So here’s a headline that caught my eye today. It’s a headline from a “news” piece published two days ago by the NBC affiliate in Louisville, Ky. It blares “CDC says COVID hospitalizations increasing for teenagers”. CBS “news” went with (6/8/21) “CDC says hospitalizations are rising in teens with COVID-19”. Others warn “More teens are hospitalized with Covid-19, CDC finds” and “As More Teens Hospitalized, CDC Urges Parents To Get Their Kids A Covid Shot”
All pretty scary stuff, indeed. But are we gonna be dumb enough to fall for more of this PANIC PORN crap? If you don’t feel like taking five minutes to read this whole piece, all you need to know is the opening sentence from one of the PANIC PORN pieces above, which says “A new concern for teenagers in America is the number of young people between twelve and seventeen getting hospitalized with COVID.” And the last sentence in that same piece, which says “The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for ages 12 and up.” If you don’t understand the implications of those two sentences you are lost so don’t bother reading further, it wouldn’t mean anything to you anyway. For those interested in actual SCIENCE AND DATA, and, you know, sanity, please read on.
Some quotes from the PANIC PORN (caps always mine for emphasis):
“The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is URGING parents to get their teenagers vaccinated against COVID-19 after an ALARMING SPIKE in hospitalizations among young coronavirus patients.”
“Due to NEW VARIANTS and increased contact, the CDC said its (sic) DEEPLY CONCERNED in a rise of COVID hospitalizations among teens, with NUMBERS JUMPING between March and April.”
“Dr. Paul Offit, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says the U.S. has to do better in vaccinating children. But one big obstacle is CONVINCING SOME PARENTS THE VACCINE IS SAFE LONG-TERM, especially for girls amid misinformation that it could affect fertility.”
“‘As cases come down people who are not vaccinated are MORE VULNERABLE,’ Dr. Kativa Patel, medical contributor for NBC News said. ‘That is a product of more STICKY VARIANTS and more relaxations of the actual mitigation measures meaning we are putting kids into group activities but not wearing masks.’”
First to Paul Offit, a well-known shill for the vaccine industry. How EXACTLY are you going to convince anybody with a working brain that this vaccine is safe LONG-TERM and that the concerns about fertility are based on “misinformation”? This vaccine did not exist a year ago and has had emergency use authorization for about six months now. On what data EXACTLY does he predicate his prognostication of long-term safety? How could he, or anyone else, POSSIBLY know what effect this vaccine might have on a 12 year old or 17 year old girl (or boy for that matter) in 10 or 20 years? Are his data magical data? Did he get his data from the same guy that sold Jack his magic beanstalk beans? (hat tip My Cousin Vinny) While the long-term safety assertions of these vaccines may in fact prove correct someday, by the very understanding of reality, that information is unknowable.
Then to Dr. Patel: What now? By what math does a person become “more vulnerable” as cases come down? Perhaps she meant in relative terms, non-vaccinated people run a higher risk of serious illness than vaccinated people. That may very well be true. But in absolute terms, my risk as an unvaccinated person CANNOT increase as cases come down. My risk is either the same as it’s always been (which is essentially zero to begin with), or less. And what the hell is a “sticky variant”?!?
Now a quick look at the numbers. These numbers are based on CDC numbers for kids 5-17, as opposed to the 12-17 year olds in question here, so these numbers will be by definition bigger than they actually are, but as the total numbers are so ridiculously small, it won’t really make a difference.
According to the CDC, there have been a total of 1,909 kids age 5-17 hospitalized due to COVID since March of 2020. That’s a population hospitalization rate of around 0.003% or three one-thousandths of one percent for kids in this age range.
The number of kids between ages 5 and 17 hospitalized from March through May of 2021 (13 weeks) are as follows: 25, 20, 35, 36, 36, 36, 41, 47, 49, 53, 35, 29, 18. So you can see there was indeed an increase in hospitalizations (and then a precipitous drop before these PANIC PORN pieces were released, but no mention of that anywhere), but is a maximum increase of 28 cases out of a population of 60,000,000 kids (and don’t forget the precipitous drop back down to 18 cases) reason to be “DEEPLY CONCERNED” about an “ALARMING SPIKE”? Some of you may think so. That’s because you’ve been cowed by more than a year’s worth of PANIC PORN into irrationality. Even at the highest number of 53 hospitalizations, that’s a population hospitalization risk of about 0.00009% or nine one hundred-thousandths of one percent. Really? This is what is scaring you?
And by the way, throughout this time period (March through May), we averaged about 35 hospitalizations per week in this age group. Back during the to-be-expected seasonal spike from November through January (13 weeks), we averaged about 51 hospitalizations (about 30% more) in this age cohort with no less than five weeks surpassing the maximum number (53) in the March through May period, with the high being 67 hospitalizations. Those numbers (November through January) are “significantly” worse than the ones causing such “ALARM” and “CONCERN” now, but I don’t remember hearing such panic back in January about “the kids”, do you? "Why not?" you may ask. Please refer to the sentence alluded to in paragraph one: “The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for ages 12 and up.”
And by the way again, according to the CDC “About 24% of kids ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose. Before most were eligible for the vaccine, about one-third of teens who were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 wound up in the intensive care unit…Nearly 5% of those cases were put on respirators. None of the patients died." That means that out of some 60,000,000 kids in this age group, about 30 (perhaps as many as about 90 depending on what number "those cases" is referring to) ended up on a respirator. 30 out of 60,000,000. That's a risk of about 0.00005% or five one hundred-thousandths of one percent. And none died.
So to repeat a point I have made many times, you are being pressured (though PANIC PORN, distorted data and outright lies) to vaccinate your kid to protect him or her against a virus from which they stand a statistically zero risk of serious illness, and for which the long-term dangers (Paul Offit notwithstanding) are unknowable. As always, you do you, but please think before you strike. (hat tip Smokey Bear) And please realize how you are being manipulated every single day by those with an agenda that is not in your best interest.