The True Cost of Masking Young Kids Forever

In many parts of the world, children go to school without mask quest. Students in Denmark do not wear masks as of May 2020. France does not require children under 11 years of age to wear masks and in Ireland children under 9 years of age. no mask total. In England, does Kate Middleton not non-face-to-face examination arrive primary school and mingle with undisclosed young people.

World Health Organization It is clearly not recommended to wear masks to children under 5 years old and equivalent to the European CDC It is not recommended to wear masks for elementary school children.

Most health authorities in Europe consider that the regulation of masks for young children is inappropriate for a cohort that, unlike adults, is not able to face danger from COVID or to wear them. mask properly. There is also the consideration of “Potential impact of mask wearing on psychosocial learning and development.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk. COVID-19 remains a threat to immunocompromised children, and some families worry about students bringing the virus home to more vulnerable adults. It is the duty of policymakers to balance those very real concerns with the growing evidence that draconian COVID-era policies on children. other harm.

The CDC’s recommendation to start wearing masks at age 2 and universally wear masks for elementary school students is an outlier in the Western world, but its advocates rarely explain why.

In Northern Virginia, dedication to that standard prompted seven counties to sue newly elected Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin this week to keep masking mandates, under his executive order that parents have the power to decide. determined. Some parents argue that this policy doesn’t take into account their freedom of choice or acknowledge the downsides of their child.

Given the differences with so many people around the world on this hot button issue, one would assume the CDC, and these schools, rely on extensive research on the effectiveness of masks in young children. A major, clearly disruptive intervention must be clearly effective in order to be justified when necessary. However, the pervasive impulse to conceal our youngest, and therefore least at risk of COVID, is characterized by surprisingly little research and data.

Such rigor was certainly lacking last week in Fairfax County Zoom City Hall to discuss the school’s face covering policy, attended by nearly 4,000 people.

Two years after the pandemic, one could be forgiven for assuming this meeting took place in March 2020. The local pediatrician Russell Libby speaking by order of the board, where he said it was important for the kids to wear masks so they wouldn’t kill their grandmother.

“Kids carry such guilt if they think they brought something home to their family that caused someone to infect, kill someone!” Libby said. “Possibility of harm [from unmasked students] much larger than the good potential. “

This is also the argument made for closing schools in the area to face-to-face learning for more than a year, which most now admit is developmental and emotional disaster for children.

There is little acknowledgment that a widely available and free vaccine protects grandmothers in a way that doesn’t exist in 2020. Fairfax County’s adult population is 80 percent are vaccinated. There are no discussions about solid proof about the emotional and developmental downsides of masking, especially for young children. There is no examination of data from places where young children are not required to wear masks, or why the Fairfax school system can stay open all fall while thousands of its students wear Old Navy handkerchiefs. ineffective on their faces during spikes.

Instead, school officials showed a slide congratulating Fairfax students on their excellent mask compliance and discussed their blueprint for “promoting compliance” among students. difficulty. The message from school leaders in the area relies on calls for safety to be fully worn and the idea that any mask is better than no mask.

“It’s an extremely thin reed on which to base this policy to apply broadly regardless of vaccination status, regardless of community transmission, regardless of any evidence of transmission. in the school or not, and not associated with any downside at all,” said one Arlington parent, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent retribution in the community. “I think that’s ridiculous.”

There are a total of two randomized controlled trials of masking—a run in Denmark in 2020, did not find a statistically significant reduction in infections in surgical mask wearers compared with the control group, and now famous study from rural Bangladesh, showed that surgical masks were more effective than cloth masks, especially in reducing symptomatic cases in the population over 60 years of age.

In addition to these, without studying the school environment, the CDC provided its own large-scale study of elementary school students in Georgia that tested different mitigation strategies, finding that masking unvaccinated and well-ventilated teachers was most helpful, but was also found “Student face covering requirement has no statistical impact“—A remarkable discovery get out in the abstract of the study.

In the fall of 2021, CDC director Rochelle Walensky publicly presented a study of about 1,000 schools in Arizona, the results of which yielded an impressive statistic that has become an important part of the recommendation to wear masks for children. CDC’s Global Children. “Schools in two Arizona counties [without] requiring masks to have a 3.5 times higher risk of a #COVID19 outbreak than schools requiring masks from the start of the school year,” agent tweeted, an assertion repeated by Walensky on Sunday’s political shows and repeated by the White House.

Methods and results of that study has been made public by a number of experts, who were concerned that it had failed to control vaccination status in the community, compared unequal time periods between masked and non-masked school districts, and may have inadvertently included data data from institutions other than schools.

There have also been various studies on masks in schools in North Carolina, Wisconsin and other states – but none of the schools separated masks from other mitigation measures or had a control group of students wearing masks. page to compare results.

Here in America, 35 percent of the country’s largest school districts There is no regulation on face masks, while the CDC recently revised its recommendations for face masks, acknowledging that cloth masks — often favored by school-age children — are ““least protection“In stopping COVID.

“If it works… that’s one thing,” said Jessica Mendez, a mother in Loudoun County with two daughters who wants to choose not to wear a mask. “But now it doesn’t work, the cloth mask doesn’t work, so why do we continue this charade?”

For some parents, it feels like déjà vu. They learned the hard way that draconian COVID interventions aimed at keeping children safe can actually hurt them. Schools in Northern Virginia were closed for face-to-face learning for a year, from March 2020 until 2021. Then, so far, local leaders have been extremely cautious and seemingly disapproving. scientific change and cost-benefit analysis.

The result of that decision devastated, causing failing grades to increase by 83 percent and forcing more than 10,000 students to leave Fairfax, a former popular school district. Arlington Public Schools Seen The critical number of early literacy drops dramatically in the virtual learning process, with disproportionate impacts between minority students, English learners, and people with disabilities. Alexandria’s Public Schools lost registration for the first time in 14 years and done compulsory summer school to deal with severe school loss. Number of students who have crossed the state math assessment in Loudoun County fell by nearly 20 percentage points.

“Didn’t they learn from last time?” Fairfax’s mother Lacy Miske asked the first grader who wanted to refuse to wear a mask, in part because of difficulties with speech therapy. “As parents, we are looking at the risks and benefits, and we are assessing… feeling that our children are falling behind due to the mask being worn in a way that we can’t even. calculateable.”

The same people who asked parents to trust them when they closed the doors to students for a year, with disastrous results, are now asking them to trust them again when they say masking is universal. Information for young children is important enough that it outweighs any possible damage. done with a mask.

Until leaders start making the case and taking potential risks seriously, why should they be trusted?

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