No-one benefits from these illogical policies
We are not the only ones questioning why schools are not yet back to full normality. Yet it feels like it is getting worse before it gets better — updated ‘guidance’ from the Department of Education has poured fuel on the fire. New aggressive testing and isolation guidelines mean that more and more healthy children are currently sitting at home, on their own, isolating. Schools, children and families are in turmoil.
The villains in this tragi-farce are lateral flow tests that have been banned by the FDA and positive PCR test results from people who were likely not to have been infectious.
Prioritising children was not meant to mean maximising their pain and suffering. Neither they — nor society — as a whole are benefitting from these illogical policies. Any rational analysis of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) shows us that the impact on society of a harmful intervention on the life of a child lasts for many decades.
It is dangerous to deal in absolutes like this, but HART does not see a single example of a country or region that has achieved a materially ‘better’ Covid outcome by imposing such draconian restrictions on its children.
Summer is supposed to be the culmination of the academic year, but also a time for them to have some fun. School trips, weekends away, rites of passage — why are these being denied again by heavy-handed guidelines?
HART is not alone in knowing that parents are at breaking point. Children’s advocacy group UsForThem are inviting supporters to write to the new Secretary of State for Health. “End the ‘madness’ of isolating children” reports The Daily Telegraph, with Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza calling for life to get back to normal for children, and especially for the insidious — and wholly pseudoscientific — bubble system to be scrapped.
HART believes we must learn from those countries that are busy getting back to normal:
- PCR and antigen testing must only be used to confirm a diagnosis after COVID-19 symptoms have been observed.
- With the virus now endemic in our society, bubbles and social distancing serve no purpose, and should be scrapped. We are pleased to hear that many politicians agree, with 48 MPs writing to the Prime Minister pointing out that “this disproportionate policy is unsustainable and is causing deep uncertainty and anxiety among a cohort who have already suffered enough”.
As we have previously reported, the risk to healthy children from COVID-19 is essentially zero, so current restrictions are certainly not in children’s best interests. We also know that the role of children in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in school settings is limited, and, as the British Medical Journal discusses, once most adults are vaccinated, circulation of SARS-CoV-2 may in fact be desirable, as it is likely to lead to primary infection early in life when disease is mild and the young immune system is in ‘learning mode’.
Alternatively put, it is ethically unconscionable to deprive children of the opportunity to train their immune systems while they are young, as this equips them with long-lasting natural immunity. This is also good for everyone, as it means less burden on healthcare services, which can therefore prioritise vulnerable people who are at greater risk. Therefore it is safe to say that school bubbles and child isolation restrictions are worsening the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on society.
These irrational rules and restrictions must cease with immediate effect, as they serve no logical purpose, unless, of course, the authorities were deliberately attempting to cause disruption and chaos. But why would they want to do this?
HART therefore encourages everyone who is responsible for children and their education to call for the unequivocal and unilateral abandonment of these terrible restrictions.
No more bubbles. No more social distancing. No more testing. No more masks.
We cannot be a society that imposes unscientific and harmful restrictions on our children.