Friday, January 28, 2022

Experts said people need to rethink their mind set about Covid-19 and children. ‘This isn’t a virus to mess with,’ says the expert.

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As the Omicron variant spreads across the country, sickening many people and forcing them to quarantine, educators and families, are confronted with a difficult decision: whether or not to allow children to return to in-person lessons.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, the unexpected rise has resulted in severe staffing shortages, with more than 145,000 Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Tuesday, which is higher than at any time since the pandemic began.

Those who work in education services have strongly contested whether in-person learning is currently feasible, amidst the upheaval that has hampered the return of school following the holiday break.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 17 percent of children aged 5 to 11 and 54 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 have been inoculated so far.

On Tuesday, Dr. Paul Offit, director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccine Education Center, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that children are becoming sick at a far higher rate than in 2020.

“About a third of children who are hospitalized, admitted to the intensive care unit, or die have no comorbidities. As a result, it can happen to anyone “Offit remarked.

“This isn’t a virus you want to mess around with. This isn’t flu, parainfluenza, or any other common respiratory illness. This virus can trigger an immune response against your own blood vessels, resulting in heart disease, brain disease, kidney disease, lung disease, and liver disease “he stated

Other health experts argue that in-person learning should continue, citing K-12 children’s vaccine eligibility and the fact that adult instructors and staff have had plenty of opportunities to get immunized and boosted.

On Tuesday, Joseph Allen, the head of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Healthy Buildings Program, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that evidence demonstrates the risk to children is very minimal, and that it’s now time to talk about reducing measures like required masking.

According to new data from New York state during the peak of the Omicron outbreak, unvaccinated children are hospitalized at a rate of one in 100,000. A child’s risk of contracting the disease is on the order of two to three per million if he or she is vaccinated “Allen said.
“We’re coming up on two years of disrupted school, kids in masks, and to say there’s no harm or no loss in socializing, no impact,” he added. “The risk to children is modest, and adults have had enough time to get the vaccine.”

Some schools are returning to class, while others are returning home.
Some instructors are taking matters into their own hands as the discussion over how schools might effectively limit the Omicron spread continues.

A group of Louisiana teachers is planning a “sick-out” on Wednesday to protest Covid-19 regulations and acute staff shortages, demanding that virtual learning be reinstated in their district and that isolation intervals for those infected be increased from 5 to 10 days.
“We’re asking our teachers to take off tomorrow to show that we care about our students and that we’re not going to let them be put in peril,” said Valencia Johnson, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators’ East Baton Rouge Parish branch.

“To keep the school solvent, entire departments have been shut down, buses and classrooms have been combined, and ancillary staff, instructors, office workers, and other school personnel are covering lessons,” she stated. “We can’t keep on like this. Our employees are burnt out, and our pupils aren’t getting the education they deserve.”
CNN has reached out to the district’s superintendent for comment.

Several of the country’s major school districts are returning to face-to-face instruction, while others are going to online instruction.

This week, school districts in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta began returning students to their classrooms. Students in Chicago Public Schools will return to class on Wednesday, following a days-long strike between the school district and the teachers’ union.
Other districts, including Cincinnati, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas (where the Clark County school district is the nation’s fourth-largest), are temporarily returning to remote learning to deal with teacher absences.

‘Buy the highest-quality mask you can stand.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that Americans concerned about the best way to protect themselves and their loved ones should “get the highest-quality mask that you can tolerate and that is available to you.”
“If you can stand an N95, go for it. It’s fine if you want to get a KN95. And, as the CDC has stated — and this has been misconstrued — wearing any mask is preferable to wearing none at all “According to Fauci. “However, there is a range of capabilities for keeping you from becoming infected and distributing it to others. As a result, we should put on the greatest masks we can find. That is a proven fact.”

A CDC official told CNN on Tuesday that the CDC will update its mask website this week to better represent the options available to people and the varying degrees of protection they give. Although many experts believe that fabric masks do not provide adequate protection, the CDC still advises three-ply cloth face covers in its current guidance, which was last updated in October.
The Chicago Department of Public Health said last week that 1.9 million KN95 masks would be distributed.
According to Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, more than 100 community-based organizations, including churches and libraries, are assisting in the distribution of the masks, which are an upgrade from many of the cloth masks now in use.
“We know a lot of folks,” Arwady said, “and really, even a 50 cent or $1 mask is just one more cost at a time when money is tight.”

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