The Terrifying End Result Of Vaccine Hesitancy And Natural Infection: A Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 Variant.

Americans who remain hesitant about masking, social distancing and safe vaccination, or who believe “natural immunity” is the best way to herd immunity, are taking for granted the gift it is that SARS-CoV-2 is sparing our children — for now.

Even large scale disasters have a silver lining or two.

And the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of a disaster for the United States and the world— both in terms of the lives lost and in terms of the ignorance it has revealed, especially in America.

This ignorance isn’t just on the part of folks who do not believe in the value of a higher education, science or civil conduct — some highly decorated professionals and regulators have revealed their scientific and ethical ignorance in confronting this existential challenge of our time.

Irrespective of what camp you, the reader, might fall into in your reaction to the pandemic, one thing is very clear: All of us are blessed, because the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost entirely sparing our children.

BUT, it is shocking to know that we, as a society, are taking this fact for granted — because it isn’t a guaranteed future blessing and we should not be treating it as though it is.

Only about a century ago, the Influenza pandemic of 1918 did affect and killed many children at high rates.

Imagine if SARS-CoV-2, like the Influenza virus of 1918, was killing our kids. I think we would all be reacting very differently.

We’d all drop the political bullshit and conceit, about our individual rights and our collective obligations, and focus squarely on maximally protecting the precious young — in a united way.

It isn’t the hand of God, or the arc of justice in the universe, that has spared our children from this catastrophic viral pandemic. It’s just DUMB LUCK.

And DUMB LUCK can change, just as easily as it falls into your lap!

Let me explain.

The dominant strains of SARS-CoV-2, currently circulating in the world, are sparing kids, not magically — but because the virus’ genetic code is somehow not stimulating the immune systems of kids to go haywire like it does in adults.

But the genetic codes of viruses can and do change relatively easily through mutations.

Just yesterday, The New York Times published an article describing a new “New York variant” of SARS-CoV-2.

To be clear the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence is unstable — because it is a pandemic virus that is actively replicating in millions of people worldwide as we speak.

So, for anyone reading this article, who believes that SARS-CoV-2 cannot mutate to a new variant form that would affect children more severely than it does at the moment: you are simply operating in an uninformed or delusional headspace.

Let me be clear, SARS-CoV-2 can mutate into a variant that could harm our children. It is nearly a matter of mathematical certainty that it eventually will, if it continues to infect more and more people like it is around the world.

Why do I say this?

I say it because new mutants are generated during viral replication in infected persons. So the more people get infected, the higher the likelihood that the virus will acquire the mutations it needs to more severely infect and affect our children.

The fact that it hasn’t yet, is just….DUMB LUCK!

And it’s a blessing many of us are ignoring, as a nation.

But DUMB LUCK can change very quickly, if we do not understand what a huge advantage we still have because of it.

I’ll repeat, mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus happen in every single person who is infected. So, the more people get infected, the closer the virus gets to a variant that will harm our children.

It’s simple math!

So when I hear people arguing against masking and distancing, or when I hear folks disputing that the powerful vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are “gene therapy” tricks made to mind control or harm us, all I can say is: your eyes do not see what your minds do not know, YET!

I do fear that by the time the “freedom loving” skeptics of our rational public health policies in America get tuned in, it’ll already be too late.

My statements are not alarmist, they are based in a clear understanding of how viruses evolve and change — AND, why some persons are susceptible to severe illness and others not.

Don’t take me wrong, I’m plenty critical of many of our mindless and money-driven public health policies too. Anyone who’s read my writings and occasional analyses of this pandemic will know this very clearly. Including, most prominently, my critical warnings about the way we are indiscriminately vaccinating persons with recent COVID-19 infections in America, and across the world. As an immunologist and physician, I know this to be serious error in public health policy and clinical practice.

But let’s not use legitimate safety concerns to take our eyes off the biggest likely problem confronting us: The possibility that this virus could mutate to affect our children more severely.

When it comes to the public health policies that aim to reduce the chances that this virus would mutate, including efficient vaccination of the population, I don’t think we can afford to get it wrong.

Every person who is naturally infected, literally, is a “mutation factory” — with enough people infected, eventually a SASR-CoV-2 variant will emerge that will both bypass our current vaccines’ protection AND harm our most precious assets, as a society: the children!

So, please, lets do all we can to minimize the chances of this catastrophe becoming even greater: Mask, distance, minimize contact in large social gatherings, and get vaccinated ASAP, but only safely and if you have not been previously infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Do this, for your children, for my children, for your grandchildren — and for the future of our nation.

Let’s be clear, the COVID-19 pandemic disaster has given us a silver lining that the Flu pandemic of 1918 did not have: our children are being spared.

But let’s not assume that to be a guaranteed and fixed feature of this pandemic. Act now, as though you are protecting the children from a virus that might kill them: Because at the haphazard rate we are going now in America, and the way we as a nation are misbehaving, it is not unlikely that a variant will emerge, capable of taking our children.

Imagine that, when you act, when you do not act, when you dissent or when you stay silent.

Mask, Distance, Get Vaccinated as quickly as possible, and as safely as possible.

Do it for our children — because if our children harmed or killed, the American freedoms we so cherish, won’t mean much anymore.

#Mask #SocialDistance #ScreenB4Vaccine #SkipTheInfected

In friendship,

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD.

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD is a physician-scientist. He is an advocate for ethics, patient safety and women’s health. He and his 6 children live in Pennsylvania.