“For individuals underneath the age of 18, Covid is admittedly not that large of a threat,” mentioned Stephen Kissler, a researcher at Harvard’s T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being. “I do consider it as on par with the danger from flu.”
It’s additionally useful to place Covid-19 within the context of different dangers that kids face. About twice as many kids drown in a typical yr as have died from Covid-19 over the previous yr. About 5 occasions as many die in car accidents. If defending kids from small however actual dangers of significant hurt had been society’s high aim, maintaining kids away from swimming pools and vehicles would most likely have an even bigger impact than isolating them in coming months.
There’s additionally proof that Individuals are exaggerating Covid’s dangers to kids. When a big survey by Gallup and Franklin Templeton requested individuals to estimate the share of Covid deaths which have occurred amongst individuals underneath age 25, the typical reply was 8 % (and Democratic voters tended to present larger estimates than Republican voters did). The precise reply was 0.1 %. Against this, Individuals badly underestimated the share of deaths amongst individuals over age 65.
Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, instructed me that she considered choices about kids’s actions as a matter of private selection that totally different dad and mom would make otherwise. In her household, she mentioned she was apprehensive about how a yr of pandemic life had harm her kids, by making them much less comfy in social conditions. As soon as all of the adults are vaccinated, she plans to restart extra actions.
“I can settle for the dangers of my children getting Covid, partly as a result of I evaluate it to the danger of them getting different infectious illnesses and the danger appears very, very small,” Dr. Nuzzo mentioned. “I really feel that if my children had been to get Covid, they’d be OK. I additionally see the direct harms of their not having a standard life.”
In fact, many dad and mom aren’t apprehensive solely about demise or hospitalization with Covid-19. They’re additionally anxious about power long-term results, like potential neurological or cardiac harm. It is a murkier space — and arguably the very best case for treating Covid publicity as totally different from flu publicity. There’s a motive scientists use the time period “novel coronavirus” to explain this virus: It’s new. We don’t but know what its eventual results shall be.
Already, some individuals have suffered from a situation often known as lengthy Covid, with protracted fatigue and different signs. A latest examine printed in Nature Medication discovered that 2.3 % of Covid sufferers had signs that lasted for not less than 12 weeks.