I want to be very clear about something as I begin this post. It should be well understood, that I have no intent to belittle or bad-mouth. I’m not doing what I do when I write pieces like this, even to necessarily bring out the shortcomings of the logic of others. Rather, my interest is in getting people to think—to consider what they’re supporting, what they’re saying and doing. This is the spirit in which I try to couch all my work. I may fail at that sometimes, if I do (and most particularly if I’ve done so to you, or as far as you’re concerned), allow me now to apologize for having done so. I am sorry.
In this present moment, one of the most talked-about topics for consideration, has been the virus labeled COVID-19. It has other labels, I use this one because people recognize it, yet it remains more or less innocuous in the minds and hearts of most hearing it. If it gives you pause in some fashion to hear that moniker, you have my full permission to “substitute” one that you find more correct, proper or appealing so long as it’s understood we’re talking about the same thing.
Funnily, rather than talking about what COVID-19 is doing, I’d like to address one or more things it’s not doing. The one that most “sticks out” to me at present as something not being discussed, is aiding in bostering immunity to other illnesses.
You may be asking yourself what on Earth I’m talking about. Let me see if I can explain.
As a parent (and frankly, harkening back to my childhood), I see and remember a number of instances when my child (or I) did something that I would never do as an adult. Did you ever lick some surface as a child that no right-minded adult would touch with a ten foot pole (much less apply his or her tongue to)? Did you touch a place where another just sneezed or spat, then touch your face?
The funny thing is, to the second of these questions, the answer is, “Most likely yes (without realizing it).” That being said though, as an adult—or even a child over the age of fourteen (maybe younger)—doing as I have just indicated children do intentionally would be unreasonable but for the direst of situations (where you could save a life or prevent injury by so doing, for example).
But can you imagine most children not doing this sort of thing? I have four (it’s a long story, but actually more) children for whom I have either had sole, or shared responsibility. Sometimes my authority has been extremely temporary; at others it’s been far longer term.
Each of my children was different. At some point, all but one (who is still quite young and Moderately Autistic), came to the conclusion that he or she wanted to be more “hygienic” in his or her practices.
I’m sure you’re thinking something along the lines of, “Well, that’s good to hear.”
What I want understood though is, many in the medical community contend that doing such “gross” things—in reasonable “measure”—actually help to bolster the immune system of the child in question.
I well understand that there are children and others who have immunological disorders or shortcomings (not to say they do so on purpose, just that it’s a fact of life for them), such that they don’t gain protection as a result of “entanglement.” Parents and caregivers of such individuals rightly (at least in the current understanding), shelter and protect their little ones and other charges from what others would term a “normal childhood or life.”
Can I understand and respect the actions of such people? Most certainly!
That being said, it’s my belief that I have not only not done my children a disservice by allowing them to live relatively “normal” young lives, but that I have given them invaluable exposure to things that could have a far more dire effect in later life—particularly if they hadn’t experienced them as people under ten.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go about plunging my children into raw sewage. I don’t even recommend they take nearly every course of action they assume or believe appropriate; and as they grow older, I more and more try to educate them to the idea that it’s not wisdom to lick that handrail, or pick up food (even from a relatively clean surface) and eat it. Obviously, these are meant to be examples, not a comprehensive list.
The fact is though, many who literally study immunity and other such subjects, believe children’s exposure to this sort of thing is far from “all bad.” As noted, there are certainly exceptions to this, among the “immune-challenged,” for example.
Bringing this full circle, when children fail to do such things, many believe you may count on potential issues down the road. You may see some of them sooner; you’ll likely see others later. Nonetheless, in all likelihood, come they will.
The current mindset that says we should live a life in which we fail to allow otherwise healthy children to be exposed (again, within reason) to such things—if the logic that says it’s beneficial is correct—cannot help but be harmful in such measures.
Like it or not, you can be assured having children not go into public places, not go to school, and run about wearing masks, virtually removes that exposure to the degree it’s effective.
To make things more interesting, at present for the whole of the present “pandemic,” the death rate in the United States (according to the Centers for Disease Control) from the 1st of February to the 11th of July has been less than .05% of the population at large.
It would be one thing if this number was an “even distribution,” it isn’t. It turns out that there are people who are vastly more likely to perish as a result of the virus than the large majority of the population. To say nothing of the fact that the death rate (on a pure numeric basis) has been dropping rapidly since peaking around the 2nd of May.
I can understand a perspective that says, “If you’re at risk, take precautions.” I can understand people supporting folks who are at risk. I cannot count reasonable, affecting many who not only are at very low risk at worst, but are at risk for other conditions potentially as a result of the current course of action—particularly with no real understanding what we’re bringing about.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.