Public schools

Don't Let the Media Scare You With COVID Numbers From L.A. Schools

Eighteen months into the pandemic, news outlets are still selling sensationalism and burying context

|

One of the most irritating parts about being a parent of school-aged children during the past 18 months has been trying to hack through the journalistic hysteria enough to extract useful and contextual information about COVID, group settings, and kids.

Last August, that meant brushing past the "kids are not all right" headlines to get to underlying studies showing that no, minors are not carrying and transmitting the disease in numbers similar to adults, and that the policy response of preemptively closing most elementary schools was not consistent with the available research and contrary track records in summer camps and functioning schools around the world.

The result of those failures of both journalism and policy? "Devastating learning setbacks," The New York Times editorialized this week. (Pssst: Y'all should tell that to the newsroom.)

This August, shamefully if not quite surprisingly, many American news outlets are exhibiting the same preference for acontextual, anecdotal sensationalism, as bedraggled parents muster themselves for a third consecutive school year marred by the coronavirus.

You can see this on a recurring basis in the way that media companies are presenting the latest findings of an unusually large dataset—weekly universal test results from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The LAUSD, which has been one of the most closed school districts in the country during COVID (despite enjoying window-opening weather year-round), is spending a staggering amount of money—$350 million—to conduct mandatory weekly tests on all 450,000 students and 60,000 employees, regardless of vaccination status. (Teachers and staff face a mandatory vaccination deadline of Oct. 15.)

There are certainly pros and cons to this massive testing regime from the perspective of L.A. County taxpayers, parents, students, and LAUSD employees. But policy soundness aside, Operation Nose Swab gives reporters, researchers, and public officials a mountain of data from which to glean and disseminate useful information.

Instead, we get headlines like this: "1,893 L.A. students, staff tested positive for coronavirus last week, group reports," "Nearly 2,000 LA students, staff test positive for COVID-19," "LAUSD Reports 118 New Covid Cases In One Day, Most Of Them Among Students, During First Week Of School."

Given a humongous dataset from the country's second-largest school district conducting an unprecedentedly intrusive testing regime, newspapers and websites are electing to emphasize the scary-sounding numerator while burying the denominator. In a kind of inverted pyramid of sensationalism (perverted pyramid, maybe?), it's only further down in the story, if at all, where you can find stuff like percentages, and even then such less-alarming treatments of the data are often presented with darkly speculative caveats.

"That's a positivity rate of roughly 0.8%," Deadline Hollywood wrote on Aug. 18 about L.A.'s initial test results. "That was far below the countywide positivity rate of 3.5% on Monday, but it could change as kids begin to gather en masse." Could!

In a piece yesterday with the raw-number headline of "Coronavirus cases lead to missed school days for 6,500 LAUSD students during first week," the L.A. Times waited until paragraph five to inform us that "L.A. Unified officials say they know of no cases that were transmitted from one person to another while on a campus since the start of school." Wait, that sounds pretty newsworthy, right? Maybe even headline-worthy? Well, here's the rest of that sentence: "although some parents have questioned that claim."

Now in the fourth-wave stage of the pandemic, we know so very much more about how the disease is transmitted, which demographics are most (and least) vulnerable, and what both the domestic private-school system and the international public school system have experienced over the past 12 months. And yet here is the New York Times news-side headline about California: "School Is Starting. Can Children Stay Safe From Covid-19?"

You have to read further down to get news that's considerably more reassuring than the hook: "experts say that though reopening does increase the risks of transmission, California classrooms will be among the safest in the nation."

I recognize the rocks-in-glass-houses futility (and potential hypocrisy) of complaining about news headlines geared toward activating the maximum possible fight-or-flight response. But it's so much more than headlines. Journalists are constructing edifices of nonsense out of context-free raw numbers taken over an unmentioned denominator of a half million people.

Here, for example, are two consecutive sentences from a piece this week on NPR's All Things Considered:

[T]he fact that kids are transmitting the coronavirus to family members is unnerving many parents all over the U.S. and putting extra stress on many households as children head back to school.

In the two weeks leading up to classes, 3,255 students tested positive for the coronavirus in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

These two sentences—how to say this?—are as related as a fish is to a bicycle. For starters, we know nothing about whether any of the LAUSD positive cases transmitted the virus to their parents. (We also don't know how many of them had symptoms or how many were hospitalized, which are other very important pieces of context.) It also may be worth mentioning here that the outfit compiling the dashboard that most news organizations are using is not the LAUSD, but a pro-union advocacy group called Parents Supporting Teachers that formed in December 2018 to back a teacher strike ("We started out by determining that the best way to support our teachers, was to keep our kids home from school").

The original headline on that All Things Considered piece, since changed, was crafted maximally to scare the bejeebus out of NPR listeners: "Vaccinated Parents Are Catching COVID As Schoolkids Bring the Virus Home." It's here where the LAUSD data will eventually make this season's media alarmists look retrospectively even more irresponsible.

Because we have nothing else like a weekly test of a half-million students and teachers, we will soon have incontrovertible evidence within the United States (since heaven knows we don't pay attention to similar studies worldwide) to assess the claim, popularized by teachers unions and politicians, that public schools can and will become "superspreaders."

Since the school year started in California (where the delta-fueled fourth wave has been burbling), the LAUSD positive test rate has actually gone down, from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent. Should that trend continue, and should the school population continue to have a much lower positivity rate than the community overall, that should be the final nail in the coffin of preventative school shutdowns.

Sounds like a helluva news story, no?

NEXT: Afghan Refugees Coming to the U.S. Aren't Unvetted Security Threats

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone… Work for three to eight a day and start getting paid inSd the range of 17,000-19,000 dollars a month… Weekly payments Learn More details Good luck…

      See……………VISIT HERE

      1. My last pay test was $9500 operating 12 hours per week on line. my sisters buddy has been averaging 15k for months now and she works approximately 20 hours every week. i can not accept as true with how easy it become as soon as i tried it out. This is what do,…………… READ MORE

    2. I just bought a brand new BMW after having made $6375 this past one month and just over 12k last 4 week. This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few Weeks ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum 74BUCKS p/h… Read More

  1. Does anyone actually believe that this is for the children at this point? My cousin, who still lives in California, has to send his 8-year old and 6-year old to school wearing masks. They have to wear masks even while playing outside. I have seen no evidence that such a thing would help at all (the exalted CDC itself said back in March that mask mandates provide perhaps a 0.5-1.7% decrease in transmission and death- https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e3.htm).

    1. He doesn’t have to send them anywhere.

      1. Start making money this time… Spend more time with your family & relatives by doing jobs that only require you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home.FHj Start bringing up to $65,000 to $70,000 a month. I’ve started this job and earn a handsome income and now I am exchanging it with you, so you can do it too.

        You can check it out here…………………VISIT HERE

      2. I am making a good salary online from home.I’ve made 97,999 dollar’s so for last 5 months working online and I’m a full time student.EDx I’m using an online business opportunity I’m just so happy that I found out about it.
        I highly recommend to everyone to apply…

        Join this right now………………… VISIT HERE

    2. The CDC site you have there says that it’s a 0.5-1.7% decrease in daily Covid-19 case and death growth rates with mask mandates. In the discussion it stated this: “Mask mandates were associated with statistically significant decreases in county-level daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation.” The CDC and other scientists all have undisputable scientific evidence that masks will and can keep you safe along with social distancing and washing your hands.

      1. Might want to read more than just the conclusion and actually dig into the methods of those papers. They’re frequently patent nonsense dressed up as science.

      2. The infection rate in LAUSD is .8%. Eight tenths of ONE percent.

        This means that 99.2% of students AREN’T getting it.

        The ‘decrease’ is IN that fraction of a percent and is a fraction OF that percent.

        .5-1.7% of eight tenths of one percent.

        Do you not grasp that they are dressing up an infinitesimally small number to look like a giant problem?

      3. Hold on. Are you claiming that a decrease of 0.5% over 20 days, found by a government organization with every incentive to NOT make themselves look like idiots for mask mandates that don’t do anything, is “undisputable scientific evidence” that I should trust? Because that feels decidedly… unlibertarian to me.

      4. The key phrase is “mask mandates”. This doesnot isolate the impact of masks. Enacting a mask mandate likely signals risk to people that they should change their behavior. Without accounting for the various factors that affect human behviour, such studies are unscientific bunk and it continuously amazes me they are so widely discussed.

      5. Also , any potential benefits must be weighed against the real costs. Makes are bad for children, they can’t see mouths, they inhale micro plastics into their lungs, the have elevated CO2 levels, they get the masks dirty and can infect them selves with all sorts of things, they have psychological problems including increased depression and suicide, and yes they might even get Covid from the masks.

        So shut the fuck up about your science if you’re going to be the most unscientific, brainlesbecile you fucking stupid asshole.

    3. I just drove by 3 schools, tons of kids playing at recess outside – all wearing masks. This is in LA county. It’s out of control at this point.

  2. NPR, sheesh forget it you won’t find the truth there. Anyway people are paranoid delusionals about covid so best just to get the kids out of public school now.

    Also clever how the WH tried to cut Biden’s audio feed before his lame and stupid joke, but it got reported anyway. His defining moment is never taking questions and turning his back on America and its citizens.

    What a fucking loser. He hates you.

  3. Why are we testing asymptomatic people? I’m not sure these tests have even been approved for asymptomatic testing. Seems to me all they do is generate false positives. Finally, IF all these kids are indeed sick, great! Just that much closer to herd immunity.

    1. There’s been extensive discussion on this– that it is apparently well known in the epidemiological world that if you just randomly test asymptomatic people for “stuff” that you find “stuff”. There was a study done some years ago where they were randomly testing volunteers for various virus signatures (which is what the PCR test does) and it found they were positive for many different things.

      Some people tried to suggest that it meant the tests weren’t working. However, it does NOT mean that the PCR is a “false positive”. It actually found existence of the viruses, but what it did mean is that the test alone, without other considerations is almost meaningless.

      1. No, it means OMG! A case!

        1. You see?! I fucking told you we have to take this seriously you Trumper virus denying asshats! Neverind our beloved CDC data showing kids are safe. Our. Kids. Could. DIE! Ahhhhh

    2. What? Have you been listening? It doesn’t sound like it.

  4. It’s easy to ignore and label people as weirdos when it doesn’t affect you directly but sometimes you (Matt and others) need to look at the root issue instead of dismissing folks when they talked about these problems a year ago.

    1. Look, we had to get Trump out of office. Now that he’s gone, we can start to begin to discuss a move towards going down the road of thinking about liberty.

      1. We did need to get Trump out of office. He was working hard on destroying American civil society.

        1. Civil society has been in a downward spiral since Trump was a mere landlord.

        2. You supported blm and antifa last summer. You aren’t civil.

        3. By the way. Why do you always push things like the social credit score? It is just a way to impose your beliefs on others.

  5. So we can count on social media companies will be suspending the accounts of these irresponsible news organizations spreading this misinformation and facts out of context, right?

    1. Circular firing squad works for me.

      1. I would pay to watch that.

  6. Man gets 6 years in prison in Michigan governor kidnap plot

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man upset over state-ordered coronavirus restrictions was sentenced to just over six years in prison Wednesday for planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a significant break that reflected his quick decision to cooperate and help agents build cases against others.

    Ty Garbin admitted his role in the alleged scheme weeks after his arrest last fall. He is among six men charged in federal court but the only one to plead guilty so far. It was a key victory for prosecutors as they try to prove an astonishing plot against the rest.

    Garbin apologized to Whitmer, who was not in court, and her family.

    “I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of stress and fear her family felt because of my actions. And for that I am truly sorry,” the 25-year-old aviation mechanic told the judge.

    https://www.wsaw.com/2021/08/25/1st-sentence-be-handed-down-michigan-governor-kidnapping-plot/

      1. Yes, Wingnut.com said Republicans were putting together an Alex Jones type story about how “crisis actors” were hired to portray FBI agents in order to present an alternate set of facts.

        1. Why do you quote non-existent sources?

          1. If he links to the sites he actually visits, his a count will get banned again.

    1. Garbin “didn’t hold back,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said. “He would come out and say, ‘We planned to do this and I was knowingly a part of it.’ He sat for hours answering all of our questions.”

      Indeed, defense attorney Gary Springstead told the judge that Garbin “is going to be a star witness” against the others.

      “Ty Garbin testified in front of the grand jury in support of the indictment that got him indicted. He is truly, generally and sincerely sorry,” said Mark Satawa, another defense lawyer.

      Heeheehee.

  7. Two lab mice in a cage:

    Mouse 1: Hey, you get the jab yet?

    Mouse 2: No, I’m still waiting for the Human test results.

  8. Meanwhile the ACLU is suing South Carolina because it bans its local schools from mandating masks. They say this is a violation of the law because it “prevents disabled children from accessing those schools”.

    This is what happens when you don’t address the moral obligations of our nation. Simply put, it is absurd to suggest that children have a responsibility to wear masks in order to protect disabled kids from a natural virus. If forcing kids to wear masks (or stick needles in their arms) is the only way a school can accommodate disabled students, then it is not a reasonable accommodation. The school cannot abrogate its protection responsibilities to Kindergartners. It doesn’t have that authority.

    1. If the schools are made to keep their responsibility to Americans with Disabilities Act then they won’t be making kindergarteners responsible it will be everyone’s responsibility to keep everyone safe.

  9. The Media scares me every day, but not the way you think.

  10. Oooh science is so scary.

    In 18 months 630,000 US citizens have died from covid19.

    1100 more are dying every day.

    1. Life is scary! Death is everywhere!

      Heart disease: 659,041
      Cancer: 599,601
      Accidents (unintentional injuries): 173,040
      Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 156,979
      Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,005
      Alzheimer’s disease: 121,499
      Diabetes: 87,647
      Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 51,565
      Influenza and pneumonia: 49,783
      Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,511

      1. Imagine how much easier it all would be if only the people who don’t care, like you, we’re the only ones to die.

        I know I’d save some money on donations.

        1. The fatties that die from heart disease don’t care.

          1. Also yhe fatties that die from covid. 78% of deaths were obese.

        2. You don’t care about the Holocaust victims, why do you pretend to care about this?

          1. The difference is that there is physical evidence of COVID victims.

            Where were you to prove me wrong when I refuted the bullshit holocaust conspiracy over and over again? Crickets.

            1. You dismissing video, pictures, bones, camps, diaries, eyewitnesses etc isnt proof

              1. Video, pictures of what? Piles of bodies during war? People in German uniforms? Dime a dozen and easily staged. No photos, none of the equipment that supposedly killed millions. There exists no physical evidence at all.

                Prison camps aren’t evidence of a holocaust.

                I’ve refuted eyewitness testimony as impossible right here. Every so called witness has either been paid or coerced making their bullshit inadmissible.

                Diaries from paid witnesses are similarly discredited.

                There is ZERO physical evidence of a holocaust.
                Whose bones. There has been no objective forensic analysis at any supposed site. That probably has something to do with the fact that any activity that demonstrates evidence to refute the holocaust is a crime.

                1. What’s your thoughts on the shape of the earth?

              2. Refute this.

                Don’t conflate being in a WW2 prison camp with being in “a holocaust”.

                The crucial event of the story is the cyanide gassing of millions of Jews. That never happened.

                Fuckwitness Jews wrote books illustrated with pictures of themselves shirtless dragging gassed bodies from the chambers to cremation ovens. This brings tears and shekels to every Jew.

                But cyanide is absorbed through the skin and NOBODY could have survived a single day of such activity much less collecting reparations into their old age reminiscing about it over a game of checkers.

                And so it goes with every bullshit story. The facts prove otherwise.

                Have you ever heard of the Bletchley park decrypts of the famous German enigma machines?

                It was credited for turning the tide of the war as allies knew what military actions the Germans were planning.

                Only released in the 1980s those translated messages included prison camp information, deaths, transfers and requests for medicines to treat illnesses. The numbers of dead don’t support a holocaust narrative which there was also No mention of.

                Are you willingly performing the feeble mental gymnastics required to believe, as the story goes, that Germans were communicating in code about prison camps while talking plainly about their military actions with their enigma machines?

                Let’s not forget another old timey favourite.

                The story of Babi Yar is a popular lesson in Jewish schools described as the single largest event of the holocaust.

                The lesson is that between 30,000 and 100,000 Jews were taken to a ravine in Ukraine where they were killed.

                The story is told by one Jewish
                survivor, Dina Pronicheva, an actress who testified that she was forced to strip naked and marched to the edge of the ravine. When the firing squad shot, she jumped into the ravine and played dead. After being covered by thousands of bodies and tons of earth she dug herself out, unscathed, when the coast was clear and escaped to tell the story.

                They were stripped naked to leave no evidence.

                She is apparently the only person in history to successfully perform a matrix bullet dodge at a firing squad.

                The soldier aiming point blank at her never noticed her escape. Never walked a few steps to the edge of the ravine to finish her off.

                Naked she had no tools to dig herself out from under 30,000 bodies and tons of dirt.

                Only after the deed was done, the nazis realized that so many bullet ridden bodies were evidence oops. So they brought more Jews and millions of cubic feet of firewood to dig them up, cremate them and scatter their ashes in surrounding fields.

                There has been no forensic investigation at the site. None of the bullets allegedly burned with the bodies have been recovered. Not one shred of physical evidence of this has ever been found.

                There are aerial photographs of the area at the time but they don’t show any evidence of the narrative, no people, no equipment, no firewood, no moved earth, no tracks of any kind.

                Simply stating these facts is a crime in Ukraine where the Babi Yar narrative is taught in school

                The numbers of dead from German enigma decrypts aligns with Red Cross numbers.

                The Red Cross regularly visited all prison camps.

                It was their job to report the cause of all deaths. They recorded a grand total of 271,000 among all camps for the entire war. It is a matter of record.

                http://www.renegadetribune.com/international-red-cross-report-confirms-holocaust-six-million-jews-hoax/

                You believe that they were so incompetent that they were completely unaware of 95% of them or 5,629,000 deaths.

                Zyklon B is an off the shelf insecticide used among other places in Prison camps to delouse clothing and bedding to save prisoners lives by preventing typhus. The system used heating to release yes cyanide gas, fans to circulate the gas and more to exhaust the chambers to make the de loused articles safe to handle. Pictures of this equipment and the small de loosing buildings still exist in Aushwitz. But no evidence of any gas delivery system has ever been found in the shower houses where the bullshit holocaust allegedly occurred.

                According to Martin Gilbert in his book, Holocaust Journey, the gas chambers at Treblinka utilized carbon monoxide from diesel engines. Many writers say that these diesel engines were obtained from captured Russian submarines, but according to the Nizkor Project, they were large 500 BHP engines from captured Soviet T-34 tanks. At the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi war criminals, the American government charged that the Jews were murdered at Treblinka in “steam chambers,” not gas chambers.

                Gasoline engine exhaust contains between 7 percent and 12 percent carbon monoxide

                On the other hand, a properly tuned diesel engine produces exhaust that contains about 1 percent carbon monoxide. This is the case because the fuel is burned much more efficiently, especially when the engine is idling. That is why truck drivers can leave their trucks on all night without fear and why diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are favored in mining or enclosed situations.

                Carbon monoxide concentrations in diesel exhaust typically range from approximately 10 to 500 ppm

                PPM CO Time Symptoms
                35 8 hours Maximum exposure allowed by OSHA in the workplace over an eight hour period.
                200 2-3 hours Mild headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness.
                400 1-2 hours Serious headache-other symptoms intensify. Life threatening after 3 hours.
                800 45 minutes Dizziness, nausea and convulsions. Unconscious within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours.
                1600 20 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
                3200 5-10 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
                6400 1-2 minutes Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 25-30 minutes.
                12,800 1-3 minutes Death

                Even if the Diesel engines were running at their maximum of 500 ppm, death would take several hours.

                If zee Germans had used gas engines, death would have been in 3 minutes or so.

                But in the revised bullshit holocaust narrative for treblinka zee Germans chose diesel.

                Nuremberg charged that they were “steam chambers”.

                Which stupid lie is more believable to a fuckwit ?

                You have to perform some feeble mental gymnastics to buy that.

                The only thing the bullshit holocaust narrative has in common with WW2 is that they were both the creation of Jews.

                These Jewish leaders are admitting it.. Are they lying?

                “We Jews are going to bring a war on Germany”.
                David A Brown, national chairman, united Jewish campaign, 1934.

                “The Israeli people around the world declare economic and financial war against Germany …holy war against Hitlers people”

                Chaim Weismann, the Zionist leader, 8 September 1939, Jewish chronicle.

                The Toronto evening telegram of 26 February 1940 quoted rabbi Maurice l. Perlzweig of the world Jewish Congress as telling a Canadian audience that” The world Jewish Congress has been at war with Germany for seven years.

                Etc etc etc

              3. Jews had been publicly claiming a holocaust of 6 million Jews in various nations hundreds of times since before WW1. Only for sympathy to raise money and coerce those nations.

                http://www.renegadetribune.com/the-six-million-myth/

              4. The story of gassing Jews began as British propaganda to turn popular opinion against Germany. It was inspired to draw attention away from Jewish Bolshevik war crimes in Russt because that would work against allied propaganda. It also served global Jewish interests to create undeserved sympathy for Jews who had publicly organized boycotts of Germany driving Germany to war.

                There is a documented letter from the head of British propaganda to the head of the war office recommending that they cease the gassing Jew holocaust propaganda because there was no evidence for it and if found out would work against their propaganda efforts.

                http://christiansfortruth.com/1944-information-ministry-letter-proves-fake-holocaust-propaganda-promoted-to-cover-up-real-bolshevik-war-crimes

        3. You only care when it affects you. You’re a liar.

          1. I speak truthfully and I refute what I deny with irrefutable evidence of logic and science.

            Prove your bullshit claims about me. Cite where I have lied.

            Crickets. You won’t because you can’t refute what you deny. You are a bigot.

    2. Frankly with all this irrefutable evidence and more refuting the holocaust conspiracy, and not a single shred of physical evidence supporting it, I don’t know how you people can be so stupid to still believe your cherished bogeyman narrative.

      1. There you have it. The way it always goes.

        A feeble attack from the peanut gallery amounting to nothing more than denial without even the attempt to refute.

        The back under the rocks from whence they came and crickets.

  11. The result of those failures of both journalism and policy? “Devastating learning setbacks,” The New York Times editorialized this week.

    Meanwhile, Cuomo was shoving COVID patients in nursing homes and creating superspreader events directly in the most vulnerable population.

    They maximized death while maximizing education setbacks, all in the name of keeping us safe. If that’s what safety looks like, then I want to live dangerously.

  12. Okay yes, the NPR headlines were overwrought.

    But looking at this LA Times headline:

    “1,893 L.A. students, staff tested positive for coronavirus last week, group reports”

    How is this wrong?

      1. So what is Welch’s issue? That the authors didn’t put his preferred spin on the story into the headline itself? And in the very next article, he will condemn the media for editorializing in news articles?

        1. “ One of the most irritating parts about being a parent of school-aged children during the past 18 months has been trying to hack through the journalistic hysteria enough to extract useful and contextual information about COVID, group settings, and kids.”

    1. Fat jeff cherry picks something, expects everyone else to justify it.

      You voted for Biden…just admit it.

      1. He is fat. He wants you to change your life to mitigate his risk while he does nothing to mitigate his own risks from obesity.

  13. These headlines shape public policy. One wonders how different this particular pandemic would have gone if journalism was wholly owned by a different political party than it is now (and has been for quit some time).

    1. You got the flu, suck it up?

    2. There are plenty of conservative media and news sources: Fox News, AM radio, websites and magazines. No conservative is being deprived of news sources with a conservative outlook.

  14. Hear! Hear!

    Finally, we’re getting down to REASON.

    And, now that our coping mechanisms have numbed US into “ignoring that pile of dead bodies in the corner” of our fav restaurant, we can NOW revisit the Sweden model & Hannity’s “Your parents would HAPPILY go into that senicide good night. For the economy.”

    Although, hmm. Right after noting sensational headlines devoid of context, you gave US that 0.08% devoid of context, um, by omission.

    No, NOT the, “‘That was far below the countywide positivity rate of 3.5% on Monday, but it could change as kids begin to gather en masse.’ Could!”

    The clear NATIONAL overwhelming evidence that DELTA is a story of the vacc’d and unvacc’d. (Nice that you fit that D-word in there once, at the end, as an aside. After citing much pre-D-word supporting data.) As WE’re urged to get vacc’d, WHY do we think our kids mingling in schools (PE, lunchtime – maskless?) do NOT need to be? (Me thinks your confirmation bias? Projection? Is showing.)

    But, by all means: Let’s FURTHER make sure, by further experimentation. And TEST! (Via our guinea kids.)

    And let’s NOW get down to brass tacks, and be… reasonable:

    Exactly WHAT QUANTITY of dead, unvacc’d infected, and long-haul kids (spreading & incubating immune escaping variants?) ARE ACCEPTABLE collateral damage, per 100,000?

    And, exactly HOW old are yours? And do they go to a public? Or a private school – mandating vaccs & masks?

    “Over 180,000 U.S. children infected with COVID in the past week: There were over 180,000 new pediatric COVID cases in the week ending Aug. 19, reaching levels of the previous winter surge of 2020-21, according to data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children accounted for 22.4% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases nationwide for the same period. Cases in children have increased exponentially with over a four-fold increase in the past month, rising from about 38,000 cases the week ending July 22 to 180,175 the past week. Nearly 4.6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, with children accounting for 1.6% to 3.6% of hospitalizations in reporting states.”

    https://downloads.aap.org/AAP/PDF/AAP%20and%20CHA%20-%20Children%20and%20COVID-19%20State%20Data%20Report%208.19%20FINAL.pdf

    1. Children accounted for 22.4% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases nationwide for the same period.

      Egads, why that’s… almost exactly their share of the total population! Inconceivable!

      Nearly 4.6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, with children accounting for 1.6% to 3.6% of hospitalizations in reporting states.”

      So, children have a significantly lower risk of being hospitalized for COVID. Thanks for clearing that up. Not discussed: their “hospitalizations” are 2-3x as likely to be asymptomatic and/or incidental. This has narrowed during delta but not for the reason someone like you would expect: the rate of incidental findings in adults has increased with this variant.

      A case is not a case is not a case. It’s a bad metric.

  15. LAUSD has one employee for every 7.5 students?

    Featherbedding, anyone?

    1. I’m surprised the number is that low.

  16. How to write “news”:

    1. Decide on your preferred narrative.
    2. Curate, i.e. spin, whatever information best supports the narrative.

  17. The original headline on that “All Things Considered” piece, since changed, was crafted maximally to scare the bejeebus out of NPR listeners: “Vaccinated Parents Are Catching COVID As MASKED Schoolkids Bring the Virus Home.”

    Wouldn’t THAT headline be scarier?

  18. Pros from spending $350 mil on weekly testing for unaffected children and vaccinated adults? Pray tell. The only pro I see is pushing more parents out of the public school system.

  19. This is anecdotal. I’m retired, 65. Uber/lyft a few hrs a day in a college town with a major hospital. Uber/lyft have mask mandates for drivers and riders. I give every rider the choice to mask or not. The students, univ. employee’s, hospital workers almost all remove the mask. It’s the less educated,blue collar types that don’t. When asked most say they don’t think masks do anything. They wear it out of Fear of social pressure,job loss, etc..

Please to post comments