Health Viewpoints

American Schools Are Harming Kids by Masking Them Again

BY Jennifer Margulis and Joe Wang TIMEMay 23, 2022 PRINT

Even though summer’s almost here, our kids can’t catch a break.

Several districts across the United States have decided to put school kids back in masks.

Maine: The superintendent of the Portland public schools wrote a letter to parents dated May 10, 2022 that stated that masks are once again required indoors and on school buses. (1)

Superintendent Xavier Botana insisted that “This step has become necessary to help keep everyone safe as positive cases of COVID-19 are rapidly increasing in our community and schools.”

Massachusetts: Officials in Northampton after holding an emergency meeting, also decided to mask children again.

Citing a rise in COVID-19 cases based on their pooled testing program (from 64 to 139 cases), Superintendent John Provost told the community: “I believe this intervention must be attempted because the current increase in disease spread is impacting the lives and learning of many within our school community,” reports the Daily Hampshire Gazette. (2)

Missouri: Maplewood Richmond High School District in St. Louis County has decided to mask all children, from kindergarten to high school, for the remainder of the school year, KSDK reports. (3)

Officials from the school and the local health departments reportedly posted on Facebook that COVID-19 just isn’t going away.

Pennsylvania: Also citing rising COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Schools have reinstated mask mandates, reports CBS News in Pittsburgh. (4)

A similar mandate has now been reimplemented for the nearly one thousand students at Woodland Hills High School in Churchill, as reported by the local news. (5)

The CDC is no longer requiring masks in airports or on airplanes, but the federal government also seems to be getting back on the mask bandwagon. According to the Associated Press, American officials are now calling for people, adults and children alike, in “higher risk” areas to mask indoors. (6)

Rising Cases Not Meaningful Rubric

State officials are insisting that forcing schoolchildren back into masks in their counties is the best strategy to deal with rising COVID cases without closing the schools.

When the number of positive tests reaches a certain threshold, based on CDC guidelines, risk levels are raised to “medium” or “high,” prompting these school districts to require masks to go back on children’s faces.

These recommendations aren’t based on school children falling ill or hospitalization rates. Instead, they’re masking up children based on asymptomatic people getting tested positive.

But, as we’ve written about recently in The Epoch Times, COVID is a virus we have to learn to live with. Positive COVID cases may not be as much of a concern—indicating that the virus is becoming endemic. High numbers of asymptomatic people with COVID are certainly not something to fear. (7)

Do Masks Even Work?

The science about masking continues to be hotly debated. While some studies show that masks help stop the spread, including one study done by researchers in Japan, these are poor-quality modeling-based studies done on mannequins. At the same time, the only randomized controlled study of masking, done by researchers in Denmark, showed no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not. (8)(9)

Regardless of whether you think masks are effective against the spread of this disease, it is clear that the number of people getting COVID does not translate into heightened danger of dying from COVID.

It’s also clear that the vast majority of children will sail through COVID with very few, if any, side effects.

For the most part, Sweden chose to keep their schools open and their citizens, including school children, mask-free. Four medical doctors, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed how they fared. In the entire country, only fifteen children ages 1 to 16 years of age (among 1.95 million) tested positive for the infection between March and June of 2020. The number of deaths from COVID among those children? Zero. (10)

COVID-19 Doesn’t Harm Kids, Masks Do

While COVID poses a very small threat to children, the measures adults have taken to mitigate COVID are causing harm. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that masks themselves are a problem.

“Kids cough in their masks, sneeze in them. They chew on them throughout the day,” an Oregon-based special education teacher, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Epoch Times. “They’re literally soaking wet and filled with snot. It’s so disgusting.”

At a medical conference in Conroe, Texas, in April, 2022, Dr. Avery Jackson, a board-certified neurosurgeon based in Michigan, insisted that children should not be wearing masks. Limiting the free exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, Jackson said during his presentation, is dangerous for children’s neurological development.

Jackson cited data from a variety of peer-reviewed scientific studies to show that inhaling carbon dioxide, even at moderate levels of exposure, is associated with seizures, impaired cognitive function, memory issues, increased anxiety, and learning problems, as The Epoch Times recently reported. (11)

“Our children are having significant cerebral dysfunction when they wear masks,” Jackson insisted. “Now that we have knowledge, we have to do something about it. We know this is destructive for our kids.”

Even before the pandemic-fueled lockdowns, masking, anxiety, and fearmongering, America’s children were not doing well. Some 54 percent of America’s children has a chronic illness. The United States has the highest childhood mortality rate among industrialized countries and our rates of childhood obesity, type 1 juvenile diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and encephalopathy are also among the highest in the industrialized world. (12)(13)

By all accounts, pandemic measures to “keep children safe” have made things worse.

COVID-born babies are less interactive and more delayed in their ability to talk, babble, and coo than babies born pre-COVID.

During the pandemic, incidents of self-harm, drug overdoses, and suicide among young people have climbed steeply. Children as young as 10 years old are dying by their own hand. (14)

When we prohibit children from seeing each other’s smiles, force them to inhale their own exhale, and make it harder for them to hear their teachers and read their teachers’ body language, we harm both their physical and their mental well-being.

There’s a reason why parents feel deeply frustrated and angry about the flip-flopping mask mandates across the United States. Giving children mixed messages, treating them like they are walking vectors of disease that could give COVID or get COVID simply by having free faces in school is abusive.

“I have like three friends who don’t want to be here anymore,” one 18-year-old told us last week. “They say they’ve got nothing to live for, cause the world just sucks too much. It’s pretty sad, to be honest.”

To the superintendents forcing children back into masks: Your intentions may be good but your actions are causing harm. Our children must be allowed to breathe freely. Stop making them mask up in school.

References

⁽¹⁾ https://cdn5-ss3.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1094153/File/Message To Families from Superintendent Re_ Return to Required Masking, May 2022.pdf
⁽²⁾ https://www.gazettenet.com/Mask-mandate-returns-to-Northampton-public-schools-46305781
⁽³⁾ https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/students-masks-maplewood-richmond-heights-school-district/63-5b477d05-bd20-40af-af98-9adc0ca7c8f4
⁽⁴⁾ https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/masks-required-pittsburgh-public-schools-buildings-friday/
⁽⁵⁾ https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2022/05/05/masks-go-back-on-woodland-hills-high-school-district-pittsburgh-covid-students/stories/202205050123#:~:text=Masks%20are%20once%20again%20required,the%20end%20of%20next%20week.
⁽⁶⁾ https://apnews.com/article/covid-science-health-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-5bcd49eec7dab5832f2d98f4f9b22be7
⁽⁷⁾ https://www.theepochtimes.com/pandemic-lessons-learned-deadly-lockdowns_4450388.html
⁽⁸⁾ https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mSphere.00637-20
⁽⁹⁾ https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
(10) https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2026670
(11) https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-neurological-toll-of-masks-and-lockdowns_4438978.html
(12) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876285910002500
(13) https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2018/04000/Among_Other_Industrialized_Countries,_the_United.13.aspx
(14) https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-epidemic-no-one-wants-to-talk-about_4453270.html

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and author of “Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family.” A Fulbright awardee and mother of four, she has worked on a child survival campaign in West Africa, advocated for an end to child slavery in Pakistan on prime-time TV in France, and taught post-colonial literature to non-traditional students in inner-city Atlanta. Learn more about her at JenniferMargulis.net
Joe Wang
Joe Wang, Ph.D., was a lead scientist for Sanofi Pasteur’s SARS vaccine project in 2003. He is now the president of New Tang Dynasty TV (Canada).
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