Shutting down schools and reducing social interaction and activity for young people is driving higher rates of childhood obesity, and obesity is linked to more negative covid outcomes.
It has long been known that obesity is a risk factor for more negative covid outcomes.
And now, with Omicron leading more and more people to realize that covid won’t just ‘end’ and will instead be something our society has to live with, the focus should be on ensuring people are healthier and more resilient.
After all, if we are all likely to get covid, it makes sense to be as healthy as possible when that happens.
This means we should be emphasizing physical activity, and recognizing that having people stay cooped up in their homes all the time isn’t generally good for physical or mental health.
But instead, governments are doing the opposite.
They continue the cycle of repeated restrictions and lockdowns which – aside from being clear violations of our rights and freedoms – are counterproductive when it comes to health.
This is most dramatically seen when we look at the impact of obesity on children.
Children are of course at much lower risk from covid, as has been the case from the beginning.
Indeed, it has been quite odd to see how governments flipped from acknowledging that fact, to then using fear of children getting sick as their latest narrative just when things seemed to be about to return to normal.
While most of us likely doubt the sincerity of the politicians who claimed it was all ‘for the children,’ even if they were being honest the fact is that their policies are achieving the opposite.
With children being away from school, and with youth sports often shut down, physical activity among young people has declined.
As a result, childhood obesity is rising, and this could put children at higher risk:
“We do have pretty good evidence that COVID-19 virus itself can indeed infect fat cells. So individuals that have more adipose, or more fat tissue, are more likely to have a higher load of the virus in their body.”
What does this mean and how does it affect the body of a child? Pediatrician Dr. Anthony Hudson describes:
“There is a phenomenon associated with childhood obesity and the rates at which the lungs in the larger airways grow that essentially leads to air trapping in the lungs and again worsening prognosis of COVID-19 infection.”
Hudson says lockdowns, and missing school are driving the obesity epidemic, which is putting kids at an even higher threat for becoming infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Happel says with a higher COVID-19 viral load, more serious complications from the virus can appear:
“One of the problems when you get sick with COVID-19 is that you get a tremendous inflammatory response on the body. That may be more deleterious to the body than the infection itself. And so, to sum it up, people who are obese are much more likely to experience severe inflammation, organ failure or blood clots.”
“Both Drs. Happel and Hudson say COVID infections among children are accelerating. They say lockdowns and school closures have driven up the obesity rates among kids making for a perfect storm of COVID susceptibility.
“COVID-19, driving us indoors, limiting access to sports and recreation as well as lending itself to unhealthy eating. And then unfortunately with this respiratory illness, and like many other respiratory illnesses being obese tends to make respiratory illnesses worse or have increased morbidity.””
What this shows is that the idea of repeated lockdowns and school closures isn’t – and obviously never was – about ‘the children’ or ‘protecting the vulnerable,’ it was about fear and control.
The dangerous obsession with ‘safety’
If humans were meant to be fearful all the time, fear would be our only emotion.
But of course, it is just one of many emotions.
Thus, a fear-based society that prioritizes ‘safety’ above all else is unsustainable, and ironically ends up being more dangerous.
If we really wanted to protect the health of young people, then we would be opening up all the youth sports leagues, opening schools, and encouraging young people to interact with their friends.
And, the same goes true for the rest of the population.
Canadians cannot continue to have our rights and freedoms held hostage by claims the healthcare system will be overwhelmed, particularly when those claims were being made year after year after year before covid hit.
The failure of government intervention
Government intervention usually makes things worse, in large part because decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of a few people who are far away from the impact of their decisions, or who have an agenda that is about controlling and manipulating people.
Look at the economy.
Governments imposed lockdowns and restrictions, severely damaging the economy, and then resorted to massive amounts of money printing to ‘fix’ the problem they caused, which has of course generated a new inflation problem.
Look at health.
Governments imposed lockdowns and restrictions, including shutting down gyms and most ‘non-professional’ sports leagues, causing obesity rates to increase and putting more people at risk of negative covid outcomes.
In those two massive domains of the economy and health, government intervention made things worse, as did the school closures we talked about earlier.
Incentives and freedom
Many governments at the provincial level, and of course the Liberals at the federal level, have embraced coercion, threats, and punishment.
They become more and more authoritarian, even as it becomes more and more clear that governments can’t stop the spread of the virus.
While no government intervention would be preferable, if there has to be any it should be limited to incentives for people to become healthier, such as tax credits or rebates for the purchase of exercise equipment. Also, sound money and fiscal responsibility would help, since inflation drives up food prices and tends to make health food even more expensive compared to junk food, which again makes things worse.
Aside from that, government should open everything up, step back, do nothing, and let free Canadians make our own decisions without the interference of the state.