Commentary

New Study Comparing COVID to Flu in Kids Completely Ruins Liberal Narrative on Schools

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Fear has dominated the public conversation about COVID-19 due to its previously unknown nature.

How do you get it? What are the symptoms? How fatal is it?

We have seen governors and local officials around the country implement stay-at-home orders and mandatory mask and social-distancing requirements, as well as shut down in-person learning at public schools.

But since the beginning of the pandemic, studies have graced us with data better defining COVID-19, making it less of a boogeyman.

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A study performed at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., concluded that “there were no statistically significant differences” between children with COVID-19 and children with the seasonal flu when it came to “rates of hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit, and mechanical ventilator use.”

Percentages were compared between two groups: patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (315 total, median age of 8.4 years) and patients diagnosed with seasonal influenza (1,402 total, median age of 3.9 years):

Hospitalization Rate:

  • COVID-19 patients: 17 percent
  • Influenza patients: 21 percent

Intensive Care Unit Admission Rate:

  • COVID-19 patients: 6 percent
  • Influenza patients: 7 percent

Use of Mechanical Ventilators:

  • COVID-19 patients: 3 percent
  • Influenza patients: 2 percent

If anything, the notable difference between the two groups was that “[m]ore patients hospitalized with COVID-19 than with seasonal influenza reported clinical symptoms at the time of diagnosis,” according to the study, which was published Sept. 8 in JAMA Network Open.

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These symptoms included fever, diarrhea or vomiting, headache, body ache or myalgia, and chest pain. Differences among “the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19” who reported symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath were “not statistically significant.”

This should ease our fears, as the study appears to suggest that COVID-19 is about as dangerous to children as the season flu.

Are school districts ever shut down for the flu?

Do you think schools should be open across the country?

Studies like the one performed at the Children’s National Hospital — which included COVID-19 patients diagnosed between March 25 and May 15 of this year and flu patients diagnosed between Oct. 1, 2019, and June 6, 2020 — are supposed to inform us about the virus, therefore informing our response to it.

If Democratic politicians and other public officials ignore the data and continue to treat COVID-19 with the same degree of caution now as they did in March, then the cure has indeed become worse than the problem.

Democrats, who have largely led the way on lockdowns across the country and have tended to be overly cautious when it comes to reopening schools for in-person learning, claim to be the “party of science.”

So will they listen to what the science says — that COVID-19 appears to generally affect children in much the same way as the flu?

President Donald Trump, for his part, has been adamant since March about making informed decisions in response to the virus rather than reacting out of fear:

We need leaders like Trump who will govern by fact rather than fear and who truly work to protect the welfare of Americans.

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Joey Pietro is an Arizona native who has spent nearly a decade as a local educator. He holds a bachelor's in English from American Public University.
Joey Pietro was an Arizona native who has spent nearly a decade as a local educator. He holds a bachelor's in English from American Public University.




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