In Asheville City Schools and many others across the U.S., the current policy is that “face coverings will be required indoors by all individuals.”
This is detrimental and does nothing to combat COVID spread — it is the opposite of “following the science.”
Even the biggest COVID hawks (e.g., frequent CNN guest Dr. Leana Wen) have now admitted that “cloth masks are little more than facial decorations.” On these masks, gaps are 5,000 times the size of virus particles (on surgical masks, up to 1,000 the size) — indeed, [British engineering lecturer] Colin Axon noted that masks were “just a comfort blanket.” …
With the near-zero benefit of masking in mind, we should “follow the science” and weigh the costs of all-day masking for kids: It’s uncomfortable, inhibits learning and impairs social interaction and growth (consider how many of your favorite memories involve people’s faces — all of them?).
Kids are at very low COVID risk to begin with. An unvaccinated child’s risk with COVID is the same as a vaccinated, healthy 30-year-old. The risks posed by RSV and flu are much greater, and we never made them wear masks for them. What’s more, children over 5 now have the choice of getting the vaccine!
So: Let’s actually “follow the science” and give our kids some relief!
— Max Peck
Editor’s note: Wen’s full Dec. 20 tweet regarding faces masks reads: “1) First, wear a high-quality mask. Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations and should not be considered an acceptable form of face covering. The U.S. should require (& distribute) medical-grade surgical masks to be worn in crowded indoor spaces.”