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News

End The Lockdowns Now – Forbes

It was clear by late spring of last year that the best approach was to focus efforts on the most vulnerable parts of our population—that is, the elderly and those with serious preexisting conditions. However, instead of following the science, too many politicians and health officials imposed—and continue to impose—sweeping restrictions that have been useless, capricious or counterproductive. 

The country has paid and—this is outrageous—continues to pay a fearsome price. Low-income households have been disproportionately harmed, as parents haven’t been able to work because they’ve had to stay home to take care of kids who couldn’t go to school.

…This is the blunt truth: The states that are more open are doing better in terms of health and economic performance than those that are more restrictive. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2021/04/06/end-the-lockdowns-now/

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News

School attendance has ‘minimal impact on serious Covid-19 infection’ – ITV News

Adults who lived with children during the pandemic’s second wave were only slightly more at risk of Covid-19 than those who lived without them, suggesting school attendance has minimal impact on infection rates, a new study has found.

While there was a small increased risk of infection and hospitalisation for those aged 65 and under who lived with school-aged children between September and December last year, they were no more likely to be admitted to intensive care or die than those who lived without children.

The peer-reviewed study, published in the British Medical Journal, found no evidence of a noticeably increased risk of infection during the first wave in the UK between February and August, compared to those adults who do not live with children.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-03-19/school-attendance-has-minimal-impact-on-serious-covid-19-infection

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News

Face masks in class are causing ‘physical harm’ to children – The Telegraph

Face masks in the classroom are causing physical harm to children, ministers have been warned amid reports of breathing difficulties, headaches and dizziness.

Children around the country are suffering from a range of side effects including light headedness, fatigue and facial rashes, according to a symptom tracker launched by the parent campaign group UsForThem.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/16/face-masks-class-causing-physical-harm-children/

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Publications

Face coverings in education – Department for Education

No pupil or student should be denied education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967285/Face_coverings_in_education-March-2021.pdf

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Publications

Closing schools is not evidence based and harms children – BMJ

Some 8.8 million schoolchildren in the UK have experienced severe disruption to their education, with prolonged school closures and national exams cancelled for two consecutive years. School closures have been implemented internationally1 with insufficient evidence for their role in minimising covid-19 transmission and insufficient consideration of the harms to children.

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n521

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News

UK children being used in ‘unethical mass experiment’ – demand for urgent action – The Express

EXPERTS have called for urgent action to protect children from the harm of lockdown, saying youngsters are being used in “an unethical mass experiment” and warning we are on the brink of a “national emergency”.

They are urging the Government to take urgent steps to examine and address the collateral damage that has been caused to children from issues such as school closures, lockdowns and social isolation as a result of the pandemic. One specialist is calling for a task force to be launched immediately and to remain in place for10 years, which would include experts in child abuse and neglect, childhood depression, suicide and anxiety, as well as physical, educational and developmental health.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1397594/UK-children-Covid-lockdown-task-force-10-years-children-mental-health

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Videos

Prof Jay Bhattacharya, Signatory of Gt Barrington Declaration: Why ‘Lockdown’ Will Kill Millions – Naomi Wolf, Daily Clout

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Opinion

‘It’s the isolation’: parents on the impact of lockdown on children

With many primary school pupils learning at home, and toddlers missing out on critical social interactions with their peers,parents of young children have concerns about the long-term impact of long periods spent at home.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/feb/10/its-the-isolation-parents-on-the-impact-of-lockdown-on-children

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Videos

Covid, Tango and The Lagom Way – Documentary by Claudia Adela Nye

Trapped in lockdown between the two extremes of Coronavirus deniers and lockdown orthodoxy, Nye is intrigued by Sweden’s approach: no lockdown, no school closures, no masks. She manages to secure an exclusive interview with Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, whose steely resolve not to buckle under world mainstream media pressure means – among other things, tango dancing is allowed in Stockholm!

Claudia Nye is a BAFTA nominated filmmaker. Brought back to documentaries for the sake of the future of her children, Nye travels from UK to Sweden to learn about their unique Covid-19 strategy.

She is also a qualified Relationship Counsellor, which she’s been practicing over the past ten years. She travelled to Stockholm with photo-journalist Sean Spencer and together they made this documentary

Video mirrors:

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News

Depression among the young is at ‘frightening’ levels and keeping schools shut risks having ‘calamitous’ impact on children’s mental health, paediatricians warn – Daily Mail

Depression among pupils is at ‘frightening’ levels, paediatrcians have warned, as they urge the Government to reopen schools or risk a ‘calamitous,’ impact on children’s mental health.

Ten of the UK’s top exerts in child health say anxiety, self harma nd suicidal thoughts have reached frightening levels among children.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9186711/Schools-closures-risk-calamitous-impact-childrens-mental-health-paediatricians-warn.html?__twitter_impression=true

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Opinion

What role do schools play in the spread of Covid-19? – The Spectator

Analysis of the age profile of Covid infections, however, does not point to schools being especially important in the early-stage growth of the second wave. Although the report does also observe that ‘school closures can contribute to a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 transmission’.

But had schools played a big role you would expect to have seen a sharp increase in cases among children of school age a week or two following the return to the classroom. Instead, the ECDC noted that Europe’s second wave began with a sharp increase in cases among 19 to 39 year olds in mid August. Cases among 16 to 18 year olds also increased around this time, but the curve of infections among younger children rose much more gradually, in step with infection rates in the over-40s. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/what-role-do-schools-play-in-the-spread-of-covid-19-

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Publications

COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – first update – ECDC

The return to school of children around mid-August 2020 coincided with a general relaxation of other NPI measures in many countries and does not appear to have been a driving force in the upsurge in cases observed in many EU Member States from October 2020.

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/children-and-school-settings-covid-19-transmission

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Opinion

Why did the world react so hysterically to covid? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • The mortality rate is below 0.2%.
  • For most people the risk of dying if you get infected is less than one in 500 (and less than one in 3,000 if you’re below 70 years of age).
  • The disease preferentially strikes people who are anyway very close to the end of life/
  • The amount of lifetime lost when someone dies of the disease is usually small.
  • 2020 will likely turn out to have been a very average year in terms of overall mortality.
  • 98% of people who get covid are fully recovered within three months.
  • There is no good evidence that covid results in long term health consequences.
  • Chinese realized early on that covid-19 wasn’t very serious, no worse than a bad flu.
  • China is still reporting less than 20 cases per day.
  • China is claiming that less than 5,000 people have so far died of covid in China. That’s less than Sweden, a country with less than 1% of China’s population.
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News

ER visits, long waits climb for kids in mental health crisis – AP News

When children and teens are overwhelmed with anxiety, depression or thoughts of self-harm, they often wait days in emergency rooms because there aren’t enough psychiatric beds.

The problem has only grown worse during the pandemic, reports from parents and professionals suggest.

With schools closed, routines disrupted and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, children are shouldering new burdens many are unequipped to bear.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201205170423/https://apnews.com/article/anxiety-mental-health-boston-coronavirus-pandemic-massachusetts-004adb5ee0ef17ff4b5e2e294e36ff3d

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Publications

Harms of public health interventions against covid-19 must not be ignored – BMJ

The harmful consequences of public health choices should be explicitly considered and transparently reported to limit their damage, say Itai Bavli and colleagues

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus—for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns—become widely discussed in the popular and scientific press, informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death.

However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically. Despite increasing evidence on the unintended, adverse effects of public health interventions such as social distancing and lockdown measures, there are few signs that policy decisions are being informed by a serious assessment and weighing of their harms on health. Instead, much of the discussion has become politicised, especially in the US, where President Trump’s provocative statements sparked debates along party lines about the necessity for policies to control covid-19. This politicisation, often fuelled by misinformation, has distracted from a much needed dispassionate discussion on the harms and benefits of potential public health measures against covid-19.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4074

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Visitor Contributions

A Rational Reopening Guide

In the interest of public debate, we allow visitors to share opinions, experiences and research that may be of value to others. This is a visitor contribution from our Discussions page.

The views expressed are those of the individual posters themselves. Please read our Comments and contributions disclaimer.

Author

Megan Mansell

  • Credentials: Megan Mansell is a former district education director over special populations integration, serving students who are profoundly disabled, immunocompromised, undocumented, autistic, and behaviorally challenged; she also has a background in hazardous environs PPE applications. She is experienced in writing and monitoring protocol implementation for immunocompromised public sector access under full ADA/OSHA/IDEA compliance.
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Twitter: @mamasaurusMeg

A Rational Reopening Guide

A framework for operating any facility or business during COVID

The United States already has a body of law that requires making accommodations for persons with disabilities; if we start from the premise that Americans should be able to determine the level of risk they’re willing to take, all of those concepts can be extended to provide accommodations to anyone who is concerned about exposure to COVID, whether because they are vulnerable or because they live with someone who is vulnerable.

The first step is to ask everyone whether or not they consider themselves immunocompromised (IC). This can include people who themselves are immunocompromised or who live with someone who is immunocompromised. Allowing people to identify whether or not they consider themselves immunocompromised allows us to create reasonable accommodations for accessing the public sector. Some people cannot mask, and others prefer not to, but we can still allow them to safely access shared spaces if we know how many individuals are truly in need of accommodation.

Those who cannot or prefer not to mask should be free to assess their own risk, especially for a contagion with a 99.6% recovery rate.

If we ask everyone to identify the population they belong to, it all falls into place.

Read the full article on Rational Ground.

Categories
Opinion

My manifesto to beat coronavirus crisis: Protect the elderly and vulnerable, let the rest live their lives, and throw Britain open again – Prof. David Livermore, Daily Mail

In fact, it is now becoming clear [Lockdown] is simply the wrong policy. Those who dissented from the Government’s Covid-19 strategy have been dismissed as mavericks on the fringes of the scientific establishment. However, this is no longer the case. I am afraid that the broadcast media has been particularly slow to reflect a shift in outlook among international scientists.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8816651/PROF-DAVID-LIVERMORE-manifesto-beat-coronavirus-crisis.html

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News

Herd immunity could have saved more lives than lockdown, study suggests – The Telegraph

Researchers from Edinburgh University reassessed Imperial modelling that showed half a million people would die.

Blanket social distancing and the closure of schools may have cost more lives than if herd immunity had been allowed to build slowly in the community, a study suggests.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/07/herd-immunity-could-have-saved-lives-lockdown-study-suggests/

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Opinion

Too many children are being tested for coronavirus, top paediatrician claims as he demands schools stay fully open in face of future waves of Covid-19 – Daily Mail

Professor Russell Viner, from University College London, demanded schools should instead remain fully open in the face of a second wave and cease their ‘flip-flopping’ between closures and openings which are ‘harming’ the education of youngsters.

He was speaking after his recently published study revealed those under 20 are 44 per cent less likely to be infected with the virus than adults.

…’We need to be thinking: “Are we testing too many children?” because of our understandable but probably unscientific and misplaced concerns about children being infected in schools.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8780333/Too-children-tested-coronavirus-paediatrician-claims.html

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News

Florida schools reopened en masse, but a surge in coronavirus didn’t follow, a USA TODAY analysis finds – USA Today

A USA TODAY analysis shows the state’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not schoolchildren – driving the trend, the analysis found.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/09/28/florida-schools-reopened-en-mass-feared-covid-surge-hasnt-followed/3557417001/