A couple has shared the cautionary tale of losing their three-month-old baby in February to Covid.
Children under the age of five are not yet able to have the coronavirus vaccine, but mother Angelina Rendon was repeatedly told not to worry about her infant’s safety. “I don’t know how many times a doctor has told me ‘don’t worry, your baby won’t be affected by Covid’ but he was, unfortunately,” said Ms Rendon to Sacramento network KCRA3.
“Be careful who touches your baby,” said Ms Rendon, warning other parents with infants of the very real risk of coronavirus. “It can just start with a little kiss from somebody you know who was exposed and not shown symptoms.”
“We took heartbreak in our family because of Covid,” said Mr Rendon, “we lost an infant to something we had no control over”. The couple now has the ashes of their son in a cabinet, and hopes people will heed their advice and protect their loved ones against the virus.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association, as of 25 November, some 6.9 million children have tested positive for Covid since the start of the pandemic.
Child cases of the disease have been above 100,000 for the 16th week in a row in the US. Children have made up 17 per cent of total coronavirus cases in the US.
The advice has always been that children are not as susceptible to the severe side effects of the disease, but as the Rendons can testify, this does not mean it doesn’t happen.
“Our doctor said [our son] was healthy,” said Mr Rendon. Coronavirus “didn’t build his system, it destroyed his system,” he explained.
AAP maintains that more research is needed on the effects of Covid on minors. “It appears that severe illness due to Covid-19 is uncommon among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects,” stated the academy.
With the emergence of the omicron variant, which has fuelled a worrying surge of cases in South Africa, many experts are advising extra vigilance when it comes to social distancing.