It's like teaching a child to cross the street. Do parents and teachers stand on the curb and tell children to run across the street while cars are flying by from both directions? No. Well, that's exactly what you're doing when you send children to school with no masks, no social distancing, and no vaccine. If you require vaccines at school for everyone who is eligible, then you reduce the traffic down to one lane. The child only has to run across in front of one lane of oncoming cars. If you require everyone at school to wear a mask and socially distance, then you have reduced the number of cars and the danger even more. You haven’t eliminated the danger, but you have given the children a chance to survive and stay healthy. No one, not even the most blatant politician, would stand up and advocate that we should send children out to cross busy highways with traffic going in both directions, so why are they saying that we should send children to school to combat the delta variant of coronavirus with absolutely no protection? Our children deserve better from the adults who should be protecting them.
All students, teachers, and staff should wear masks this fall.
Wait, you may be saying: “I thought it was over. I heard we didn't need to wear mask anymore. Why are they changing their minds now? This isn't fair. I'm tired of wearing a mask.” Wrong.
The coronavirus pandemic is far from being over.
In fact, Delta is a totally new strain of the virus that is even more deadly, easier to catch, and also easier to spread to others. So, in many ways it is actually more dangerous to send children back to school this year than it was last year.
(Let me say, that I think children who are too young to receive a vaccine should actually not be in classrooms this fall. We should wait until the vaccine is available, but I'm certain that will not happen. Therefore, we should at least provide what little bit of protection that a mask offers.)
Are the dangers to children new this year?
No, the dangers are not new, but they may be worse. Children have been catching Covid-19 all along. “More than 4.1 million children have been diagnosed with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic ….” but over the past two weeks with the emergence of the delta variant, the number of children with Covid-19 has simply “exploded.” As Dr. Mark Kline, hospital physician-in-chief explained,
"We are seeing children fall ill that we just simply didn't see in the first year of the pandemic before the delta variant came along … over the past two weeks — from zero to 20 … Because the delta variant is so contagious … the increase in cases clearly shows the virus's potential, even in young, otherwise healthy children.”
Yes, I understand, we are still going to send children to school anyway, no matter how risky it is. As one reporter stated, no matter how dangerous the delta variant may be, in some states “low in-person enrollment” can cause school funding to be cut; therefore, on-line teaching options have been removed and schools are demanding that students return to in-class instruction.
So, evidently, politicians actually will send children out to cross the highway with cars coming from both directions. Yes, society will even sacrifice the health and safety of children in the name of politics.
More and More Doctors are Calling for Masks
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending that everyone over the age of two wear a mask when returning to school this fall, regardless of their vaccination status. They went on to say that even teachers and staff should wear masks.
“The AAP said universal masking is necessary because much of the student population is not vaccinated, and it's hard for schools to determine who is as new variants emerge that might spread more easily among children.”
Even though mask mandates are not popular with students, parents, teachers, and certainly not politicians, it is what we need to do. Masks are essential in schools this fall, and one small thing that we can do to safeguard the life and health of the children.
As Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said,
“The virus doesn't care that we're sick of masks … to the degree that we can squash that [the delta virus] by doing something that maybe is a little uncomfortable, a little inconvenient ... if it looks like it's going to help, put the mask back on …. "