Continuing coronavirus happenings (Part 4)

While I appreciate a revival of a little discussion on measures that were taken and lessons to learn, I choked on my coffee when I read the discussion around school closures:

We now have solid evidence showing that was an overreaction. A study at McMaster University concluded that closing schools had “not much impact” on transmission because young kids rarely spread the disease. U.S. studies have found the same thing. Let’s not make that mistake again.

I dug out the study cited in the article and found the NYT article that was referenced and the other survey study. From the first study:

Secondary attack rates were low within school settings when infection prevention and control measures were in place (moderate certainty). Masks might reduce transmission, test-to-stay policies might not increase transmission risk compared with mandatory quarantine, cohorting and hybrid learning might make little to no difference in transmission (low certainty), and the effect of surveillance testing within schools remained inconclusive (very low certainty). Findings indicate that school settings do not substantially contribute to community incidence, hospitalisations, or mortality (low certainty).

I’d imagine the picture would be different around community settings that are more careful, and using the metrics of hospitalization and mortality w.r.t. kids raises a red flag for me. In my experience, the kids were better behaved than most adults when it came to masking, but how many schools really did what (little) was required to filter air?

And from the study cited by the NYT:

There are few data available from the literature on coronavirus outbreaks to guide countries on the use of school closures or other school social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available evidence is consistent with a broad range of impacts of school closures, from little effect on reducing transmission through to more substantial effects.

So really, we do not have that much of an idea whether school closures “worked”, and no idea what the next pandemic is going to look like anyhow. If it turns out to be something with high asymptomatic transmission and just enough nasty outcomes, like :thinking: polio, then I’d wager school closures will be back on the table promptly.

11 Likes

Not being able to cite exactly which measure were effective does not counterargue that the whole suite was, in fact, effective. As we look at potentially a new outbreak of a much more dangerous virus (avian flu) the fact that we refuse to learn from the “warm up act” is incredibly depressing.

12 Likes

Tenpenny. Tuppence short of a Shilling.

5 Likes

:cry:

12 Likes
12 Likes

My cynical answer is that the public does not care. As far as I can tell, no one is paying attention to covid news anymore. It’s not in the headlines, the talking heads on TV are not screaming about it, so it must be gone. It is not, and there is a non-zero chance we will deal with another serious outbreak, but if so, “the public” will be shocked, because it was all over and “we moved on from that.” The tiger is not actively mauling us at the moment, but that does not mean it is gone.

black and white tiger GIF

14 Likes

LOL, no.

7 Likes

I must confess I was unaware of this fact too.

6 Likes

That’s a very long dose of not very good news. Not very good at all.

Sad Family Time GIF by Lifetime

9 Likes
8 Likes

I had to stop reading it because it contained so many technical inaccuracies, but the gist is correct. Even in many hospitals, their guard is down. They tuck COVID patients away in special units now so they don’t have to confront the ongoing problem. Masking protocols have been relaxed in most (thankfully, not all). The one encouraging point is that most hospitals have lumped COVID vaccines in with all the other vaccines they require for anyone who works there, and your boosters have to be up-to-date.

Bill Murray Reaction GIF

9 Likes

Good info, complex topic, not terribly good news over all.

6 Likes
6 Likes
11 Likes

[Elana Levin: “New thread on the NC medical mask ban: North Carolina senate passed a bill that will ban medical masks in public spaces. The Assembly majority supports the bill. I hope this is a wake up call to folks on the left who don’t care www.wsoctv.com/news/local/n… There IS still time to stop this bill.” — Bluesky (bsky.app)]

12 Likes

Angry Jon Bernthal GIF by NETFLIX

I feel like i am gonna wear this gif out before November. But seriously, the rights of the KKK are protected, but fuck those immunocompromised whiners? I just cannot believe where we are at times…

11 Likes