Stop F*cking Around With The Kids
Lockdowns and school closures have had a massively negative impact.
Seriously, though. Stop.
I don't have kids. I'm not even married. In fact, I am of the opinion that babies and children of an age prone to crying and apoplectic fits should be banned from airplanes. Yup. No more babies on airplanes. There have been times when I've even flirted with sending a letter to my congressional representatives advocating as much. Peace and quiet up in the flotillas of sculpted clouds, the way it should be.
I mention all this because I feel obligated to emphasize that I, personally, don't have a hand in this game; I have no specific kid in mind as I write this post, and I write it from the position of someone who believes in decency, pragmatism and common sense, and calling out the lunacy of the Left when I see it.
Fear is dangerous. Just open a history book. As arguably the most powerful of emotions, fear can wreak all kinds of havoc on the interpretive framework through which one sees the world.
This is especially true when you live in a society that has grown soft and complacent, and which, for complex sociological reasons, is comprised of a significant number of extremely neurotic and risk-adverse college educated adults with a fetishistic attachment to all things “safetyism,” a bizarre need to have their feelings validated by everyone else, and the inability to see a bump in the road as anything other than a problem of apocalyptic magnitude.
It goes without saying, but the effect that fear has on the psyche is amplified considerably in children, for whom the world is already a scary, uncertain place, a precarity that tends to manifest as a mental bog teeming with dreaded what-ifs.
“Indeed, children who have had chronic and intense fearful experiences often lose the capacity to differentiate between threat and safety. This impairs their ability to learn and interact with others, because they frequently perceive threat in familiar social circumstances, such as in their home or neighborhood.” — Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
I'll skip ahead and be blunt: The powers that be are ruining kids.
And when I say “the powers that be,” I’m talking about the epistemic regime—the massive network of academics and analysts and public officials and media types and technocratic elites—most of whom lean ideologically left (it all ties back to education, if you want more info to back this statement up, but the subject is outside our purview here), and who determine what's true, what gets recognized and esteemed, and what gets disdained and dismissed. Such is the way that cultural capital is allocated in modern America.
In less than two years, many of these people have proven themselves to be morally reprehensible, for it is they who have used a fog of constructed and managed lies and images and media narratives and cultural divisions to create an environment of psychological terror serving the interests of those who run the show by ensuring we lesser beings are constantly at each others’ throats, arguing and spazzing out while the money and the power funnel upwards. I realize that might sound unhinged or conspiratorial or what have you, but in this post and the posts to follow I intend to illustrate why it's true and how it ties into the larger subject that I want to focus on: Why the response to COVID-19 will have consequences that long outlast the pandemic, and why many of these consequences will ultimately prove worse than the virus itself.
Kids Have Been An Afterthought
Democrats have always been rather blasé about the repercussions of covid policies and restrictions. At some point, for whatever reason, they became champions of the “zero covid” pipe dream in which the main focus hasn't been on cost-benefit analysis, or even rationality, for that matter, but on eradicating covid entirely, your civil liberties be damned. As if completely getting rid of covid, a highly infectious respiratory virus running rampant in an unprecedentedly interconnected world, were always possible.
It’s therefore no surprise that kids have largely been an afterthought, their childhoods blithely destroyed by heavy-handed and ultimately ineffective lockdown/quarantining measures (“two weeks to flatten the curve!”) based on hypotheticals, policies which should have taken into account the costs exacted by the imposition of said policies — i.e. a massive loss in learning among kids, most notably in reading aptitude, a significant rise in ADHD due to the farce that is “remote schooling,” not to mention that whole let’s-shut-down-society idea that anyone with half a brain foresaw causing some serious issues in what was even then the not too distant future — instead of just presuming worst case scenarios and going from there.
But, just like everything else, kids and the opening of schools have been mere pawns in the game of political manipulation played by the epistemic regime to enhance government and corporate power, and to advance the idea of “safety” as paramount over protection of individual rights, minority opinions, and bodily autonomy. Recall that our lord and savior Anthony Fauci himself went from saying that schools should be opened to saying that they could only open once President Biden’s stimulus plan passed—one of the approximately 1,000 times that Fauci has flip-flopped or even flat out lied about something only to pretend like he’s never done any such thing. The Science™, folks.
The Risk Of Covid To Young People Is “So Low As To Be Difficult To Quantify”
Children (ages 0-18) have represented 0.00%-0.27% of all COVID-19 deaths. As of January 6, 2022, that equates to a total of 823 deaths. To put this in perspective, that’s less than the number of total deaths from influenza and RSV infection in a typical year.
Figures have suggested that unvaccinated children are less likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than vaccinated adults in all age groups. — Newsweek
This is not new information. It has been known since very early in this pandemic that the risk of covid to young people is so low as to be difficult to quantify—with a survival rate of roughly 99.995%—and yet public health officials have done nothing but downplay this truth instead of acknowledging it for the sake of a better informed populace; the media steadfastly refuses to cover it; and overly neurotic parents think it’s bunk and often seem more concerned with questioning the motives of others rather than their actual arguments, slapping condemnatory labels on those in favor of re-opening schools/not forcing kids to wear masks and get vaccinated, many of which labels don’t even make sense half the time but which do allow them to indulge in their petty pseudo-outrage political tantrums. “Trumper,” “anti-vaxxer,” “child killer,” and so on and so forth.
These overly neurotic parents are the foot soldiers for the end-is-nigh crowd who constantly catastrophize; they seem to have this weird sadistic attachment to living in a heightened state of anxiety propped up by malleable “facts” that always confirm we’re running toward a red light and we’re all screwed and the apocalypse is imminent and something-something-something about Trump.
So, while people like “Black Vaxxed&StillMasking” here (above) and dearest Erin (below) have been hyperventilating about the practically nonexistent covid risks to adolescents and silencing any discussion about applying a rational cost-benefit analysis framework to policy decisions moving forward (careful; merely suggesting this means you want PEOPLE TO DIE, and if you believe schools should be open you want TEACHERS TO DIE), they’ve completely ignored the terrible impact that lockdowns and school closings have had on the over 54 million school-age children in America.
Kids Should Have Been In School This Whole Time
Amazingly, there’s still been very little mainstream discussion about the consequences of kids not being in school. This, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) declaring a National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health back in October.
“We used to see on average 2-3 kids a week with serious suicidality, now that rate is up to as high as 2-3 per day.” - Dr. Aron Jansen, Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago)
A couple of months ago the United States surgeon general published a 53-page public advisory warning that kids are facing “devastating” psychological consequences after being overwhelmed by pandemic policies that have upturned their lives. The report detailed a rise in depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior, and emergency room visits for mental health troubles, with a stunning 51% rise in the number of visits for suicide attempts among adolescent girls in early 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019.
Essentially, we’ve induced a legitimate mental health crisis (“Hey guys, I got a great idea: Let’s stop kids from seeing their friends and socializing, then force them to become housebound and even more chained to the little poison portals they carry around in their pockets, and while we’re at it, let’s be upstanding adults by reverting to hysterics every time CNN implies the world’s end is nigh — oh, and don’t forget to inflate the shit out of a child’s vulnerability to a virus that, in reality, poses a microscopic risk to them!”), all but guaranteeing that the victims will be a generation of lonely adolescents who’ve been taught to be anxious, afraid, and fearful of taking chances.
Which is to say nothing about how far behind kids are in school now.
“We haven’t seen this kind of academic achievement crisis in living memory.” — Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Among third through eighth graders, math and reading levels were all lower than normal this fall, according to NWEA, a research group. The shortfalls were largest for Black and Hispanic students, as well as students in schools with high poverty rates. Why? Because Many Kids Don’t Have a Warm, Safe, Healthy Home in Which to Do “Remote Learning”.
Masks: The Talisman Of The Left
A year ago the CDC advised against N95 masks for the public because they’re too difficult to breathe in; now, public health experts in Los Angeles, Boston, and various other blue bastions are recommending that children wear them.
In the last iteration of Euphoric Recall, I mentioned the extensive body of high quality science conclusively showing that masks do not prevent viral transmission in highly controlled hospital settings where practitioners are trained on proper mask usage, which makes the notion that kids, who spend half their waking hours exploring nostrils (with occasional detours to other orifices) with various fingers, will wear masks in such a way that they and they alone will benefit, laughable.
But that’s beside the point. Because not only do the masks not work like they’re supposed to, and not only do they make communication extremely difficult for students with learning disabilities, but forcing kids to wear them for the better part of two years has had profoundly deleterious educational and psychological effects.
A recent Brown University study found that “children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic.” The researchers pointed out that families of lower socioeconomic status were most affected.
To review: Adults are significantly more vulnerable to covid, but they’ve been allowed to socialize barefaced at bars and frolic about other crowded indoor venues; kids, who are less likely to die from covid than vaccinated adults, are being forced to don masks outdoors on playgrounds and even while playing sports.
And they’re still subjecting kids to a multitude of ridiculous “precautions” even when kids are technically at school, like forcing them to eat on the ground outdoors whilst separated from one another and not talking, and making them sit for story time outside in below freezing temperatures: