Jim Dey | Disagreement experts make political fireworks | Columns
While the coronavirus remains an overwhelming threat to the elderly and unvaccinated with other health concerns, Governor JB Pritzker launched another policy of hubbub last week by ordering state employees to get vaccinated and students returning to school to wear masks.
Public employee union leaders like Roberta Lynch of AFSCME were quick to express outrage over the membership mandate to vaccinate while Republican lawmakers complained that the governor should leave the issue of school masks to local councils.
Disagreements like this have prompted Dr Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, to describe himself as “heartbroken that we’ve made people’s health into political football.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Democratic House Speaker Chris Welch denounced the GOP position. She cited support for student mask mandates by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control.
“I don’t know why Republicans don’t trust doctors,” she said.
The GOP responded that Republicans trust doctors, but doctors say different things.
Among the authorities they cite are two prominent physicians associated with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Tufts Children’s Hospital.
Both professors write that there is “no science behind mask warrants for children,” and they vigorously dispute claims that masks on children “can do no harm.”
“Some children wear a mask well, but others have a hard time,” the teachers said.
They cited a litany of concerns ranging from complicating vision problems for “those with myopia” to skin problems, distractions from learning “and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood” caused by “Increasing the resistance of the respiratory tract during exhalation”.
“Forcing (children) to make personal, health and developmental sacrifices for the sake of adults who refuse to be vaccinated is abusive,” said Drs. Marty Makary and H. Cody Meissner.
They said three more effective options for preventing the spread of COVID-19 infections are “ventilator distancing”, “dividing students into small groups called pods” and “mandatory vaccinations for all teachers and other adults” .
Makary is chief of transplant surgery at Johns Hopkins while Meissner is chief of the Tufts division of pediatric infectious diseases.
Promulgating his last emergency public health decree since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Pritzker said his ordinance applied to all people in all buildings from kindergarten to high school, public and private.
Among those supporting Pritzker’s mask mandate is Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago. She told the Chicago Tribune that it was “absolutely the right thing to do to keep all of our children safe.”
The state health agency reported on Monday that 51% of the state’s population of over 12 million have been fully immunized, including
75 percent of those over 65.
He said Champaign County
has a full vaccination rate of
49 percent, with Vermilion
at 32.7%, McLean at
49.3 percent, Douglas 36 percent and Piatt 43.9 percent.
The elderly remain the most vulnerable to infection, especially those who
Existing conditions. to cook
The county reports that 92% of its 10,419 deaths between March 16 and August 6 involved people with co-morbidities.
At the same time, 47% of deaths from COVID-19 statewide through May 14 were linked to nursing homes.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise.
Figures from August 5 show that of the 3,176 beds in the state’s intensive care units, 2,504 (79%) are in use, of which 246 are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
The state has a total of 31,869 beds, of which 24,078 are used, or 76%. Of these, 1,200 beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Health experts have repeatedly said that the best option for controlling the virus is for everyone who can get vaccinated. They recognize that those who have been vaccinated can still contract the virus, but said they will most likely have less severe or even asymptomatic symptoms.