The Covid-19 coronavirus is not a great way to welcome someone to the world.
Nonetheless, as the following CBS DFW news segment shows, 85 infants in Nueces County, Texas, have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus so far:
Nueces County is where Corpus Christi is located. It’s not clear how most of these infants are now doing health-wise. According to Alexandria Rodriguez and Ashlee Burns reporting for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, a six-week-old boy, who had tested positive for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) ending up dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, it has yet to be determined what specific role the Covid-19 coronavirus may have played in the infant’s death.
These are real infants and not adults acting like infants. So you can’t blame them for catching the virus. Infants aren’t the ones ignoring public health recommendations, claiming that masks are suppressing their freedoms, and posting on social media conspiracy theories such as claiming that the pandemic is a hoax. Infants aren’t the ones who have failed to take enough action to contain the virus and looked for others to blame. Correction, infants who are less than one year of age, aren’t the ones. Instead, real infants kind of lay around, cry, and burp.
Nonetheless, add infants to the rapidly rowing list of people directly affected by the U.S.’s failure to contain the virus. Infants are of particular concern not just because they are cute and supposed to have their whole lives ahead of them but also because they have weaker immune systems. Weaker immune systems may make them more susceptible to worse outcomes from Covid-19 coronavirus infections. Their immune systems are like Ryan Gosling in the movie Remember the Titans. They haven’t quite figured things out yet, needing time to fully develop and learn from the world around them.
Plus, a study published in Nature suggests that infants may have weaker immune systems for another reason. Weaker immune systems may allow good bacteria, such as the kind that makes poop smell bad, to move in and colonize their bodies. Of course, if this is the case, then leaving the door open in this way, could allow some bad visitors as well.
Since the Covid-19 coronavirus is still so new, there haven’t been too many studies on what happens to different infants when they get infected. A new publication in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society does detail four cases of newborns hospitalized with fevers and found to have SARS-CoV-2 infections. Two of these infants had such difficulty breathing that they had to be admitted to the intensive care unit. One of the newborns ended up receiving remdesivir. Although all four newborns ended up surviving, this case series showed that Covid-19 can be much more than a mild illness for infants.
Infants probably won’t be raising their little fists and saying, “darn you 2020,” because they can’t quite talk yet and have no other year as a point of reference. However, adults should know that this year infants may face even more risks and tougher times than in previous years. Many adult decisions will affect infants even when infants do not seem directly involved. For example, most infants don’t go to school yet, unless they are incredibly advanced. Nevertheless, opening schools prematurely would not only put the students, teachers, and school staff at risk but also could result in students bringing the virus home with them and subsequently infecting any infants who may be in the same household.
Therefore, whether you follow recommended public health measures could end up affecting infants, even if you are not an infant yourself, at least age-wise.