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I demand to be "locked down" again for my own protection.

I'm not going out there. People are running around with unwashed hands and acne. The disease is literally oozing from their pores.

T Snitz Esq arriving at the Report's headquarters this morning ready for action.

Why Covid Lockdowns and Mask Mandates Made Children Sicker

It’s no surprise respiratory viruses are infecting kids sheltered by years of lockdowns.

By Allysia Finley, WSJ

Nov. 26, 2023 4:34 pm ET

Here we go again. The World Health Organization on Nov. 22 said it is looking into media reports of Chinese hospitals overwhelmed by sick children. Chinese authorities attribute the surge to higher circulation of seasonal bugs like the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. The reports have raised concerns about a potentially novel pathogen spreading in China and renewed suspicions about Beijing’s lack of transparency.

“It is not at all clear when this outbreak started as it would be unusual for so many children to be affected so quickly,” the International Society for Infectious Diseases’ Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases reported.

Yet it isn’t surprising that respiratory viruses—suppressed by nearly three years of Covid lockdowns—would come back with a vengeance in China amid low levels of natural immunity. Children are especially susceptible to bugs their immune systems have never encountered, and there are hundreds of them.

It’s also possible that lockdowns and mask mandates impaired children’s immune development, making them more vulnerable to viruses that usually cause mild cold- and flu-like symptoms. Regardless, China’s crowded hospitals are more evidence that there are far more dangerous pathogens than Covid for children.

Meantime, public-health experts in the U.S. are raising alarms about hospitals being flooded by kids with Covid. A Nov. 21 story in Scientific American claims that children younger than 4 years old have “among the highest rates” of Covid hospital admissions because their parents haven’t gotten them vaccinated.

It’s true that hospitalization rates for young children are currently higher than for adolescents and young adults, but they are significantly lower than for seniors. Yet infants are predominantly being hospitalized—not toddlers—and many are also infected with other, more-dangerous respiratory viruses. Infants younger than six months aren’t eligible for Covid vaccines anyway.

Infant hospitalizations for RSV, a common-cold virus that can impair babies’ ability to breathe, are currently seven to nine times higher than for Covid. For toddlers, it’s 17 times higher. The Food and Drug Administration in July approved a monoclonal antibody by AstraZeneca and Sanofi that prevents severe RSV infections in infants.

Demand for the prophylactic has been off the charts, resulting in shortages and rationing. That goes to show that parents don’t oppose vaccines and medicines that protect children from actual menaces. They simply have a better understanding than condescending public-health experts of what those menaces are.

The public health and political left’s zealous promotion of Covid vaccines for children may stem from a well-meaning desire to protect them from minor discomfort. Ditto mask mandates, padded playgrounds and trigger warnings. But shielding kids from every unpleasant physical and psychological feeling isn’t realistic or healthy.

Germs can, in fact, be good. Exposure at a young age to bacteria and allergens reduces the risk of asthma, allergies and some autoimmune disorders. It’s also well-documented that children who grow up on farms or with pets are less likely to develop chronic immune ailments. Scientists posit that germs train a child’s immune system not to overreact.

This, incidentally, is another reason why mask mandates for children were a bone-headed idea. They were largely ineffective at stopping the spread of Covid, yet they reduced children’s exposure to a potpourri of germs that strengthen their developing immune systems.

It’s hard to believe, but there are as many bacteria in the human body as there are actual cells. This so-called microbiome helps regulate various physiological responses. By disrupting the gut’s microbiome, antibiotics can impair immune function. Overprescribing such medication for children has been found to raise the risk of allergies, celiac disease and even obesity.

Hence, pediatricians typically recommend “watchful waiting” of mild bacterial infections, which often improve with time. Antipyretics such as Tylenol can help reduce fever and discomfort, though numerous studies have also shown they prolong and worsen infections. That’s because fever enhances the immune response.

Pain and discomfort are never fun, but they serve a purpose. The same is true of adversity, which builds resilience and grit. Nowadays, however, many schools are eliminating homework and letter grades in the name of reducing stress. Academic requirements are being lowered by schools for the same reason, while instructors are directed to accommodate students’ anxiety.

Is it any surprise, then, that 47% of 18- to 34-year-olds say they’re so stressed most days that they can’t function? The problem isn’t that young people are overly stressed. It’s that they haven’t been stressed enough.

Children were once taught that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Being taunted is difficult, but we can learn to shake it off. Now schools teach that mere ideas can be dangerous because they can cause discomfort. Better, they say, to avoid such threats altogether.

When youngsters are eventually forced to leave their bubbles, they break down. Offices of mental-health professionals are teeming with psychologically fragile young people who have been cosseted their entire lives. Likewise, Chinese hospitals are flooded with sick children who have been sheltered by three years of lockdowns. Protecting kids from life’s troubles leaves them more vulnerable.

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