Stop masking children

Like the vast majority of Americans, I didn't tune in for one second of the Emmy Awards. It's tough for me to imagine having so little to occupy my time that I willfully subject myself to watching hours of such a self-congratulating Hollywood spectacle. But I have seen the images from the evening's festivities, and they leave me with questions.

Not about the lack of masks, mind you. It makes complete sense to me why adults vaccinated against the COVID virus – and non-vaccinated adults who have had ample time and ability to get a vaccine if they wanted one – would gather for a gala without donning facemasks. The questions I am struggling over have nothing to do with why Jason Sudekis wasn't expected to wear a surgical mask; they have everything to do with why this child is:

My questions have everything to do with why this family was subjected to humiliation:

To be sure, this is not just anecdotal. The world's largest theme park and vacation destination, Walt Disney World, requires all 2-year-olds to wear masks. Newly ascended New York Governor Kathy Hochul has mandated the same. At the behest of teachers' unions, countless daycares, pre-schools, and elementary schools across the country are demanding the same thing, and they're all justifying it on the basis of the medical advice proffered by infectious disease experts:

Yet to this point, no one is providing real world data or evidence demonstrating that the forced masking of toddlers does anything to prevent them, or anyone else, from catching or transmitting COVID.

The COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, a service maintained through the cooperative efforts of groups like the School Superintendents Association, has revealed for some time now that school districts that did not have mask mandates for young people had lower case rates than the schools that did. While that doesn't take into consideration geography, demography, and a host of other factors, it does provide significant data that masks aren't helping.

What's more, the CDC knows that to be the case. Their own research, revealed in a reviewed December study, could not point to a statistically significant impact mask mandates made on COVID transmission among children. In other words, no evidence.

Now, that isn't to say there aren't clinical tests that demonstrate the efficacy of surgical masks when worn properly and changed frequently. But non-doctors in non-medical settings do not wear their masks properly. Most do not even have the right kind of masks to be effective, and they certainly do not have the quantity of masks or training on how often and in what circumstance they should replace used ones. And just in case there was any confusion on this point, two-year-old children don't either.

But my questions don't stop there. Beyond just the lack of evidence for mask-effectiveness, I'm curious why our media has been so derelict in pushing our leaders and the "experts" who are advising them on why the World Health Organization explicitly condemned the masking of children, and why the United States is nearly alone on the list of countries that do?

Why aren't we talking publicly about the health risks to children wearing soiled masks, and the potential that these "life-saving" cloths could in fact be vectors for pathogens and thus disease spreaders?

Why aren't we discussing how proper cognitive development for young people requires the observation and mimicking of appropriate facial cues obscured by masks?

Why isn't our public dialogue taking into consideration the health conditions like staph that can be caused by the reality of "maskne."

Why aren't we taking seriously the anxiety that is stoked in vulnerable people, and the dangerous conditioning we are providing to young people that their peers are germ factories that they should avoid?

On September 10th, Denmark lifted all COVID restrictions and their infection rate has fallen 40% since that time. Similar results have been documented in other European countries, none of which are masking children. Why? Because they scientifically, logically, and rightly see a problem with this:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Not the Bee or any of its affiliates.

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