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Ask the doctor: COVID surge, heart inflammation, school closures


COVID-19 is experiencing a spring awakening as subvariant BA.2 case counts rise across the country. According to the CDC, the vast majority of COVID cases are being caused by this subvariant. 

BA.2 Spike

Straight Arrow News medical expert Dr. Payal Kohli weighed in on the potential for another COVID surge. 

“I really think it’s important to pay attention to this uptick in cases because we know it’s even more contagious than the Omicron variant, which really took the country by storm in January,” she said.

COVID vaccine concerns

Dr. Kohli, a cardiologist, addressed concerns from parents that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines cause heart inflammation in young men after getting the vaccine.

“The benefits [of the vaccine] far outweigh the risk,” she said, citing that only two of every 100,000 people experience heart muscle inflammation, and it’s almost always a mild case.

Did school closures cause more harm than good?

Dr. Kohli also addressed, in hindsight, the closure of schools when the World Health Organization declared COVID a global pandemic. 

Many conservatives were pushing for school districts to reopen classrooms much sooner than the CDC recommended. Dr. Kohli said it’s hard to know if medical experts waited too long to deem schools safe enough to resume in-person learning.

“Mental health has gotten worse after the pandemic, including in our children,” she said. “But is that a direct result of school closures or a direct result of many other things that happened during the pandemic?”