By Mary O’Brien, M.D.
It’s been a year now. Several hundred thousand frail, elderly people have died in hospitals and nursing homes alone, confused — and no doubt — feeling abandoned. Tens of thousands of people have lost their businesses and livelihoods. Children and teens deprived of normal schooling, sports, and other activities are suffering from anxiety, depression, insecurity, and loneliness. Poor and disadvantaged children and those with learning disabilities are falling behind rapidly. Online absenteeism is staggering, and grades are sinking. The frustration and loneliness are excruciating for millions of innocents.
Politicians and bureaucrats are not lonely, however. Their lives have not been destroyed. If they want to dine out, work, socialize, or travel they do. After all, they’re special. They are enlightened elites. We have heard the elites preach “science” to us for over a year. The question is which science?
Medicine involves many sciences — chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, statistics, genetics, physiology, pathology, epidemiology, and microbiology. And that’s only a partial list. Medicine, however, is also an art. Sadly, over the past year, too many people have forgotten that. Individual nurses, doctors, and other professionals have worked heroically to save lives and to be kind — under impossible circumstances — to patients. But bureaucrats and politicians, with rare exceptions, cannot fathom the art of caring for seriously ill or dying patients — deprived of even a loved one — to hold their hand. Once they taste control over others, they will not relinquish it willingly.
Human beings are social creatures. We need contact, communication, and — perish the thought — touch. Throughout human history exile, isolation, or solitary confinement has been considered painfully harsh punishment. Yet this is precisely what has been inflicted on young children, the frail elderly, and millions of people in-between — all in the name of “science.”
The point of medicine is to relieve pain and suffering, it is not to control behavior. Elderly people giving up hope and dying alone, and young people committing suicide were entirely predictable. Some of us warned about an epidemic of anxiety, depression, addiction, abuse, and suicide a year ago. These concerns were largely dismissed. Histrionic media types and “officials” had millions of people convinced that COVID was a veritable death sentence for everyone.
In reality, 99.7 percent of people who test positive for COVID survive. Children are not vectors for this illness. This virus attaches to human cells via angiotensin, converting enzyme receptors in the nasal mucosa and respiratory passages. Children have very low levels of these receptors. This is not difficult “science.”
Across the country we are seeing dramatic declines in case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths. In all likelihood, millions more people have antibodies to COVID than we realize. They were simply never sick enough to be tested. Millions more have been and are being vaccinated. When 80 percent or so of the population has antibodies (either from infection or vaccination), we will have herd immunity. There is no need to compromise the physical, social, psychological, and academic well-being of children and teens for one more day. There is no need to refuse grandparents a hug. We are rapidly losing any sense of perspective, humanity, or common sense. We have developed a penchant for panic. But panic is not policy. Paranoia is not policy. We must never again permit the self-serving notions of so few to dictate the misery and destruction of so many.