It seems as though every day we learn something new and despicable about the coronavirus pandemic, but this might be the worst of all. A 4-month-old baby was hospitalized for COVID-19, because I guess no one is safe ever.
The infant is just one of five children currently hospitalized from the coronavirus pandemic in Huntsville Hospital Women and Children's in Huntsville, Alabama, as per local news outlet WAAY-TV. As if that weren't bad enough, it seems this little baby has been going through cancer treatments as well. As hospital CEO David Spillers told the outlet, "I think that probably the news today is we now have five children that are COVID positive that are in the hospital, so if you think this doesn't affect young people it actually does affect young people. Some of those children are only months old. It's the first time we have seen that during the pandemic. One is a 4-year-old who has been receiving cancer treatment is now COVID positive."
As of Thursday, the CDC reports that the United States has seen a total of 2.69 million cases of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country and the numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate. While older people and those with weakened immune systems have been the hardest hit members of the community, it seems as though children are not safe either.
Spillers told WAAY-TV that while he felt "very confident the outcomes will be good for those children," he was concerned about where the little ones might have contracted the virus. "We haven't seen that before, and I think it's just a direct result of more COVID in the community in people engaging around children and infecting them."
This is especially disconcerting considering child care centers across the country are beginning to reopen, and there have already been reports of positive coronavirus cases reported in those centers. Things could also change drastically if states listen to the AAP's recommendation that schools reopen in September. Children across the country have been homeschooled since March and self-isolating at home in most cases, so the fact that many will be heading back out into the public could see a rise in cases.
There is a way to protect children like that 4-month-old baby struggling with cancer and indeed everyone else, of course. Wear a face mask. Spillers put out a "challenge" to those people who don't want them: "I challenge people who resist wearing face coverings to think about this the next time you resist wearing face coverings. Anybody can have COVID. Anyone can give COVID to anyone else because in many cases you could be asymptomatic. If the thought of you accidentally giving COVID to someone, particularly a child with cancer, is not enough reason to put on a face cover, then I don't know what is.”
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.