Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Annals of Covid in Hong Kong: School’s back!

Talk about belts and braces! Not only do kids have to be double-vaccinated, they also have to do a daily RAT test before they come to school, and also mask up and also socially distance. This despite the fact children have vanishingly small chance of catching symptomatic Covid and even lower chance of serious illness. Some studies show that kids masking in schools slows down the learning process as kids take so many cues from faces, especially teachers’ faces. 

Still, at leat they’re back after three months of what is called “study from home”. But which we know disadvantages poor families, who can’t afford the home time to supervise their children.

It was never really worth the downsides of school closures for the sake of minimal upsides. 

We have punished the young to protect the elderly. The really elderly. The unvaccinated elderly. Average age of deaths in Hong Kong remains 86, a little above HK life expectancy. 

Here is the chart of percentage deaths per age group, from the Hong Kong Centre of Health Protection:

To be clear, for the 0-9 year olds, the case fatality rate of 0.01% which is 0.0001, or 1 in 100,000. Infections in Hong Kong are estimated to be at least four times cases identified. Thus Infection fatality rate is .000025, or one in 400,000. Of course this is not nothing. But it is in fact lower than the death rates for the flu, for children. And the rate would be even lower for the vaccinated children, since the above chart is for unvaxed 0-9 yo. Which continues to raise the question: are these vast, oppressive, intrusive measures worth it?  For that level of risk? I’ll venture, on behalf of kids, a solid “no”.