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Other long term consequences of Covid-19?

(10 Posts)
Immunity Sun 07-Jun-20 11:35:10

I’m worried about the impact of the lockdown (and the “new normal” afterwards) on our children’s immune systems.

I have an autoimmune disease and some factors believed to cause a rise in the prevalence of these are excessive cleanliness and not being exposed to enough microbes in childhood.
There have been many studies on the hygiene hypothesis in regards to autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, eczema, etc, and a lot seem to support the theory.
If schools are going to have reduced class sizes for a while and be strict with social distancing and hand washing then surely it will have a detrimental impact on our children building up their immune systems in the normal way?

If you think about it, in the past your immune systems had to be pretty sufficient or you would die from simple infections due to no antibiotics. Hygiene was appalling and it was inevitable we would encounter lots of pathogens so we’ve evolved to have immune systems built up in this way.
This is all I can think about when I’m seeing the lengths people are going through to avoid this virus and everyone walking around wearing masks all the time.
Or am I being ridiculous and they’ll catch up eventually and playing in mud every now and again is enough?

OP’s posts: |
user1972548274 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:49:00

If you think about it, in the past your immune systems had to be pretty sufficient or you would die from simple infections due to no antibiotics.

I don't understand what point you're trying to make. In the past, lots and lots and lots of people died from things we wouldn't even think about now because we know to wash our hands and of the importance of basic hygiene. And from tiny things we wouldn't even consider life threatening, like a little cut on your finger.

Think of the doctors who would have spread an infection from one person to every single person on the hospital ward because the doctor didn't wash their hands.

Your version of things just means lots of people die. It doesn't create fabulous immune systems where we all flourish.

I think you're being very simplistic and also viewing the past with rose tinted glasses.

Autoimmune disorders are not well understood (and comparing incidence rates to the past when they wouldn't have been detected isn't so useful); as far as I was aware cortisol levels are also considered to be a significant factor.

user1972548274 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:53:15

It's also notable that your post is written from the perspective of someone who takes it for granted that children should outlive their parents in almost every case.

That is a very new phenomenon. So again I am not sure which halcyon germy days of the past you are invoking.

Rumbletumbleinmytummy Sun 07-Jun-20 12:00:01

I think in certain ways you're right.
When I had therapy for OCD we discussed my use of antibacterial cleaning products. It was discussed at length that those antibacterial products also kill off good bacteria which protects us, and also, limiting our contact with people doesnt allow our immune system to work properly.

I've spent much of my life at home, away from people. Every time I leave the house and have close contact with people, I'm unwell. I catch something either viral or bacterial.

Gwenhwyfar Sun 07-Jun-20 12:09:18

I agree to a point. It's believed that some people did not get Covid because they'd had another coronavirus (one of the ones that cause the common cold) recently. Obviously through lockdown, most people won't have been catching colds.
However, I think it's a price we have to pay and lockdown won't be forever.

UnderTheBus Sun 07-Jun-20 12:12:12

I agree to some extent. My baby was born the day of lockdown so she hasnt been exposed to colds and minor illnesses.i am concerned that her immune system will take a hammering when she is eventually exposed to all that.

Camomila Sun 07-Jun-20 12:23:07

If you think about it, the new standards of cleanliness aren't going to be that different to what a lot of rural people grew up with in the 20th century (including me until we moved to England), always mixing with the same handful of village kids, then desks facing the front at primary, schools having that 'disinfectant' smell etc.

But we got a lot of outside time/fresh air/rolled about in dirt..I worry most about kids in inner cities that might not get exposed to 'good dirt' like mud and grass etc as well as the usual child germs.

mynameiscalypso Sun 07-Jun-20 12:25:25

It is something I have thought about especially as I have a baby but I figure it's not going to be forever and I like to think I'm compensating by not having a cleaner at the moment...

JovialNickname Sun 07-Jun-20 13:26:02

With reference to another thread on here, neurological development of older babies and toddlers who may end up spending one third or one half of their lives to date in some form of lockdown. Although the point is repeatedly made that in the past there were no baby groups, soft play etc, these infants would still play with other children, spend time with extended family, and learn about the world through coming with mum on shopping trips, to the dentist, or picking up older siblings from school. I wonder what the developmental effects will be of this on very small children. (Obviously this will never have been researched before for ethical reasons).

Dilbertian Sun 07-Jun-20 14:59:20

Many teachers get ill in the first half of the autumn term, catching cold after cold, because they haven't been among as many people for 6 weeks. So I'm sure there is going to be a similar epidemic of colds once we are allowed to be among many people again. OTOH maybe the transmission of other illnesses will also have been reduced by social distancing, not just Covid.

It's very worrying that childhood immunisations have been stopped in many developing countries. I was utterly appalled when I learned that the WHO had advised to suspend childhood immunisation clinics during the pandemic, for fear of spreading Covid in the immunisation clinics. Preventing transmission of diseases that killed millions of infants, children and adults every year before immunisation was introduced, was less valuable than slowing down transmission of a disease that is relatively minor in the majority of infected people. Especially as these are the same countries where many of the population are unable to socially distance adequately, so they will be even more vulnerable to avoidable illnesses like measles, polio and diphtheria, and the majority of deaths from these illnesses occur in under-nourished people.

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