Harvard’s first chaplain, the Reverend Michael Wigglesworth, was gay . . . as recounted in the 1998 Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary Out of the Past by Harvard’s then chaplain, the revered late Peter Gomes. (Also gay.  And black.  And Republican.)  Harvard’s newest chaplain, Greg Epstein, is an atheist:

. . . To Mr. Epstein’s fellow campus chaplains, at least, the notion of being led by an atheist is not as counterintuitive as it might sound; his election was unanimous. . . .

Meanwhile, until your child gets in to Harvard, should she wear a mask?

Two public health experts, writing in the New York Times:

. . . Children can get Covid, but their death and hospitalization rates are much lower than for adults. The inflammatory syndrome MIS-C is rare. Long Covid has gained wide attention, but recent studies have shown that rates are low among children and not dissimilar to effects caused by other viral illnesses.

We’re not being cavalier by raising these points. Consider that in Britain the government doesn’t require masks for children in schools, and it’s not clear it will advise kids to get vaccinated, either. Britain has experts as we do, and they are looking at the same scientific data we are, they most assuredly care about children’s health the same way we do, and, yet, they have come to a different policy decision. Schools were prioritized over other activities and the risks of transmission without masks were considered acceptable. . . .

David Leonhardt examines the same question.

. . . [The] evidence suggests that serious versions of Covid will continue to be extremely rare in children.  As you can see here, some common activities — and several other diseases — have caused significantly more childhood deaths than Covid has:

Death is not the only outcome that parents fear, of course. Yet “long Covid” and hospitalization have also been very rare in children. It’s just that society has been so focused on Covid that we have paid intense attention to the risks associated with it — even when they are smaller than other risks that we unthinkingly accept.

To take one example, we don’t use the phrase “long flu,” but it’s a real problem, including for children: One academic study has found that up to 10 percent of people who contract influenza later develop cardiac inflammation. . . .

Leonhardt’s final bullet points:

  • Polls suggest that many Democratic voters have an inflated sense of Covid’s risks to children. If you’re liberal, you may want to ask yourself if you fall into this category. (If you’re conservative, you may want to encourage more of your friends to get vaccinated.)

  • The biggest risk to your child’s health today almost certainly is not Covid. It’s more likely to be an activity that you have long decided is acceptable — like swimming, riding a bicycle or traveling in a car.




Comments are closed.