Coronavirus Chronicles — The Kids Over There

Coronavirus, the best friend obesity ever had… or is obesity the best friend coronavirus ever had? Either way, they have teamed up to become the scourge of humanity, all around the globe. Combined with the fact that the virus seems to have discovered how delicious younger people are, the result is a mess.

In January, Israel sounded the alarm and passed the word that schools might not open. Suddenly, more than 50,000 children and teens were diagnosed within a month. Furthermore, kids were accounting for around 40% of new cases, with the biggest increase occurring in the six- to nine-year-old age group.

Most of this outburst was attributed to the new and much more infectious British variant of the virus. Although the majority of young victims had mild cases, and few were hospitalized, the school opening question became paramount. Of the country’s 200,000 educational staff members, only 34% had been vaccinated.

At the same time, things were getting out of hand in Italy. In the little town of Corzano (in the region known as Lombardy), 24 children and adults at one school tested positive for COVID-19. After a total of 189 townspeople had been tested, 139 were certified positive (although most remained asymptomatic). By great good fortune, only one person needed to be hospitalized, and once again, the growing numbers were attributed to the British variant.

But do not underestimate the virus, authorities warned:

Italy was the first European country to be hit by coronavirus a year ago and so far 90,000 people with COVID-19 have died.

France has been having a very rough time, and the press was told that the majority of new patients — like 90% — have the British variant. This crowd is “significantly younger” than the victims of the first and second wave so, initially at least, their bodies can fight off the effects better. Consequently, they tend to be at home one day, and in Intensive Care the next. ICU doctor Benjamin Clouzeau told the press,

They’re between 30 and 65 years old. They have few or no underlying health conditions. Some are overweight — but they’re not obese, they’re simply overweight… A fair share of them have diabetes, but that’s far from the majority… Now we are down to 200, 300 deaths a day, but it’s not old people dying anymore. These are people who still had 30 or 40 years to live.

Meanwhile, Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, had by early March suffered 14,950 confirmed cases and 442 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. They have not only the British variant, familiarly known as B.1.1.7, but the new and exotic South Africa variant called B.1.351.

In the early rounds of vaccination, the province of Ontario included people experiencing homelessness, a relief for everyone including the staff members of those institutions. In Ottawa itself, the sickness is having a “significant impact,” with more than 200 shelter residents testing positive since January.

(To be continued…)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Spike in kids with COVID-19 means Israel unlikely to open schools,”, 01/26/21
Source: “Outbreak of UK virus variant detected in Italian town,”, 02/04/21
Source: “COVID-19 now killing more younger people, French doctor tells Euronews,”, 03/29/21
Source: “COVID-19: Key virus indicators creep up in Ottawa, with 80 new cases; Province reports 994 new cases,”, 03/04/21
Image by United Nations/Public Domain

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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