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Losing My Son

Er, I mean Sacramento Supervisor Sue Frost

Supervisor Frost jumped the shark with her latest newsletter. In it she pleads with health experts and governments to eliminate mask requirements from schools. No, she's not an epidemiologist, nor does she play one on TV...and no, she does not cite any sources for her sentiments.

Nevertheless, our Supervisor helpfully reminds us that teachers were among the first to receive vaccines, and children...well, their lives don't matter that much, do they? 

She completely dismisses the notion that kids could infect grandma and grandpa even if asymptomatic. And my child isn't a "majority," but what the heck! Let your freak flag fly!

She dismisses the possibility that the children will get sick, saying "science tells us that the vast majority of children who get COVID have mild symptoms, or no symptoms"--true but deceptive (technical term: bullshit). She completely dismisses the notion that kids could infect grandma and grandpa even if asymptomatic. And my child isn't a "majority," but what the heck! Let your freak flag fly!

As for her concerns that masks will cause something worse than COVID, they're also overblown. One example: Two studies on children used N95 masks, which are more sophisticated than the masks most schoolchildren will use, but even these found no significant effect on breathing. 

Meanwhile, here's a statement from the CDC about pediatric COVID vulnerability: "The true incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is not known due to lack of widespread testing and the prioritization of testing for adults and those with severe illness. Hospitalization rates in children are significantly lower than hospitalization rates in adults with COVID-19, suggesting that children may have less severe illness from COVID-19 compared to adults." [emphasis added] 

And fom Medical News Today: "Researchers investigated what proportion of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections are asymptomatic....They found that across different contexts, 40.5% of people who contract the virus have no symptoms. ...The researchers say that the high percentage of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases highlights a potential transmission risk within communities."[emphasis added]

If you are interested in how vulnerable children actually are, rather than a dismissive hand wave--hey, it's all fake news, isn't it?--here's from the Mayo Clinic: "COVID-19 in children has been on the rise in the U.S., with children recently making up 24% of just over 100,000 weekly reported cases of COVID-19 [Note: children are 22% of the population]. While all children are capable of getting the virus that causes COVID-19, they don't become sick as often as adults. Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms." ...Which would seem to agree with at least some of Ms. Frost's assertions. Reading further in that link, though, reminds us that "some" is not the same as "all": 

"...some children become severely ill with COVID-19. They might need to be hospitalized, treated in the intensive care unit or placed on a ventilator to help them breathe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"In addition, children with other health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and asthma, might be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19. Children who have congenital heart disease, genetic conditions or conditions affecting the nervous system or metabolism also might be at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19.

"Research also suggests disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black children than in non-Hispanic white children.

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"Some children continue to experience symptoms of COVID-19 after their initial recovery. Rarely, some children might also develop a serious condition that appears to be linked to COVID-19."

And what are the long-term effects of even asymptomatic infection? We don't know, and neither does our part-time epidemiologist, Ms. Frost. And we all know Black and Hispanic children don't really matter right? And if they infect and kill Grandma, or their Head Start Teacher no biggie!

Meanwhile, here is a graph of those most recent COVID infections:

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The results are from Johns Hopkins University (here). Notice the spike at the right (most recent) end of the graph--a time frame that coincides with the publication of Ms. Frost's newsletter.

So...Ms. Frost has decided to double down on shark-jumping, which aligns with Ms. Frost's other public policy positions. 

One example concerns criminal justice in the county. The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its prisoners--five times the world average, seven times more, per capita, than the demographically identical Canadians. So is Canadian crime worse than U.S. crime? No; about the same. Incarceration doesn't prevent crime--and all the "surges" cited in an attempt to decarcerate, are, once again, bullshit. For example “Robbery, burglary and theft are down in Los Angeles compared to 2019, according to the latest crime data from the police department,” even though the LAPD publicly blamed a recent increase in crime on some of California's de-criminalizing initiatives.

Crime locally is down over the last decade or so, and so are arrests and convictions (source: Decarcerate Sacramento). So the County Jail population would decline to reflect that, right? Nope. The beatings will continue until morale improves (I suggest this is Ms. Frost's motto.)

So the Jail is full, and County even lost a lawsuit for its mistreatment of the County Jail's prisoners--50% - 70% of whom are not convicted of anything except being unable to afford bail. The committee formed to address the lawsuit recommended many changes, but none of them included expanding the Jail.

Within the context of our incarceration binge, what does Supervisor Frost want to do? Answer: expand the Jail. I cannot make this up.

Another example: Alone among the supervisors, Ms. Frost has refused to wear a mask when in a meeting. She also votes in favor of parasitic land speculators, expanding Elk Grove despite large areas of unbuilt infill, and she votes against an emergency eviction moratorium when about 40 evicted tenants appealed to the board of Supervisors. She said it "broke her heart" to evict the tenants. I say one has to have a heart before it can break.

defunding the police is a start

In any case, politics in the U.S. has always been messy, perhaps like the interior of our Supervisor's mind. So it's not a tremendous surprise that she is pleading for fewer anti-COVID measures as the pandemic peaks. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if she promoted driving on the left side of the road..which leads me to wonder why DMV issues her a driver's license, much less why she got elected as a County Supervisor.

Mark Dempsey
It's Simpler Than It Looks