Dr. Fauci noted yesterday that the earliest he expects pediatric vaccine data for 5-12 year olds is Q1 2022.

Note that this isn’t application, authorization, manufacturing or distribution—it’s just the timeline for initial data.

This shouldn’t be an issue, practically. But. 🧵
Many parents now truly believe children must be vaccinated before allowing them to resume normality. Both for their child’s health, and out of a perception of moral duty.

This comes as a result of eleven+ months of highly moralized fear-based messaging obfuscating relative risk.
Misunderstanding relative risk of the virus to children is a social phenomenon mostly happening along identity lines in certain homogenous political communities.

Our self-curated media filter bubbles are enabling an anxiety and alternative reality that will harm children.
I have heard multiple times from parents that, even after all adults in their lives are fully vaccinated, they are waiting for pediatric vaccination before allowing their young kids to see friends again. This will result in, for some children, two+ years of isolation from peers.
Disproportionate anxiety will not dissipate on its own. Our social media economy and online echo chambers reinforce it, like they reinforce belief in QAnon or similar.

This should ignite an all hands on deck response by science communicators, pediatricians, and health officials.
In deep-blue bubbles, public policy will be steered around accommodating this minority, in terms of signaling and restrictions.

People will be slobbering all over each other in bars again before five year olds are allowed free play unmasked in large groups. Kids lack lobbyists.
The concern around relative pediatric risk is directly related to public schools.

Here in SF, “full reopening” this fall is “highly unlikely”—even after all teachers, staff, family members, and adults have been offered the vaccine!—because of it. The tail is wagging the dog.
Another one, from Los Angeles:

Vaccinating all teachers and staff is not enough. The lack of a pediatric vaccine is the roadblock to “full reopening.”

The entire 2021-2022 school year is on the line for some children. This is hysteria.

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More from @bergerbell

20 Feb
Nobody would dream of suggesting we shut down the power grid or waste collection for eighteen months. Or other essential services, like domestic violence shelters, dialysis centers.

Why are we doing that to public schools?
"Her cries turned to sobs; she could not stop crying on the Zoom call. That was when the girl made a stunning confession, in front of her whole virtual class: She was starving. There wasn't enough food in her home and she was really, really hungry.”
“‘It turns out the girl's mother lost her job when all the restaurants shut down in March. She hasn't been able to work since March, and she does not qualify for unemployment or benefits.’”
Read 7 tweets
19 Feb
A selection of replies to this thoughtful question below, including those from MDs.(!!)

The degree to which our personal covid responses have become entangled in morality, and to which relative risk (vs. other everyday life risks) has been obfuscated, is quite scary.

“Contracting ‘milder’ COVID and the long haul symptoms that can come with it?”

“You can still potentially transmit to others. I would not want that on my conscience.”

“I wouldn't fly or dine out and risk even mild infection in light of long covid syndrome” 2/6
“My impression is that's probably not wise even for fully vaccinated people.”

“Vax lowers susceptibility, but doesn’t confer perfect protection- and #LongCovid still can happen and would be life-altering.”

“vaccines aren’t 100% protective” 3/6
Read 6 tweets
13 Feb
We’re on the precipice of a massive paradigm shift in the US: the end of universal access to five-day-a-week, in-person education as a public good for which the state has an ethical responsibility without exception. First in deep blue metros, then more and more.
For-profit ed tech which thrives on user data, our creeping trajectory of technofeudalism, and the profound imbalance between the power of capital and the basic needs of children is resulting in the permanent privatization and debasement of a universal public good.
One day we’ll look back and wonder, “How did we let this happen?” And we’ll see that the groundwork was done by a misinformed partisan base which genuinely believed that full closure of public schools for 1.5+ years was a moral necessity. From that assumption, much else follows.
Read 7 tweets
12 Feb
What’s the endgame here, folks? We have allowed our objective to remain taboo to discuss for too long.

Now even eliminating the variables that made covid an existential threat (exponential spread, terrible outcomes, overwhelmed hospitals) isn’t enough. wsj.com/articles/anoth…
There is no reason to continue any of this in the US once all adults have been offered both doses of the vaccine and cases drop. None.

This is scope creep to I degree I’ve never seen. (And I was a software technical project manager for years!)
This all reminds me of Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the practical tyranny of a small, but vocal, minority.

In this case one unwilling to acknowledge the relative risk we all implicitly took by existing in pre-2020 society. Exacerbated by a media economy that thrives on panic.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
This sort of reversal of the burden of proof—plus general laws of bureaucratic inertia!—will result in unnecessary medium-term strangulation of areas of civil society which lack a powerful lobby. Mark my words.
To say nothing of the substantial fear in many communities which will need to be deliberately unwound. (And which is, perhaps counter-intuitively, driving restrictions itself as part of the media ➡️ public opinion ➡️ legitimacy-seeking political response 🔁 feedback cycle.)
Here in SF, deep within such a cultural bubble, red tape and certification/inspections will linger long after all adults are offered a vaccine: The city has no plans to permit normal ops of preschools this fall, mandating the same tiny cohorts, partitions, cleaning rituals, etc.
Read 6 tweets
31 Jan
Something has been bothering me, relating to the human experience and civil society and due process during the pandemic. And I’ve had trouble putting it into words for a while.

Then I read this story, about a teenager in Illinois. 🧵/14
His life was upended when high school sports were shut down and all the activities he was involved in were shut down, too. He graduated and started college via Zoom. Atomized. He killed himself. 2/14
Obviously this is sad. But there’s a faith that the sacrifices we’ve been asked to make are necessary. That there are no good options, and that in an out-of-control pandemic this is just “what needs to be done.”

I wanted to believe it, too. That there was a reason. 3/14
Read 14 tweets

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