In a previous article, I described how COVID has warped our sense of what is acceptable when it comes to children suffering from a vaccine-preventable disease. It was not acceptable for a single child to die from this disease. Doctors with large platforms feel different today. They downplay the virus and over-hype the vaccine side effects, suggesting the vaccine will kill as many children as the virus. This is standard anti-vaccine blather and should be called out.

I wrote about how some doctors don't want anyone to acknowledge a child who dies from the virus. Sharing such information was seen as a sign of communication by one doctor.

I pointed out that this was unique to COVID, with one exception, guns. There are many similarities between how guns are treated and how COVID deaths are treated. Various forces want us to ignore these tragedies. They are the cost of allowing adults to do what they want. Some politicians say that this is not a good time to discuss how to keep more children alive, in the same way that some doctors say that it's not a good time to acknowledge the existence of children who died of carbon dioxide after a mass shooting.

We are encouraged to doubt that children are dying. Alex Jones called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax, leading to abuse of grieving parents. He has finally faced consequences for this. There are people who think that a lot of children are dying with COVID. We are told that only children with leukemia, with limited life expectancies, die of carbon dioxide, though of course normal people are sad when a child dies.

Guns are a leading cause of deaths in children and young adults. The commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine was recently published.

For more than 60 years, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury-related death among young people. Beginning in 2017, however, firearm-related injuries took their place to become the most common cause of death from injury.

Over 10,000 young lives have been lost from guns in a single year. The New England Journal of Medicine commentary was written by the authors.

This change occurred because of both the rising number of firearm-related deaths in this age group and the nearly continuous reduction in deaths from motor vehicle crashes. The crossing of these trend lines demonstrates how a concerted approach to injury prevention can reduce injuries and deaths — and, conversely, how a public health problem can be exacerbated in the absence of such attention.

We can make improvements and save lives when we care about a problem. When we ignore a problem, it can get worse. Congressmen and their families pose with powerful weapons on their Christmas cards. The National Rifle Association gave Russian officials access to American political organizations in 2016 and admonished doctors who advocated policies that would keep children from dying. You stuck your head in the sand. Imagine how little progress would have been made if the automobile industry had a research ban on traffic deaths.

People are more knowledgeable than I am about gun violence. I wish there was a vaccine against bullets, though some doctors advise against it, arguing that only a small percentage of children die from guns and adults are killed more often. I hope you notice that preventable deaths have become normalized. You won't be surprised if you read about children being shot at school or church. A headline that reads "5-year-old boy murdered execution style in Detroit home" isn't astonishing. Every day, these headlines appear. This week alone, the American Academy of Pediatrics added 28 children to its grim tally of COVID deaths.

There are similarities between these two killers. Most of the victims are non-White, and I think their deaths would get more attention if they were white. The associate professor of social work in Chicago said about Black shooting victims that they don't get a lot of sympathy. People think that if something happens to us, we should get it.

If more people cared, there would be less deaths from guns and COVID. We have lost our capacity to be shocked. It is normal for large numbers of children to die preventable deaths. It is normal for influential voices to encourage us to erase these children, to not acknowledge their existence and manner of death.

How sad is that?