A universal value centers around love and concern for the safety, well-being, and educational and social development of children.
The unexpected, terrifying, mystifying COVID-19 pandemic caught every family off guard. There were no clear precautions; all options were terrible.
Schools closed, and parents did their best to home-teach and supervise their children’s on-line tutelage. Little masked waifs were taught to keep their distance from similarly “unclean” friends and the public-at-large … no hugging allowed, most particularly with vulnerable grandparents.
A scene witnessed driving past an open elementary school reminded me of televised views of maximum-security prison inmates in an exercise yard. The little jailbirds were all masked and socially distanced in line amidst lots of tantalizingly colorful slides and other vacant playground equipment.
But why weren’t they running around like normal masked bandits and exercising joyful energy on such a warm, bright day? After all, COVID transmission and serious health consequences among children are recognized to be very rare.
An Israeli study of more than 47,000 children ages 1-9 years published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) determined that they are not only at low risk of developing COVID-19, but also don’t play a significant role in spreading the virus while attending school.
The same study was less conclusive regarding a review of more than 101,000 middle and high school youths ages 10-19 years where risks were found to be slightly higher, and experts were divided on whether young children need to wear masks to stay safe.
Scientists from University College London, and the Universities of York, Bristol and Liverpool claiming their COVID-19 studies of children are the world’s most comprehensive, found that over the first 12-month pandemic period, only 5,800 in England under age 18 were admitted to hospitals with the virus, compared to about 367,600 admitted for other emergencies (excluding injuries.)
The survey concluded that the COVID mortality rate for these under-18-year-old hospital admissions was extremely low, only about two deaths per million based upon 128,301 U.K. people who died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test since the pandemic started.
Based upon available England public health data, most of the young fatalities attributed to COVID also had other underlying health conditions. Though the absolute risks were still small, children with multiple conditions, including obesity, heart disorders and neurological illnesses were most mortally vulnerable.
It’s bad enough when adults in some locales must wear masks and show evidence of vaccine status to enter a McDonald’s for burgers, but worse when these restrictions are mandated for young children.
Many states already have no K-12 school mask requirements, a few forbid them, and Virginia’s incoming governor, Glenn Youngkin, lifted them on the first day upon taking office.
Meanwhile, as growing medical evidence indicates that unvaccinated children present very low COVID mortality or transmission dangers, the experimental nature of new vaccines — mRNA types in particular — prevent any possibility of testing potential adverse long-term health risks.
According to a May 6, 2021 KPFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey, 23% of parents said they definitely wouldn’t get their child injected with a new FDA-authorized vaccine, 26% said they’ll first wait to see how well it is working, and 30% indicated they would agree to do so right away.
Vice Chair and General Counsel for Children’s Health Defense Mary Holland warned: “In that the vaccines were developed so quickly, with such short clinical trials, the long-term injuries are a complete unknown.”
For example, a peer-reviewed U.S. study published in May 2021 by the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research warned that the experimental COVID vaccine being rolled out across the world poses multiple serious adverse side effect risks.
Research conducted by senior scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Naturopathic oncology specialist Dr. Greg Nigh, specifically analyzed serious potential adverse vaccination effects of experimental mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
Seneff and Nigh point out that “there is sufficient reason to suspect” that one notable vaccine side effect called “antibody-dependent enhancement” (ADE) produced in the human body via the mRNA injection “may [later] manifest as either acute or chronic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”
Both the U.S. FDA and the Japan Health Ministry have ordered that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech add notifications of clinically significant increased risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) on their labels.
In any case, and on a far more encouraging note, a preprint study of more than 52,000 of the recent omicron variant patients and almost 17,000 delta patients between Nov. 30 and Jan. 1 within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health care system found that the new strain is a substantially less severe disease.
According to a December average case lethality rate in South Africa, the likely omicron origin, deaths of those infected tumbled from 8% to 0.2% over a six-week period … reaching levels barely higher than resulting from the seasonal flu.
The eternal hope is that omicron, although highly infectious, will soon go "endemic" with very mild and conventionally treatable symptoms much like the common cold.
That “new normal” of living with the virus can then be as much like pre-COVID conditions as we choose to make it.
But what about those who were cheated out of growing up with that good old normal we knew?
When today’s children and adolescents grow up, will they see themselves as a generation whose lives will forever fall in the dark shadow of a global pandemic?
It’s our job to open their youthful eyes — through example — by first reopening our own minds to remember the limitless joys and opportunities we so very fortunately inherited.
Yes, it’s time to get normal again, for their sake and our own.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 11 books, "Beyond Flagpoles and Footprints: Pioneering the Space Frontier" co-authored with Buzz Aldrin (2021), is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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