According to research by Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH,Wil Van Cleve, MD, MPH,Frederick J. Zimmerman, Ph.D. school-aged children in America lost a staggering 5.53 million life-years (YLL) by the end of May 2020 as a result of the political response to COVID19.
First, the researchers acknowledge that in the early days, without much data, there was no clear understanding of the risk to children posed by COVID19 or the likelihood that they would serve as vectors to infect others.
We agree. Without much information, we acknowledged the lack of information and accepted the initial response as a sensible short-term precaution. As data became available and the political response exceeded precaution and waded into tyranny, we quickly changed gears.
These doctors are not looking to make a political statement; they are using existing studies and clinical data -along with their own research – to assess impacts and, in the course of the research reinforce a few things we’ve known for months that the politicians are ignoring.
- COVID-19 infection poses significantly less direct risk to children…
- [R]ecent studies indicate that young children (<10 years) appear less likely to serve as vectors for COVID-19 transmission.
The first point is borne out by looking at your own state’s COVID19 data. After 9-months in NH nine people below the age of 20 have been hospitalized, with zero deaths. Real risk does not begin until we reach retirement age with the majority of mortality above 70 years of age.
The second point has been explored on these pages elsewhere referencing other research regarding limited viral load in children making them unsuitable carriers and unlikely to infect others or in any meaningful way.
School closures in NH are unnecessary in our opinion (one hospitalization per month no deaths) and we are not alone in that conclusion based on the evidence.
The report goes on.
The public debate has pitted “school closures” against “lives saved,” or the education of children against the health of the community. Presenting the tradeoffs in this way obscures the very real health consequences of interrupted education.
The researchers report that children are not as engaged with online learning and the net effect is a significant loss in academics. The logistical challenges have reduced actual learning time to a fraction of in-person learning and the number of students engaged or even attending declined.
In 2 national surveys, teachers of all grades reported that only 60% of their students were regularly engaging in distance learning at all, and only 27% of teachers took attendance.10–12 …It is not surprising, then, that the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s report on school openings13 concluded that districts should make returning primary school children to in-person classes a priority.
Home-schooling is in-person learning and those numbers are up but that’s not the point of the study. It is that the precipitous decline in actual knowledge (as lousy as your public education may be) has long-term effects on the life expectancy of members of that society. What the researchers call “the associations between school disruption and decreased educational attainment and between decreased educational attainment and lower life expectancy.”
Summarized, the political response is not “for the children.”
In the US, children lost an estimated 5.53 million life-years by the end of May as a result of the political response to COVID.
Given that the majority of those who tragically lose their life to the flu are old and comorbid, the comparison in years of life lost in the same time period, based on CDC estimates due to COVID was 1.5 million.
Quick math lesson.
1.5 Million YLL due to COVID.
5.3 Million YLL to healthy children due to the response.
The ‘experts’ are closing the schools down again as fast as they can scare parents into letting them even though children are an extremely weak vector for transmission. And children are paying the price.