Driving into Salem today, listening to a news channel on satellite radio, I heard a public health expert say something that made me grab a piece of paper and write it down as soon as I came to a stop:
Thoughts are not facts.
She was referring to wearing masks in schools as they reopen after a summer break. Like when a student or parent says, "But I thought that wasn't going to be necessary since Covid cases were declining so much a few months ago."
OK. You thought that. But thoughts aren't facts, they're just thoughts. The only way a thought can be a fact is -- no big surprise -- if the thought is factual.
And the facts are that the Delta variant now accounts for almost all Covid cases in the United States; it is much more transmissible than original Covid; 19% of current Covid cases are occurring in children; hospitalizations among children are rising sharply; the Delta variant appears to cause more serious disease among the unvaccinated than original Covid.
These thoughts of mine are based on watching today's Meet the Press show, which featured an interview with Anthony Fauci, and on a bunch of reputable news stories that I've read recently. If you want to check my facts, watch the show yourself.
What's deeply irritating is how so many people are refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask because they have unfactual thoughts in their head that they wrongly assume are true.
I don't need a shot because I've already had Covid and can't get it again. False. The Delta variant is called that because it varies from original Covid. Plus, immunity diminishes over time, whether from having Covid or getting the vaccine.
Masks help protect the wearer from getting Covid. I'm not afraid of Covid, so I don't need to wear a mask. False. Masks also protect other people from getting Covid. You may have no symptoms of Covid, but you could be spreading it to others. So wear a mask, unless you're so selfish, you don't care about infecting other people.
If someone is vaccinated, they shouldn't care if Covid spreads widely among the unvaccinated. False. Aside from making the pandemic last longer than it would if more people were vaccinated, the unvaccinated are markedly increasing the risk that the virus will mutate into an even more dangerous variant. Fauci talks about this in the video above.
Government has no business telling me what I should do. False. A government driver's license is needed to drive a car. A government screening has to be gone through before boarding an airplane. Everybody, including ardent conservatives, comply with government rules in many aspects of life. So listen to government public health experts.
The Biden administration can't be trusted when it comes to the vaccines. False. The vaccines were developed during the Trump administration. Trump loves to take credit for how rapidly this happened. Think of them as the Trump vaccines.
Here's some additional Covid information I came across today.
A New York Times story, 'This Is Really Scary': Kids Struggle With Long Covid. Every person with a school age child who rejects vaccines or mask-wearing should read the story. Excerpt:
As young people across the country prepare to return to school, many are struggling to recover from lingering post-Covid neurological, physical or psychiatric symptoms. Often called “long Covid,” the symptoms and their duration vary, as does the severity.
Studies estimate long Covid may affect between 10 percent and 30 percent of adults infected with the coronavirus. Estimates from the handful of studies of children so far range widely. At an April congressional hearing, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, cited one study suggesting that between 11 percent and 15 percent of infected youths might “end up with this long-term consequence, which can be pretty devastating in terms of things like school performance.”
The challenges facing young patients come as pediatric Covid-19 cases rise sharply, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant and the fact that well under half of 12-to-17-year-olds are fully vaccinated and children under 12 are still ineligible for vaccines.
Doctors say even youths with mild or asymptomatic initial infections may experience long Covid: confounding, sometimes debilitating issues that disrupt their schooling, sleep, extracurricular activities and other aspects of life.
And here's a couple of Twitter tweets. Yes, it's that Peter Frampton.