One day in March, the kids were there. The next day, there was no one. Then on a Saturday in August, a man came into an empty public school in suburban Boston carrying a container of dry ice, trying to figure out how to bring the students back to their desks.
Since January, that man, Joseph Allen, a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, has been saying to anyone who will listen that air—the stuff that everybody breathes and nobody thinks about—has got to move. Before the lockdown, his lab’s whiteboard was dense with notes about how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus might spread indoors. Trapped at home, he wrote scads of op-eds, talked to journalists, and was one of the scientists who reviewed an open letter to the World Health Organization demanding that it acknowledge that the virus can be spread through tiny particulates in the air.