A Personal Tragedy

Every death is a loss for someone and the death of a young person is a particularly unbearable tragedy for parents who expect to age and pass before them and for siblings and peers who expect to grow and grow old with them. We have these expectations because dying young is an exception. Dying young as a result of Covid-19 is an exception too, and a rare one. The possibility should not be ignored but the risk must be assessed and our responses as individuals and as communities must be proportionate to the the size of the risk. We can and should discuss proportionality at some point but the point I want to make here is that pointing to and using a particular case to make a general case and a political point seems to me to be bad science and bad argument and maybe even bad taste.

Chad Dorrill apparently died as a result of the particular and rare circumstances with which the Covid-19 infection interacted. To use this to support not opening up educational facilities is, to put it mildly, intellectually and emotionally dishonest.

From the article:

“According to Tonia Maxcy, a family friend, doctors suspect that COVID-19 triggered an undetected case of Guillain-Barré syndrome in Dorrill. Guillain-Barré causes the body’s immune system to attack nerve cells. It was also linked to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil in 2015, where it caused paralysis in those affected by the syndrome. As of June 29, according to the journal Neurological Sciences, there have been approximately 31 reported cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome caused by COVID-19 worldwide.”

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