Haven’t our children suffered enough?
School-age children are quite literally more likely to be struck by lightning than die of COVID-19. And we don’t shut schools during thunderstorm season. Children, including non-school-age infants, are seven times more likely to die of the flu every year than of COVID-19 and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized by the flu. In fact, according to the CDC’s latest COVID-19 surveillance report released last Friday, “For children (0-17 years), cumulative COVID-19 hospitalization rates are much lower than cumulative influenza hospitalization rates at comparable time points during recent influenza seasons.”
Yet, because our government, unlike the Europeans, has failed to come clean on this fact, states continued the school shutdown by shutting down camps in many states. Now some states are continuing this insanity into the fall and plan to traumatize the children by making them wear masks in the September heat all day long in order to attend school. It’s time to draw the line, stand for liberty and science, and demand that the lives of our children finally factor into the decision-making process.
It’s now settled science that children are much less likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus than from the flu, even from the stronger form of COVID-19 this past spring, certainly from the milder form that appears to be spreading in the South. Furthermore, every single country that has studied child transmission has now found no meaningful child-to-adult transmission out of millions of cases. The excuses for treating kids like adults, even as the potency of the virus wanes for adults, have run dry.
Yet, at a time when Canada and Europe are moving away from lockdown and apologizing for shutting schools in the first place, liberals in America are doubling down on child abuse and flat-earth “science.” Schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, are planning only two days per week of in-person schooling. Connecticut is planning long-term trauma mode by mandating little kids wear masks and stay away from each other.
If this is the new threshold to trigger such traumatic upheaval in the lives of our children, then even if this virus became extinct tomorrow, there is quite literally nothing that will stop them from making this the new normal. Any common respiratory infection poses a greater threat to children than this virus that is now spawning policies that cause life-altering trauma to children. I have several children in school, and every flu season there is a week when half the class is absent, and some have fever for more than a week. That is more suffering per capita than anything this virus has caused children at large.
It barely got any media attention, but last week the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a statement “strongly” advocating “that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” They noted that not only are children not at risk, but they do not contribute to community spread. “Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2.”
Because wearing masks has become a superstitious religious belief in this country, the AAP hedges and equivocates on it, but other countries have rejected it. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway believe all mask-wearing is worthless and counterproductive because of cross-contamination.
The rest of the world is now handling COVID-19 rationally and in a scientific way, but the US is devolving further and further into irrational, superstitious, unscientific nonsense. https://t.co/Mt0qp23ANW
— Skolops (@ShaneCoombs) June 26, 2020
Canada’s government recommends that children not be required to wear masks because “if worn incorrectly, it could lead to increased risk of infection and it is not practical for a child to wear a mask properly for the duration of a school day.” Several European countries, such as Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands have had no problems going back to schools without masks and other draconian measures.
The Canadian government also notes, as the U.S. government did before it became political, that there is no clear evidence that masks stop transmission (viruses are much smaller than the bacteria masks typically keep out). Therefore, Canada recommends that “in general, masks should not be required for school staff if physical distancing is possible and is practiced appropriately” because “facial expression is an important part of communication which children should not be deprived of.”
Also, the countries that are taking a rational and nonpolitical approach to this issue are doing away with the isolation and distancing measures for children. British schools will not require adherence to the mythical 2-meter rule. If we don’t do this for the flu, there is no scientific reason to require this now when dealing with child-to-child interaction.
Overall, we need to ask ourselves, are we willing to trigger an inevitable mental health crisis, not to mention an academic catastrophe, upon our kids so long as the risk of the virus is anything above absolute zero? If so, what else do we refrain from doing in life based on such a low threshold of risk? Over 4,000 children die every year from car accidents, but we never advocate for remote learning in order to mitigate the risk of car fatalities by keeping children off the roads. Close to one thousand children died of drowning in 2016, yet nobody is clamoring for new draconian restrictions on swimming pools this summer. According to the CDC, there have been just 24 deaths among children 5-17. It’s almost certain that they all had serious underlying conditions. Obviously, immunocompromised children can be accommodated without shutting down every school.
There comes a point where protection of children crosses over from an act of love to an act of abuse. We have long since reached that tipping point.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.