I wondered if I’d write again about Covid-19. It seemed like we were putting this pandemic behind us. I first wrote about Covid-19, not yet named that, back in January 2020. Since then, I’ve written more than 20 essays. I thought I was done. Then the numbers started to surge.
Locally, schools want to open up with in-person learning. Parents argue about mask mandates because, you know, kids aren’t affected that much. The CDC says should not must; Pediatrians recommend masks for unvaccinated children.
Yesterday I heard a statistic that set me back on my heels:
More than 400 American children have died from Covid-19
Yes, children are affected less than adults. Out of more than 600,000 deaths, 4oo doesn’t seem like much. But,
- That’s four times as many childhood deaths that occurs in a normal influenza season;
- That’s twice the number that die from all chronic lower respiratory diseases;
- That’s more than 10 times the number of children that die from heatstroke in cars. And there’s a bill before congress to require alarms in cars, so drivers don’t forget their children in the backseat;
- That’s 200 times the number of deaths that result from stroller accidents. Yet, we are diligent in initiating safer strollers.
If we can do something about a tragedy that affects 35 children each year (heatstroke in cars,) or 2 children who die in strollers, why can’t we do something about this disease?
Besides death, children have long-term health effects including myocarditis. The youngest was only 18 months old. (Note: myocarditis has been reported post-vaccination, but not in greater number than the general population, and all cases resolved without incident.)
And then there’s the long-haulers. In Italy, 40% of the children who’ve had covid experience signs of Post Covid Syndrome. In England it’s between 15 and 25%. (If you want to know the symptoms to look out for, please click here.)
Twenty-six athletes from Ohio State University with confirmed COVID-19 — who were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic — underwent heart testing. Nearly 50% showed heart abnormalities, and 15% met the criteria for myocarditis, according to a study from OSU in September.USA Today
Add that to 1.5 million children lost a caretaker and Covid-19 is having a devastating and direct impact on children.
Some people are stepping forward and becoming more vocal.
Kay Ivey the Republican governor of Alabama said:
People have chosen to put themselves in harm’s way. It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated.Kay Ivey
Dr. Leana Wen compared the risk to another public health issue: drunk driving. She said, yes, you can choose to be unvaccinated. But if you do, you shouldn’t have the right to infect other people. Mothers banned together to form Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and driving responsibly is now the norm.
Dr. Wen hopes we look to other countries to encourage responsible behavior:
France and Italy require that people have either proof of a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination before joining a public place.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN’s senior medical correspondent, shared that one-third of adolescence are unvaccinated. Part of that is due to a rumor that the vaccine can impact fertility. The rumor is fueled by a false link between a protein that is part of the placenta similar to protein targeted by vaccination. This targeted protein is similar to many other vaccines and there is no scientific evidence to support the false claim.
The rise in Covid infections is fueled by the enormously selfish.
“Please take covid seriously,” Fox News’s Sean Hannity said Monday night. “I can’t say it enough. Enough people have died. We don’t need any more death.”
I believe in science,” he added a bit later. “I believe in the science of vaccination.”
Please protect your children with vaccination if you can. If that’s not possible, do the next best thing: insist they wear masks indoors and mind a social distance.