Last December, the region of Peel, in Ontario, Canada, issued a directive commanding that minors who are exposed to COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days. The directive applied to children as young as three, who were expected to stay in a separate bedroom, eat in a separate room apart from others, and use a separate bathroom. There was a $5,000 fine for non-compliance.
Dr. Susan Richardson, a microbiologist and infectious disease physician, said the directive was not only “cruel punishment” that could “produce significant and long-lasting emotional and psychological effects”, but also not supported by the science.
“An asymptomatic child in a classroom with one child testing positive is at very low risk for acquiring infection. Most importantly, we are losing sight of the fact that if he/she should contract COVID while quarantining at home, they and their siblings are at an extremely low risk of suffering severe disease as a consequence.”
Dr. Martha Fulford, an infectious diseases physician at Hamilton Health Science who focuses on pediatrics called the directives “shocking.”
“I don’t understand how any health-care professional has moved so far away from the fundamentals of public health and of doing no harm that they would think that basically incarcerating a child in a room for 14 days is in any way justified,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, Peel area parents were outraged. The blow back forced the Region of Peel to tweeted this morning, however, that it had made a “mistake” in the flyer and was “sorry.” They supposedly didn’t mean the child had to totally self-isolate. It was just a mistake they made on the flyer. The website states that a “caregiver may need to isolate with the child if they require support with daily living, such as bathing, feeding, and clothing. If you’re caring for a child, it’s important to follow precautions to protect yourself and others in the home.”
These directives, which apparently are still in place, cuz it was only the FLYER that had a “mistake”, fail to take into account statistical research that shows that children, teens, and young adults “do not have a high-risk for significant negative medical outcomes, including fatality” from COVID-19 infection. Never mind the fascist jackbootiness of a $5,000 fine.
Parents were underwhelmed by the “apology” and “correction”: “You mean to tell me we are to believe that if we didn’t catch you doing this crap & retweeted it constantly you wouldn’t have noticed it? Please …you just got caught. Zero credibility & we are now done with your ‘recommendations.’” [Twitter]
I hope none of them get caught doing something as outrageous as taking their kids outdoors during their 14-day quarantine. (Never mind that most everyone catches it during prolonged exposure indoors, or that the sun and exercise are great immune boosters.) Some Canadian bureau-butt-head fine a family many thousands of dollars for showing up at the border two hours after their COVID-19 tests expired … because they’d had car trouble. When they beefed, they were told the government had decided to make an example of them.