a pucca house or slum, whether you are a migrant or local, whether you can do telework or not. Professionals who can telework have less fear of losing their jobs during a lockdown. For those living in slums, a lockdown does not bring social distancing.One of the most controversial decisions relating to Covid-19 has been the closure of schools. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), school closures have affected the education of nearly 1.6 billion children in 190 countries. The Indian government recently announced that schools, colleges and other educational institutions would remain closed till July 31.Covid Absent in SchoolsLike lockdowns, school closing is also ablunt tool. It eliminates the possibility that children will contract Covid-19 in classrooms from fellow students and then transmit the infection to their family members at home. But school closures have also adversely affected children’s education and social skills that will have long-term effects. Some students in middle and upper middleclass families are attending remote classes via mobile phones or computers.The rest have no school. Those who come to school for midday meals have no midday meals.Children have both low Covid-19 infection rate and negligible levels of mortality. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website shows that during February 1-July 4, 0.03% deaths of children aged 0-14 were from Covid-19 and another 3% from Covid-19, influenza or pneumonia. For youth aged 15-24, only 1% of deaths were from Covid-19 and another 3% from Covid-19, influenza or pneumonia.During these five months, more children died from complications arising from flu and pneumonia than Covid-19. The statistics are comparable for other countries.School administrators and state governments need to weigh the risks of opening schools with these statistics in mind. So far, there is little evidence linking Covid-19 outbreak to primary schools. This could be because governments have been quick to close schools, or it could be, as some immunologists have suggested, that children might be substantially immune from Covid-19.The convention is that if a group is not vulnerable to a disease while others are, it is considered having immunity from that disease. German immunologist Beda Stadler says that on the basis of this convention, children shouldbe considered having immunity from Covid-19. If so, opening schools strategically is less risky, if carried with appropriate norms of social distancing and masks.In India, social distancing in classrooms is a big challenge because of large class size. Further, most countries began opening schools when reported casesof Covid-19 started falling and the pandemic seemed under control. Reported cases of Covid-19 are rising in India.New Lesson in TeachingBut the incidence and trend is not uniform across the country. Therefore, there is no reason to implement a single national policy in school opening.Moreover, districts with low-incidence face much less risk. Since children younger than 15 are at a low risk of Covid-19 infection and its complications, the risk of opening primary and middle schools is less.Other countries have experimented with schools on alternate days, schools with multiple shifts, social distancing in classrooms with masks or face shields. Large-scale testing, tracing and isolation would further reduce the risk of school opening. Small class sizes would require more teachers. This may be a time to hire temporary young teachers, who face less risk, to teach during Covid-19.