‘What are we doing to our children in the name of Covid safety?’

Further to your Morning View, I wholly agree that the children have lost enough schooling.

A positive result for a rapid antibody fingertip test for the detection of COVID-19
A positive result for a rapid antibody fingertip test for the detection of COVID-19

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is highlighting that schools are no longer functioning as they need to.

“School leaders are reporting serious difficulties in maintaining safe staffing levels,” NAHT President Graham Gault has been quoted as saying.

“This is primarily the result of Covid related staff absence and the unprecedented unavailability of substitute teachers and classroom assistants.

“Many of our members have reported not being able to source a substitute teacher at all, even after making weekend phone calls to over 100 teachers...”

Children need their teachers, and education needs continuity.

So again we are making the children suffer because of our irrational, fear-driven, disproportionate response to yet another variant.

Even the doctor who reported the omicron variant cannot understand our reaction.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, wrote in the Daily Mail on November 30: “Nothing I have seen about this new variant warrants the extreme action the UK government has taken in response to it.

“No one here in South Africa is known to have been hospitalised with the Omicron variant, nor is anyone here believed to have fallen seriously ill with it.”

Covid rules are blamed for a 23% fall in young children’s development (according to a study of 1,600 nought-to-five-year-olds by Brown University, USA, reported in the Daily Mail on Nov 26).

Key cognitive test scores have slumped.

Forbes magazine on August 19 reported on a study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, saying “children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic”.

The early-learning mean IQ result dropped from around 100 in 2019 for children between nought to three, to 78 in 2021.

And do we imagine that the ongoing fear propaganda will have no lasting effect on our young people, who are witnessing so-called democratic regimes imprisoning their citizens if they refuse to take a vaccine – while the potential for adverse reactions is being ignored.

An atmosphere of fear prevails:

No jab, no job.

No jab, no school.

No jab, no church.

No jab... no health care?

No jab, no life.

All because of a virus from which they have a near-total chance of survival.

Shamez Ladhani of Public Health England said in July that “children need to get back to normal”.

Parents really don’t need to worry about infection from a bubbled child,” they said.

“They aren’t taking it home and then transferring it to the community. These kids have very little capacity to infect household members.”

On October 17, The Daily Telegraph reported that Dr Camilla Kingdon, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, had declared that Covid testing in schools should be brought to an end for the sake of children’s education.

The regime in secondary schools at the time, where pupils were told to take two lateral flow tests each week, was causing “unnecessary chaos” she said, and children, who are not at risk from the virus, should not be forced to “carry the burden” of the pandemic.

Why are we threatening to remove the very activities which protect their mental health?

Children are suffering because of their conditions of learning, being sent home, and staff absences.

Where is the attempt to balance the miniscule risk to young people from Covid against the widespread potential for harm?

Hugh McCarthy is a former principal of Killicomaine High, Portadown

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