Letter to the Editor: Unmask our children!

 

 

I appreciated Dr. Dana Loomis taking the time to communicate with us through his recent article here in Plumas News. It’s crucial, I believe, that responsible officials communicate effectively to explain mandated policies that infringe on citizens’ lives in the name of overall public health. Our lives have been significantly restricted (especially our children’s lives) for two years and counting, and so my appreciation of Dr. Loomis’ effort is sincere.

I just wanted to add a few thoughts. First, although we have just been through the highest surge of cases during the pandemic, we weathered the storm due to growing population immunity through vaccinations (up to 63 percent overall in Plumas County) AND increasing natural immunity for those who have recovered from the virus. More good news, the state has lifted some mask mandates.

Unfortunately, the state, the CDC, and our County have decided to continue to punish our school children in the name of “safety.”  The “research” that is the foundation of the CDC’s continued masking of school children has been thoroughly discredited. Our CDC Director essentially acknowledged this recently but is maintaining the school masking “recommendation” in place regardless. You can read this discredited research as it is currently posted on our county’s Covid-19 webpage, presumably to help underpin our own school masking mandate.

Our county’s new case count has been dropping precipitously as of late. However, it appears that the great majority of cases being reported within the last several weeks have been from our schools. I cannot be absolutely certain about this since the county dashboard doesn’t keep school stats separately. However, reviewing the Plumas News reporting lead me to this conclusion. If true, why would cases virtually disappear in the general population, but maintain in our schools. Perhaps it is due to the significant testing we are doing in the schools picking up asymptomatic cases? In any case, it seems to indicate that wearing masks is not helping much.

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Interestingly, as with the rest of California, and indeed the entire country, cases are dropping dramatically. Many other states are lifting school mask mandates (or never implemented them). In Nevada, the Washoe County School District and UNR have eliminated these mandates. When will we do the same?

Our school mask mandates are no longer meaningful. Students can (and many do) ditch their masks to socialize, congregate and interact with each other as soon as they leave campus. I imagine many of the teachers and staff do they same. In addition it is now well known that the threat from Covid-19 to children is in fact less than the flu. Think about this: What sort of public health mandates would have been imposed if the entire population were as resistant to the effects of this disease as our children are? Answer: There would have been none.

The risk to our school children is negligible to almost non-existant. To cite “safety” as the reason to continue to forcibly mask our teachers and kids, while removing restrictions for generally more vulnerable adults, is nonsense. It’s time to implement the public health policy of personal responsibility and common sense, along with education, vaccination, and effective therapeutics.

Endemic-shmendemic…it’s time to move on. Unmask our kids!

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Sam Wilbanks

Sierra Valley