- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Just in time for the new school year, virtual as it may be, comes a new warning of a new fright for parents to deal with, and more likely than not, wait for it, wait for it, for government to cite as justification to keep schools closed, and maybe even stores and gyms and churches — and it’s one that goes like this: Acute flaccid myelitis.

And where the coronavirus was weak, AFM is strong. That is to say: AFM hits primarily at the kids.

And in a most frightening, polio-like paralysis way.

“As we head into these critical next months, CDC is taking necessary steps to help clinicians better recognize signs and symptoms of AFM in children,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield.

Well and good.

Protect the children; that’s always a well and good move.

But let’s not let COVID-19 panic, which is still being hyped in the media and used by the left for political gain, roll right over into AFM panic.

AFM is rare. Exceedingly rare. The CDC says it comes along every couple years in the months between August and November, and it last peaked — peaked! — with 238 reported cases in 2018.

That’s like 0.0003 of the childhood population (estimated in 2016 at 74 million) of the United States.

A blip.

And on top of that, the CDC doesn’t even know how many kids actually die from AFM.

Many of the symptoms are pretty much like anything and everything else: fever, pain, headache, respiratory problems. But AFM brings difficulty walking and numbness in limbs, as well.

“We’ve learned a lot,” said Thomas Clark, deputy director of the division of viral diseases at the CDC, in The Hill. “But we have a lot to learn about AFM. We don’t yet know why certain kids develop AFM when the great majority who have respiratory illness recover with no neurologic symptoms.”

But let’s stow the panic.

Let’s just get back to school, already. And life.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the country was pretty much conditioned to believe parents knew best — that parents would keep home kids who were sick, that parents would make doctor appointments for children who didn’t get better. Then came the coronavirus and suddenly, medical bureaucrats who worked within government offices took control and assumed charge — as if they knew better than parents. As if they knew best what’s best not only for children, but for business owners, and churches, and the entire nation.

Now parents are scared to send their kids back to school. Now teachers are scared to stand in front of children in classrooms. And for the few who weren’t?

Well, here comes AFM.

The neurologic condition that two years ago affected 238 children. Or, 0.0003 of the youth population.

It’s hardly time to panic. 

More to truth, it’s barely even time to take note.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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