In its latest update on children and COVID, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) noted that over the past week, more than 122,000 children have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, a 22% increase from two weeks ago. For 14 consecutive weeks, children’s COVID cases have remained above 100,000. That brings the total number of children who tested positive as of November 11 to more than 6.6 million.
Although children make up 22.2% of the U.S. population, they currently represent 27% of all reported weekly COVID cases. Eleven more children died during the week, bringing the total number of people who have died since the start of the pandemic to 625, according to official figures.
In a typical flu season, the average number of pediatric deaths is around 130. Last year’s flu season saw only a children are dying, in part because of the limited measures in place to control the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic across the country.
Although it has been said repeatedly that children rarely face serious consequences from COVID, these comparisons highlight the dangers the coronavirus poses to them. The terrible toll of children is somewhat overshadowed by the greater extent of the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the general population. At the same time, politicians and interest groups, with the support of the mainstream media and teachers’ unions, have deliberately downplayed the real dangers children face, in line with their desire to completely reopen schools on the continent. basic instruction.
Schools remain a privileged vector for the spread of the virus. It is impossible to objectively discuss COVID and children without also considering the whole COVID-19 landscape.
Since the end of October, cases have steadily increased in the United States, with the seven-day average of cases approaching 85,000. Although deaths across the country have continued to decline, they remain high, with an average daily of 1,129. Hospitalizations, a more accurate and meaningful measure of serious infections, have increased with the surge in new infections. There are currently more than 47,100 people receiving treatment for COVID in US hospitals.
Essentially, all regions of the United States are currently experiencing an increase in the number of cases or an always high number of cases. Of particular concern is the situation in the Midwest and Northeast, with infection rates soaring. Michigan is once again at the epicenter of the rapidly evolving COVID map. In its latest COVID update, the state government reported more than 23,000 new cases.
According to New York Times ‘COVID Dashboard, the daily average of cases stands at 7,174 in Michigan, a 68% increase over 14 days. On a per capita basis, 72 per 100,000 are infected. The number of hospitalizations is approaching 3,000, with a 31% increase in admissions in the past two weeks. Pediatric hospitalizations for COVID are also on the rise. The seven-day positivity rate reached 16%.
The sudden surge once again caught public health and state officials off guard, though senior scientists have warned of such a development. In September, 26% of all Michigan COVID cases were in people under the age of 20. Of the 181 outbreaks this month, 104 developed in K-12 schools, highlighting the relationship between infection in schoolchildren then and community transmission now. AAP updates noting the recurrent increase in infections in children in conjunction with the increase in cases in the United States provide further corroboration of these observations.
In Michigan, many school districts have been forced to close and return to online classes once again in recent days, especially in rural areas where immunizations have been weakest. State health officials yesterday reported 87 new school-related outbreaks in the past week, resulting in more than 521 infections among staff and students. In total, the state reported 576 active outbreaks, a 7% increase from the figure of 539 the previous week.
Due to an alarming increase in cases in Detroit, the Public School Community District sent school board members an urgent email asking if the district should switch to distance learning on Fridays only. In a statement to WXYZ News, the district wrote: “Due to staff feedback, the district is reviewing options to infuse more e-learning days by January to address mental health breaks for staff and students, improve cleanliness of schools and recognize rising rates of COVID. “
The shocking statement, asking the board for permission to reduce the exposure of students and staff to the dangers posed by the deadly virus, amounts to asking for permission to evacuate a burning building. Paralysis, inaction and indecision dominated local officials caught up in the network of mechanisms imposed by the capitalist state and the two major economic parties to ensure the full opening of the economy and the maximization of corporate profits. to catastrophic levels of suffering and death.
Teacher unions, fully integrated into the corporate establishment and the state, play a central role in suppressing opposition among educators and staff and forcing them to work in unsafe schools.
In just one week, the number of infected teachers in Detroit rose from 20 to 52. The number of infected students rose from 198 to 292, while 921 students and staff were quarantined. And yet Terrence Martin, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, told WXYZ TV in Detroit, “We hope that with one day less face-to-face contact, this can help control the spread. [Emphasis added].
There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the United States. Only 360,000 have so far been partially vaccinated. This is less than 2 percent within this age group.
Several polls have reported that about 30 percent of parents surveyed would not allow their children to be vaccinated. As of last month, less than 50 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 were fully immunized, a total of 12.4 million. In nine states, less than a third of eligible adolescents have been vaccinated.
Not only do a significant majority of children and adolescents go unvaccinated and are vulnerable to the immediate ramifications of infection, they will also be exposed to the long-term complications that many will experience after battling the acute phase of the disease. .
In a recent systematic review of Long COVID published in JAMA network open, the authors found that 50 percent of people who survived COVID-19 experienced various physical and psychological symptoms six months or more after their initial recovery.
They experienced a noticeable drop in their overall sense of well-being, weight loss, extreme fatigue and even pain. A quarter had trouble concentrating, a condition now better known as brain fog. Almost a third struggled with repeated episodes of anxiety. In addition, symptoms of shortness of breath were common. Stomach aches and chest pain were common complaints. These diseases will have incalculable consequences for this generation of children for many years, if not decades.
The current wave of COVID infections in children is the product of the insistence and success of the Republican and Democratic parties to force the reopening of schools, in close collaboration with teachers’ unions. At the end of September, research firm Burbio reported that 98% of schools were open to business, becoming the main mechanism for the current wave across the country. With the holidays approaching, the situation creates a perfect storm, with millions of Americans planning to celebrate with family and friends.
President Biden remarked, “A year ago we were heading for a Thanksgiving where public health experts advised against traveling or meeting with family and friends. Last Thanksgiving, for the first time, there were only four of us. … Later this month, our tables and our hearts will fill, thanks to the vaccines.
And health workers will try to resuscitate and save the lives of a growing number of patients who have been needlessly infected, including many children.