JAMA study points to children under five being major carriers of COVID-19

In Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed he discusses a psychological response called the dam effect.

To summarize people under the dam are the surest it won’t fail, even with insurmountable evidence staring at them in the face, because they live under the dam and if it fails they die, so they have a strong motivation to believe it will not happen.

I have read on various Internet teachers groups people arguing whether the recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics and quoted in the NY Times and Fortune is real, because as some say, “There are lots of opinions.”

A study is not an opinion.

Dear teachers this is happening. The DAM is going to FAIL.

You need to move and do something, because you are no longer in an if situation, you are in a WHEN situation.

The JAMA Pediatrics Study calling little children potential super spreads and major carriers of COVID-19 is legitimate. It has a P-value between .02- 0.001.

A P-value is the probability of obtaining the test results under the assumption that the null hypothesis (nothing is happening and this is all due to chance) is correct.

When a study gives a P-value of > 0.05, that is the probability that the null hypothesis is supported.

That means that there is only a 5% chance that this result is owing to chance.

1 minus the P-value is the probability that the alternative hypothesis is supported.

Thus, a statistically significant test result (P ≤ 0.05) means that the test hypothesis is false with that level of confidence or should be rejected.

A P-value greater than 0.05 means that no effect was observed.

In sociology, they will accept higher P-values (up to .1) because of the confounding affects of human behavior make it difficult to get clear results.

For the sciences like behavioral biology and psychology which can be better controlled, generally the highest P-value they will accept is a P-value ≤ 0.05.

This would be a good value for a study that is really a medical sociology study.

But most of the hard sciences really want a P-value ≤ 0.01 which is less than a 1% chance that a finding or study is owing to chance.

P-values in this JAMA Pediatrics study were p= 0.02 when comparing young children and older children and p= 0.001 when comparing young children and adults.

Means less than 2% that the results were by chance between young kids and older kid (pretty confident, bet your money). and 0.1% or less than a tenth of one percent between young kids and adults (bet all your money and borrow more to bet from dangerous loan sharks) that the study results were by chance.

I get you’re afraid, but for godsakes stop being in denial.

Lark Sontag, Children Development Theorist, Curriculum Developer, Peace Educator, and Social Justice Advocate for Children


Heald-Sargent T, Muller WJ, Zheng X, Rippe J, Patel AB, Kociolek LK. Age-Related Differences in Nasopharyngeal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Levels in Patients With Mild to Moderate Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3651

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