It's funny that over the last nearly-two years of forcing children to wear masks everywhere, very few people have seemed interested in knowing how it effects them.
Well, one reporter at NPR took the admirable approach of actually asking kids about it, and many of their responses were heart-rending to say the least:
For me, it feels sort of hard to breathe sometimes. But I know it's protecting us from delta COVID, so I kind of roll with it.
It suffocates me, but I still wear it.
What I don't like about wearing masks is that I have a pair of glasses. They do get fogged up, and so I can see the fog.
I don't really like masks because sometimes they can make you itch. Also, if you don't have the right size, it can make your ears hurt...
Masks kind of suck because they kind of don't let you breathe that much fresh air in...
Among the saddest responses:
I don't like masks because they make it so you can't see the faces when you smile at each other.
Perhaps the most depressing part of the whole exchange: Many students still expressed an eager desire to wear masks, either because they believe it protects them and others from COVID-19 or simply because it's the only way they can be allowed to go to school.
Meanwhile, much of the rest of the civilized world is not forcing children to wear masks in the classroom, and the science supporting child masking is arguably debatable at best.
So why, exactly, are we still doing it?