US: Why Do Schools Still Irrationally Target Children With “Masking and Testing” Policies? – Gulf Insider

One of the consistent mercies of the SARS-CoV-2 “covid-19 pandemic,” even at its most virulent initial stages, has been the paucity of serious disease in children generally, and healthy children, universally. Covid-19 always was and remains a very highly age– and comorbid risk-stratified disease that targets the extremely frail elderly—especially those in congregate care—and the otherwise middle-aged to elderly with multiple (for example, ≥ 6!), severe, chronic comorbidities.

For the vast preponderance of the world’s population, and workforce, i.e., the ~94 percent under age 70-years-old, we now know that the most aggressive early variants, such as the Wuhan, Alpha, and Delta strains, conferred a very modest infection fatality ratio (IFR; covid-19 deaths/total covid-19 infections) of 0.1 percent, or 1 per 1,000 infections. This seasonal influenza-like IFR for those < 70, overall, dropped precipitously further in the pediatric age range (0-19-years-old) to 0.0003 percent, or 1 in 333,333. Such unalarming IFRs among those < 70, especially children, for the early SARS-CoV-2 variants, have been reduced by at least 3-fold more (so 0.1 percent/3; 0.0003 percent/3!) since the advent of the Omicron wave in early 2022, and its perhaps even milder related subvariants, that are continuing to emerge through the present. 

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During 3+ years, including the period when the most virulent early SARS-CoV-2 strains were predominant, through the Omicron wave, and till now, not a single pediatric death due to covid-19, has been recorded in Rhode Island. This contrasts starkly with the three HINI influenza (swine flu) pediatric pneumonia deaths that accrued in a single flu season, during the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic, mirroring recent national US pediatric influenza death trends. Comparative US pediatric influenza vs. SARS-CoV-2 mortality data since 2009, underscore how both pandemic, and bad seasonal influenza outbreaks—with which we cope, appositely, minus hysteria—pose a greater mortality risk to children, than SARS-CoV-2. 

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We have also learned that SARS-CoV-2 transmission, like influenza transmission, is driven by persons with symptomatic infections. Both SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing studies, and an elegant experimental design tracking viral emissions from deliberately infected healthy subjects, have reaffirmed this observation. Moreover, regardless of mode of transmission, it is also established that children did not “drive” the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

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Complementing these irrefragable SARS-CoV-2 mortality and transmission data, a century of uniform public health evidence, bolstered over the past four decades by randomized, controlled trial findings, demonstrates that community masking (with N95 masks, as well) does not prevent respiratory virus infections (influenza, SARS-CoV-2, RSV, and others) in adults, or children. 

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Works as an in-house Writer at Gulf Tech Plus and focuses on the latest smart consumer electronics. Closely follows the latest trends in consumer IoT and how it affects our daily lives. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

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