Continuing coronavirus happenings (Part 4)

This leaves me wondering how they finally wore him down. Upthread are stories about all kinds of childhood diseases that were under control or nearly eliminated until attitudes about COVID tipped some parents into being anti-vaxx in general. From the beginning, the false narrative that children weren’t at risk has haunted many families to this day. Advice like this is why my relatives with school age children are going back to home-schooling. Too bad the press is on board with promoting the minority opinion as breaking news.


Well if you listen to him in interviews I really don’t think the anti-vax folks did wear him down. He’s been very consistent over the course of this pandemic on his position on covid vaccinations: that the initial vaccination is prudent for everyone, including children, but that, in his opinion, there’s not sufficient existing evidence or data that boosting children or low-risk young people for every new variant that comes out is necessary. He’s said from early on that the primary purpose and goal of these vaccinations is to prevent severe outcomes, not to prevent all infections, and always felt that public health officials using language like “breakthrough infections” for Covid was a big mistake because it led to unrealistic expectations on what these vaccines were capable of doing and caused backlash among the public when people subsequently pointed to so-called “failure” of the vaccine. He feels that that failure in messaging was a big factor in affecting the attitude of parents towards vaccines in general, and he’s certainly in a position to know.

Wow. I’m not sure I want to know his views on long COVID, or folks suffering now due to repeated infections.

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My post upthread discussed the severity of initial infection seeming to be related to risk of long Covid. Vaccines tend to decrease severity. Vaccines good.


I think he’s just being realistic that, even with the available boosters, we don’t currently have a way to prevent repeat infections and should be honest and straightforward about that. Per the data that he cites in the article that you linked to the incremental benefit provided by the boosters is modest and short-lived for most low-risk populations.

But if you want to lump him in with anti-vaxxers despite his considerable experience and expertise on the subject that’s up to you.

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Are you talking a straight up snot-rocket? The old farmer’s handkerchief? Just onto the work floor?

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That’s the one.


In a scientific context, this wording itself is problematic. Viral infection isn’t a binary yes/no mechanism. (This is also why lay people with no understanding of viral infection should, for the most part, STFU about it)

Context matters with children and young adults. Do they have other risk factors? Do they share a household with immunocompromised or high-risk persons?

There are no easy one-size-fits-all approaches to this.


Certainly true! And something that Dr Offit has stressed repeatedly.

My kid is currently staying home due to a COVID exposure at her school. Here is how that went:

  • her maskless teacher came to school on Tuesday. After teaching a 45-minute class of mostly maskless kids (only my kid and one other kid were wearing masks), she was tested by the school and found to be positive for COVID. She was sent home.

  • the entire class of kids was tested immediately after. One after another, in a small poorly ventilated room. The teacher administering the test was maskless. He is the music teacher, so he also got to hear all those kids sing, later on, in the same poorly ventilated room.

  • we were only informed of this by the end of the school day.

After this incident, the school did not quarantine the second-grade class, send them home, or prevent them from mixing with any other students.

Needless to say, my kid is staying home for at least 10 days (I want to see how many of the second-graders get sick before sending the kid anywhere near them again). But does this sort of behavior make any sense to anyone? Is this how we keep our children safe from infectious disease?


That’s a tough call but I know that if my kids were kept home for 10 days after every potential exposure, whether or not they themselves were positive, they’d spend more time home than at school. And obviously not all parents have the necessary resources to keep their kids home that much. Different people will make different judgement calls in that situation.

My kid has a heart defect and I honestly don’t want to find out how it interacts with COVID. Her other parent is also high-risk, as are her grandparents. I am lucky and privileged that I am able to do this (and the kid is a great homeschooler), and I am fully aware of my privilege. The reason I posted is because I know that not every parent is privileged in this respect. A mask mandate (gasp!) would protect the kids and parents who can’t do what I’m doing right now. Testing all the teachers BEFORE they set foot in a classroom (gasp!) would also protect those kids and parents. Isolating exposed kids from non-exposed kids (gasp!) would also be very helpful to protect the other kids.

What the school is doing is basically nothing, leaving all the kids and their parents at risk. They don’t have to do this little. But they refuse to do more.


How would you do that when the potential exposure comes from the teacher? It seems to me that the only realistic options in that scenario are to test everyone in the class (which they did, right?) and keep anyone who tests positive home, or else to keep everyone in the class home for some number of days.

Sounds like you made the right call for your family situation though, hope that everyone remains ok.

If all the maskless kids in the class were exposed to that teacher, shouldn’t they all stay home? Or at least required to wear masks until they’re no longer contagious? Either one would be very easy to do, and the school administration is not doing any of that. Everyone in that class except my kid is going to keep going to school maskless, infecting a large number of substitute teachers and each other. Is

As for testing everyone in the class, yes, good on them for doing that - but why was a maskless teacher doing the testing? And why was everyone forced to unmask, one after another, in the same poorly ventilated room, virtually ensuring that the last kid to be tested would be inhaling everyone else’s germs? We live in a mild enough climate that the testing could easily be done outside, or at least near an open window.

So yeah, it looks like they’ve got great infectious disease protocols - they tested everyone! They sent out contact-tracing emails! - but in reality, they’re going to have a giant outbreak on their hands in about 5-10 days. At which point they’ll shrug and say “Oh well, we did everything we could”.


I won’t argue whether or not it’s “necessary or appropriate” but even if you do believe it’s necessary I will say that keeping a class of children home for 10 days after every potential exposure is not “very easy to do.” At least for many parents. Having them put the masks back on for a while is easier.

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I’m sorry that your family (and so many of us) have been put into situations like this. I agree that the decision to do nothing and act as though there’s nothing else that can be done is harmful and frustrating. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, the consequences will fall on those without the privilege and resources to escape it.

Any policy change or mandate to minimize risk gets immediate pushback now. The vocal minority, those who promote profit over people, and those who want a return to normalcy are controlling the messaging. They’ve been declaring that we should all consider this over, that illness is NBD, and we should all just expect to be infected. Those of us who refuse to comply with that worldview will continue to hold on / hold out for better vaccines and guidance in the future. In the meantime, we’re sometimes faced with reactions like this:

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers Reaction GIF by MOODMAN

Hopefully, the input from those is the same boat makes it a bit easier to keep fighting. In the meantime, I won’t be surprised to see more “advice” or conflicting opinions from experts who remind me of parents who haven’t learned the value of presenting a united front to their kids. That doesn’t seem likely to change unless conditions get a lot worse for a number of people too high to ignore or cover up.

The only way to win games like this is not to play. Continue to “do you,” and take whatever steps you can to keep yourself and your family safe.



Someone’s freedumbs! /s

It does not make sense. I’m sorry that your kid was exposed. It’s some fucking bullshit.


Sure, and that’s why I really wonder about the parents who don’t mask their kids. Out of the 18 kids in my daughter’s class, only two wear a mask to class regularly.

If they can’t afford to keep their kid home after a potential exposure, how can they afford to keep their kid home due to illness? How can they afford to miss work themselves when they’re sick?

I mean, I’m in a very privileged position here, and even so I don’t want to catch this thing. I am self employed and if I don’t work, I don’t eat. But people with regular jobs who don’t get unlimited sick days? What are they thinking?