Masks Do "More Damage To The Children" Than COVID: Belgian Academy For Medicine
Belgische Academie voor Geneeskunde (Belgian Academy for Medicine), the official body that coordinates Belgium's various paediatric organisations, has called for all coronavirus measures to be dropped in schools for children under the age of 12.
A group of paediatricians representing the academy oppose testing, quarantining and mask wearing for this age group. According to them, "Testing children, imposing mouth masks and quarantine go against the principle of 'primum non nocere' (first, do no harm) which is included in the Hippocratic Oath that doctors took."
The paediatricians supported their stance with a number of reasons, and claim that "These drastic actions do much more damage to the children in the short and long term than going through the infection itself."
The mask has become so politicized that it prevents rational consideration of the evidence (even across political lines) and drives levels of acrimony, invidious actions, disdain, and villainy among wearers to each other who feel threatened by the individual who will not or cannot wear a mask.
Is the idea that masks may be dangerous in any way, shape, or form expressed in scientific literature? Yes, it is. For example, a large meta analysis published in the Journal Environmental Research and Public Health titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?” looked at 65 studies pertaining to prolonged mask wearing to examine whether or not there may be any health consequences. The study expressed, explained and presented evidence for their claim that “extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.” It pointed out a number of physiological and psychological concerns and emphasized the harm that could be done to children.
An argument for masking children is because they are considered super spreaders of the virus, but again, science calling this into question has been ignored, while science showing it has been given the utmost attention. While many studies suggest pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic spread may comprise less than 40% of vertical transmission, numerous large observational population studies show that children are POOR COVID-19 spreaders. This includes studies from Ireland, Iceland, Italy, France, and Australia. For a link to a more complete reference list, see Washington University Pediatric & Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium.
More data from around the globe has pointed to the fact that children in this age group, if infected, have a 99.997 percent chance of surviving infection. If infected with COVID-19, children ages 0-9 have on average a chance of 0.1% or 1/1000 of being hospitalized and, for ages 11-19 a 0.2% or 1/500 chance of being admitted to the hospital (Herrera-Esposito, 2021). In the USA, UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and South Korea, deaths from COVID-19 in children remained rare up to February 2021 (ie, up to the time the study had available data about), at 0.17 per 100 000 population.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also confirmed that while the Delta variant is infecting more children, it is not causing increased disease severity. They also found that 0.1-1.9% of their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalizations, and 0.00-0.03% of all child COVID-19 case resulted in death.
At the end of the day, there seems to be legitimate concerns from people at both ends of the spectrum. The issue here is that mainstream media and government health authorities only seem to be presenting one side of the coin to the public, while simultaneously engaging in a massive censorship campaign to remove content from the internet, via social media platforms, that calls government recommendations and mandates into question.
Hundreds of millions of pieces of content relating to COVID, have already been removed or had warning labels put on them. Science has been caught in this dragnet of censorship.
It's not to say that mask wearing, vaccines, quarantine and more are wrong, but mandating these measures is not taking all the science into account. Things are not black and white, and when this is the case, recommendations and encouragement may be more useful tools instead of coercion.
Related article of interest: 3 Science-Based Reasons Why Many Parents Won’t Vaccinate Their Children Against COVID