Thursday, May 21, 2020

Shuttering schools is not how you keep children safe....

Its hard to think straight when you're scared, and many Canadians are terrified of the novel and mostly benign coronavirus.  Its said that a drowning man will grab at an anchor if its thrown to him, such are the decisions one makes when in a panic.

We've been grabbing a lot of anchors in our efforts to slow down the spread of this virus, and now Ontario (among others) has decided that vulnerable children can also be sacrificed, along with the people who've died from having needed surgeries delayed, or from cancelled cancer screenings that would have made treatment possible, or from suicide caused by the depression of losing one's job, income and identity.

While its easy to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that no children in Ontario are abused, common sense says we have to open our eyes.  

Schools along with other community orginizations like churches and camps are vital in protecting the health and well being of children.  Even as a simple Sunday school teacher I had to take part in training about what to look for and what to do when dealing with children who show possible signs of abuse, be it mental, physical or sexual.  

There are millions of Canadians out of work, and liquor stores have been deemed essential.  You don't need a PHD in the social sciences to understand that this is a recipe for diaster. 

We're doing this to stop kids from getting infected with the coronavirus.  Yet we've never even considered shuttering schools during flu season, and seasonal flu kills Canadian children every year.  Here's a link to a CBC story from January 2019 about six children who had died up to that date during the 2018/2019 flu season.  

I know that some will point out that is is a "novel" virus, its new and we don't fully understand it, that it could mutate and become deadly in children.  That is true, but that's also true of influenza strains every flu season as well.  Just look at what happened when the H1N1 strain hit us, deaths and hospitlizations spiked during that pandemic, estimated to have killed as many as 575,000 people worldwide.

Yes, some hospitals were overrun in 2009 and triage was used to determine order of treatment.  That's the way medical systems work, health professionals prioritize, its nothing new.  

But even with all that death and disease we never sacrificed people in need of cardiac surgery and cancer screenings.  And we never sacrificed children to situations where parents are tossed out of work with booze deemed essential, and then removed all the support systems society has in place to protect them.

I'll have more to say later, thanks for reading.  


Anonymous said...

Well, i have zero faith in WHO figures, and where were these hospitals supposedly over-run by H1N1 in 2009? None round these parts.

My MD brother retired two years ago, and he shakes his head at stuff like this. We were talking two days ago, and he said he never in his 40 year career put down FLU as cause of death on certificates. He put down the underlying cause. But there are no rules in Canada, so docs put down whatever they want frequently when it's an oldster who dies. Nobody cares, it doesn't matter. Anything suspicious gets an autopsy.

Imagine the standards in other countries or the third world!

Yet there is a tendency for bloggers and others to quote WHO figures as the fount of all knowledge, and drawing conclusions based on probable froth to make their point. Where did you draw yours?

Your point about sending kids to school to avoid abuse at home is valid to an extent. But what is the rate of abuse? Who knows? Judging by the kids playing in the almost rural subdivision I live in, itself well off a secondary road, I'd be surprised if there was much here. In a third rate apartment building in town and families with no money, things are likely different, but do we know? Hell everyone here goes for walks and family kids play in the roads, but practise better social distancing than I see 12 miles away in the city, all with a friendly wave.

So you're trying to make a point I'm not sure is valid for society as a whole. My brother sure doesn't want Covid-19 at his age, mostly benign you call it - on what basis I'm not sure - but disregarding that it gives some people a pretty rough go of it, like Boris the Bozo Johnson, PM of Blighty and general idiotic gadabout.

So on the basis of your theorizing, we should send kids back to school early. I understand the logic if it were true in over 50% of cases. But is it? We all have problems in this pandemic.

Lightly thought through, IMO.

"its nothing new." And as the grammar police, I'd say you mean "it's" which means "it is", hence the apostrophe contraction. You made this error 7 times. "Its" means it belongs to something, the possessive. "The blue colour was its highlight". Still, 99% of writers get it wrong these days, so there's that. Or is it "theres that"?


Gordie Canuk said...

Thanks for reading again....

I get my figures either from health canada or worldmeters (they're always the same).

I'm surrounded by teachers, a brother, sister, sister in law and my best friend. I just spoke to my best friend this evening and he had reported 3 cases of suspected abuse just this year alone before the pandemic. Your point about differing neighbourhoods is very much on point...sadly children from poorer homes are more likely to be at risk than those who live an affluent lifestyle.....poverty brings stress and all the problems that go with it.

The reason I use the term "mostly benign" is a push back against all the fear mongering I see in the media. Right now Canada is reporting 33,636 active identified cases (the tip of the iceberg) with just 502 listed as either serious or critical, that's 1.5% of the current indentified cases....add in all the untested cases with very mild or no symptoms and its obviously going to be even less.

I realize Covid-19 can be incredibly serious and lethal, just not for the majority of the population. Peanuts can be lethal to some, but we've never seen stories about "the killer peanuts".

Based on all the avaialable evidence I do think schools should be opening...there has not been one single Canadian death in a person under 20 as I write this, yet children die every year from the flu and we've never shuttered schools before in an effort to prevent it. Our response has to be proportionate to the threat.

Thanks for the grammar lesson, I bang these out pretty mind goes into overdrive, and sometimes I even mix up their, there and they're, but never intentionally...sometimes I change the wording as I'm typing and there becomes they're and I don't do a good job editting my own words. I know its and it's is counterintuitive, normally the apostrophe denotes possesvie....but I'm getting old and forget sometimes.

I'll try to do better, it's not always easy :-)