Coronavirus

There's Little Rationale for Masking School Kids, but Teachers Unions Are Demanding It

The National Education Association strong-armed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Last May, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided that many Americans could relax their vigilant mask wearing, the leaders of the nation's top teachers union were furious.

The National Education Association (NEA) swiftly intervened to ensure that the CDC would still advise masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status. According to documents obtained by Fox News, the NEA threatened to release a letter excoriating the CDC's guidance. This prompted government health officials to clarify that masks should still be worn in all schools.

The NEA's meddling is unsurprising: Earlier this year, teachers unions mounted a similar effort to persuade the Biden White House to slow down on school reopening. This is the role the teachers unions have claimed for themselves throughout the pandemic: create obstacles to prevent children's lives from returning to normal for as long as possible. It's a role that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten clearly relishes. Her Twitter feed is filled with demands that students be masked, distanced, and quarantined as often as necessary.

It's worth noting that masks are of dubious importance for school children. There's scant evidence that putting kids in masks makes them any safer from the ill effects of COVID-19. New York magazine's David Zweig reviewed 17 different studies cited by the CDC and found little reason to believe that masks were making a difference in schools. (Better ventilation seemed to be the much more important mitigation strategy.) Young people, after all, are at extremely low risk of suffering a negative health outcome associated with COVID-19. The disease has claimed the lives of fewer than 400 people under the age of 18, many of them with underlying health problems. For most kids, COVID-19 does not pose a greater statistical risk than the flu—masks just don't matter.

Before the widespread availability of vaccines, masks might have been important to prevent students from unwittingly spreading the disease to vulnerable adults. But it's now trivially easy for school staff members to get the vaccine and reduce their risk of hospitalization and death to almost nothing. The students are overwhelmingly safe—because they are young people—and the teachers and staff are also safe—because they can take the vaccine. Schools can implement additional strategies for good measure, like opening the windows and having lunch outside, weather permitting. Masks are much more trouble, especially if kids are expected to wear them until some distant point in the future—possibly forever—when COVID-19 is gone completely.

"The negatives [of masks] are not zero, especially for young children," Lloyd Fisher, the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Zweig. "It is important for children to see facial expressions of their peers and the adults around them in order to learn social cues and understand how to read emotions."

Weingarten and company act as if it would be insane to reopen a school without a mask mandate, and have lashed out at Republican officials like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for prohibiting such requirements. But the U.S. is somewhat alone in its zeal for placing masks on school children. As The New York Times recently conceded, most students and teachers in the U.K. do not wear masks at all—and the situation is much the same in Ireland, France, Italy, and Switzerland.

Teachers unions and their allies must have missed this memo. Indeed, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan implicitly suggested that DeSantis had blood on his hands, following the deaths of more than a dozen Florida educators from COVID-19.

These deaths are tragic. But it is simply not true that a lack of mask mandates is killing Florida teachers. What's killing Florida teachers—and practically everyone else who suffers a negative health outcome due to COVID-19—is a lack of vaccination. Of the 15 who passed away, at least 13 were unvaccinated (information for the other two was not available, though it's likely they were unvaccinated as well). It's reasonable to criticize DeSantis for his efforts to prevent public institutions from requiring employees to get vaccinated, but the dearth of mask mandates has largely taken center stage.

The Food and Drug Administration should move much faster to approve vaccines for young kids so that families have the option of additional, over-the-top protection. But there's no compelling reason to make students experience further hardship while waiting for that day to come. Why are teachers unions behaving otherwise?

NEXT: California Is Set To Outlaw Unannounced Condom Removal

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  1. Our local private school had .009 percent of students get covid and then went from mask optional to mask mandate. No union pressure. Parent pressure.

    1. oops. .9 percent. I guess that is worthy of a mandate.

      1. I was gonna say, how big is that school?

        Still, the fear mongering is real. People are afraid, some of them are stupid and irrational, and the stupid and irrational are the type who are literally too stupid and irrational to know they’re stupid and irrational.

        Those are the loudest voices in the debate. I wouldn’t bet a large portion of the less than 1% who got the ‘rona might not even have gotten it at school.

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    2. School masks and closure are all about 2022…period

      Dems are petrified of the MOM’s movement protecting their kids in school board meetings that are torching the nation. School Board meetings are the new local grass roots movements by MOM’s protecting their kids. Dems know it. CRT, National Transgender curriculum and masks. Dems need “emergencies” to limit school board meetings to non-public Zoom events.

      CDC study in New York Magazine proves there is no value to masks on children. Dems know it but they do not care. This is a panic decision by Dems and they are trying to limit their 2022 losses and can’t have SCHOOL BOARD meetings.

      It is as obvious as Joe Biden’s giving a Vaccine pass to the Postal workers….so much for Mandatory Vaccines? STOP LYING teachers.

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  2. Soave is just phoning it in now. What kind of troll says, “This is the role the teachers unions have claimed for themselves throughout the pandemic: create obstacles to prevent children’s lives from returning to normal for as long as possible. “? Yeah sure, Soave, they also drink the blood of kids. You give up your status as a serious person when you say stupid stuff like this.

    This comes down to an empirical debate. Do masks prevent spread or not? The unions clearly think they do and they think the inconvenience costs less than the health risks. But do they do this because they want to create obstacles for children? Come on.

    And you are absolutely right that if people would vaccinate then it wouldn’t be such a big problem. But for some reason people are not vaccinating and hence, we have to worry about masks. Maybe if libertarians were not yelling about freedom and such we could mandate vaccines in more places. But alas…

    And while better ventilation would help that’s not a short-term fix. I think masks are fine but would be better if everyone used KN95 masks instead of cheap ones. That would be a better debate.I also think that the argument should be framed as – if we can’t mandate vaccines we should mandate masks. We should do something. In the absence of ventilation changes doing nothing strikes me as a lazy person’s out. You don’t sound smart talking about ventilation. We all know that as soon as schools start spending money on ventilation Reason will come out with an article criticizing it because it involves the government doing something with money. This is just nihilism. Criticizing things because you can and because you are a lazy journalist with an agenda.

    1. re: “The unions clearly think they do”

      Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. It is at least equally plausible (and in my opinion, more likely) that union leaders are using this issue as an excuse to gain leverage and political power in other matters. If the unions were basing their opinion on empirical evidence of actual health risks to children, they would at least occasionally cite that evidence. They don’t because there is none.

      “We should do something. X is something. Therefore we must do X.” is a logical fallacy, not a proper syllogism.

      1. The evidence is very strong at this point: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02457-y

        That’s a real world study with over 300k participants. There really is no rational argument left for opposing masks, if you want to reduce the spread of covid.

        1. It isnt, they dont work.

          Unless you wear an N95, wear it right, and get a new one often.

          99% of people are wearing cloth face diapers, wearing them loosely/wrong, and touching their face/nose with dirty hands, taking them off when they are dining 5 feet away from someone, etc.

          They dont work. Studies have proven it. (other than N95 with knowledge of how to wear it right).

          1. If you are just going to ignore the study above with 350k participants and make up your own facts, then ok.

            1. Tell me how this experiment is nothing more than identifying a weak correlation between villages and self-reported mask wearing.

              The control group had no mask distribution or education on mask wearing, but there are a million other factors that are not being controlled for. The results could easily be a consequence of people acting in a more defensive manner because of the education being taught about the spread of infectious diseases.

              That there are people (ooh scientists!!) who latch onto this and say “the debate should be over” is an indictment of groupthink, not skepticism.

              1. If it was one study, then you could argue. But we now have dozens of studies all pointing the same direction. We now have a tremendously large study still pointing the same direction: masks work.

                The counter argument has nothing. The balance of evidence is clearly tilted in one direction. The fact that a political cult decided to take a stance on this issue and continually move the goal posts on does not change that.

                1. No, actually the fact that this study showed such a small difference, with bad controls, no blinding, and an acknowledged confounder (increased physical distancing), all operating in a direction that would tend to exaggerate distances (see my criticism below), pretty well proved an absence of an effect. If there were other studies pointing in the direction of an effect, this one would be evidence to the contrary.

                2. Oh I get it. One bad study isn’t evidence, but lots of bad studies are.

                  You science good.

              1. Study with only 4k participants.

                Again in size of study and number of studies, the balance of evidence is exceedingly clear. If DJT was about masks from day 1, you would be too.

              2. Not relevant, because that investigated protection of the wearer, not of those around them. But a pretty powerful study on that question, compared to the Bangla Desh study on the other question.

              1. I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m looking for good science regarding a viral pandemic, I look to politically motivated think tanks of economists.

                1. Given the one study you keep citing to, it’s quite evident that you do exactly that.

              1. This is a shitty study in several ways. Several key inputs are estimated, and assumes 100% compliance in places with mask mandates, which we all know is far from reality.

                But it speaks to your biases, therefor this is true and anyone who says different, even with a tremendous real world study of 350,000 people, is a full blown communist.

            2. Again, you’re ignorant to the actual science. There is zero correlation between mask policies in states and covid transmission.

              A study done on Florida last year compared schools with and without mandates and showed zero statistical deviation in infection rates, per the CDC.

              1. u ignant

                1. u lying pile lefty shit.

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            3. From your link:

              “The study’s authors found that surgical masks — but not cloth masks — reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in villages where the research team distributed face masks and promoted their use.”

          2. Which doesn’t even matter, because covid isn’t an extraordinarily dangerous virus and neurotic collectivist totalitarians have no right to demand everyone else be forced to wear a mask.
            If you don’t fight tyranny every time it appears, you invite even greater tyranny.

              1. “As Washington hospitals approach capacity”

                So Idaho is full, and Washington is nearly full.

                That tells us nothing about incidence of Covid in the population of either state.

                That you think it confirms what you want to believe speaks more about you than anything else.

                But, by all means, you keep embarrassing yourself.

              2. Idaho has 66% of their beds in use.

                Washington no longer officially posts our utilization data because it’s been flat THE ENTIRE ‘CRISIS’.

                But for the record, our utilization is 76%.

                Idaho is less full than we are.

                1. DoL is one of those who things normal hospital utilization rates are near zero.

                2. I guess Idaho doesn’t know that. You better tell them. Because, as much as you guys clearly have no counter argument, this did happen. Idaho is triaging care right now. Idaho has requested hospital space from Washington.

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              3. DOL is a lying piece of lefty shit.
                At least a couple of months ago, he whines when one of Ken’s posts pointed out how full of shit DOL is, responding by claiming Ken lies often.
                I asked for ONE cite; DOL never responded to the request for ONE, and muted me as soon as he could, apparently tiring of being called a lying piece of lefty shit. As if muting me WOULD spot me from pointing out that DOL IS a lying piece of lefty shit.
                If DOL is posting it, assume there’s a lie in there somewhere.

                1. Of the 3-Letter L’s, OBL is WAY cooler. He’s also funny. At one point, I thought they were the same guy with a sock puppet, but there’s no way DOL is 1/4 of the intelligence of OBL.

              4. In every single instance that this is reported, it always comes out that the hospital isn ‘t actually “full,” and they are actually short-staffed.

                And of course, they mention the use of ventilators, which is basically a death sentence for anyone with COVID.

                So, parsing through Lying-Ass Dog Journalist-Speak, what’s really going on is that the hospitals stupidly chucked their staff over the last year and a half, there’s an increase of patients but not enough to actually overwhelm the facility under 2019-levels of demand, and the understaffed hospital is putting people on vents (and probably killing them as a result) because it’s easier to put four people on a vent and check them for bed sores until they end up dying, rather than actually treating them.

                Hospitals are killing their patients out of a combination of their own short-sightedness, and passive-aggressive vindictiveness because their patient may not have consumed the Sacramental Vaccine, rather than provide actual treatments.

                1. Yes, I know the building isn’t full of covid patients like an Indian train or some shit. But their capacity is overwhelmed in whichever way, because of unvaccinated dummies.

                  C’mon, man. Are you really buying the tinfoil bullshit about the hospitals killing people, rather than the virus which is killing people all over the world at similar rates? This is motivated reasoning.

                  1. Their capacity isn’t overwhelmed; they don’t have enough staff to handle the patients they have, because they got rid of them last year.

                    Are you really buying the tinfoil bullshit about the hospitals killing people, rather than the virus which is killing people all over the world at similar rates?

                    If a hospital continues putting people on vents despite the evidence that doing so is a death sentence (and because the problem isn’t that they can’t breathe on their own, it’s because the oxygen can’t get through the inflammation), then it’s not a conspiracy theory to state that they’re killing people, and doing it deliberately.

        2. You linked to that same article below. Apparently you didn’t read it though. It does not conclude what you think it does. See my longer rebuttal below.

        3. “The evidence is very strong at this point:”

          No, it is not. But once again you display your ignorance – both general and specific – if you think that the results of that community based trial can be extrapolated to in school restrictions.

          1. First you guys have problems with any studies that incorporates modeling in any way (and which also refutes your preferred outcome, but not the ones that support it), now you have a problem with real word data. So you all are just saying that you won’t be convinced, evidence be damned. Which has been apparent for some time.

            1. No, it’s mostly just correlation mistaken for causation. A common error, but one that any stats 101 student could point out.

            2. Your study showed cloth masks are useless.

            3. Why do you hate the truth so much? Do the democrats really hold this much appeal for you?

        4. A rigorous study finds that surgical masks are highly protective, but cloth masks fall short.
          ————
          And only ‘highly protective’ in the over 50s.

        5. There is literally zero correlation between mask policy and spread. At this point you’re just proving yourself to be an idiot.

          Also…

          Per the CDC, there were just 7,772 deaths from Covid alone from Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021 among those under 74. In 2019, there were 2x as many murders (18,551) in the same age category

          Of those, 8 were under 12.

          School kids have statistically no fear of covid.

          Last year the CDC also admitted child to adult transmission was extremely rare.

          But you’re a statist. So who cares right?

        6. For every study pointed to that supports mask mandates, an opposing study can be laid beside it.

          “Analysis of the Effects of COVID-19 Mask Mandates on Hospital Resource Consumption and Mortality at the County Level”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8395971/#!po=1.00000

          Conclusions: “There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.”

          The evidence seems very clear that younger kids don’t need to wear masks. The evidence that masks commonly worn by adults are “working” is anything but clear.

        7. Yes, big study. Yes, randomized. But the controls were lousy.

          The groups were either “intervention” or “non-intervention”. There was no mention of the study workers doing anything, or even being physically present, in the non-intervention cases. So they were comparing places where people went to promote mask wearing and distribute masks, to places where nobody went to do anything. Are we to suppose that the only relevant effect of mask promotion was on mask wearing? The writeup itself says the intervention group also showed increased physical distancing, which we already know has an effect. But who knows what other effects there were on having those health workers there telling people stuff?

          A better study would’ve had a better control. I’m sure they could’ve distributed masks that were munged in some unobvious way so as not to work. That would’ve guaranteed the health workers would be doing the same thing in both groups, and they’d be blinded as to whether they were distributing the good masks or the fake ones.

          But there’s no reason to do such a study to follow up on this one. Not when you see only a 9% difference between intervention and non-intervention groups in SARS-CoV2 prevalence, and when that’s with an observed 5% difference in physical distancing, and in such a poorly-controlled study that could be expected to exaggerate positive differences.

        8. Go to CDC Study in New York Magazine evidence proves masks on children are utterly worthless.

    2. What school do you teach at if you don’t mind my asking?

      1. Absorbine Jr. College.

      2. Oh, and also: Who gives a fuck if the unions think masks might help stop the spread? Are they doctors and scientists and epidemiologists and public health officials? I thought we were supposed to be following the science, not following whatever some rando “thinks”. If they’re not experts, they need to shut the fuck up before they get beaten for spreading misinformation the same as the rest of us.

        1. Man, they’re sophisticated.

        2. Many of those Florida teachers died before school started. What should concern everybody is the control these Unions have over politicians.

        3. “Are they doctors and scientists and epidemiologists and public health officials?”

          Lol. Yeah, those guys probably think masks are dumb too! Did you think this would help your argument?

          1. It’s the mask-wearers who defer to experts. Why should the union have an opinion if they aren’t experts?

            1. Experts are just dummies who devote their education and work experience to some topic! What do they know!?

              That’s why I cut my own hair, drill my own cavities, and represent myself in court!

              1. I’d trust an expert in a hard science, with few uncontrollable or unknowable external factors (like mechanical engineering). There are a million “experts” who are probably no better at guessing the results within their expertise than a coin.

    3. And you are absolutely right that if people would vaccinate then it wouldn’t be such a big problem. But for some reason people are not vaccinating and hence, we have to worry about masks. Maybe if libertarians were not yelling about freedom and such we could mandate vaccines in more places.

      If you’re vaccinated, you don’t need a mask. If you’re not vaccinated, it’s your choice. Yes, I prefer freedom to mandates.

      GET UP OFF OF YOUR DAMN KNEES.

    4. In a K-5 grade school, the only people with the option to vaccinate are the staff.

    5. ” We should do something.”

      If you’re a teacher, get vaccinated. If you’re worried that getting vaccinated is not enough, wear a mask. Otherwise, fuck off slaver.

      CB

      1. thank you!

    6. What kind of troll says, “This is the role the teachers unions have claimed for themselves throughout the pandemic: create obstacles to prevent children’s lives from returning to normal for as long as possible. “?

      The kind of troll that recognizes that the Unions have in no way signaled that they are giving weight to any sort of “return to normal”. If they talked about trade-offs and priorities and risk/reward, then fine. They don’t. Their communications show a one-sided view of minimizing risks to their members to the point of being completely irrational about what level of “minimal risks” are acceptable.

    7. “…Maybe if libertarians were not yelling about freedom and such we could mandate vaccines in more places…”

      Perhaps if steaming piles of lefty shit weren’t trying to control the lives of others, we could live our lives as we see fit, steaming pile of lefty shit.

    8. Maybe if libertarians were not yelling about freedom and such we could mandate vaccines in more places. But alas…

      Oh please. Are you really arguing that government isn’t imposing more mandates because of what libertarians say?

      What should libertarians be yelling? “More slavery! We’re too FREEEEE!”

    9. But do they do this because they want to create obstacles for children?

      It would be more fair to say the unions do this so that teachers can be paid to do nothing for as long as possible.

      1. “It would be more fair to say the unions do this so that teachers can be paid to do nothing for as long as possible.”

        In what universe is that not an obstacle for children?

        1. I’m not saying it isn’t. Just that it likely isn’t the primary desire of the unions.

    10. The science actually says that masks are dangerous for those under 10 or so. They are not as capable at that age at handling CO2 buildup and O2 starvation. Moreover, their masks have been shown to collect disease at a higher rate than with adults, turning their masks into Petri dishes of bacteria and viruses. Moreover, it appears that kids need facial cues more than adults to understand what is being said. Facial cues hidden by masks. Moreover, their chances of dying from COVID-19 are lower than from a bunch of other things, including drowning, car accidents, drive by shootings, other diseases, etc. In short, there is no medical reason for these kids to mask, and likely reasons for them not to.

      1. Sshhh…don’t say things like that, even if they are factual. You’ll get flagged as a disinfo troll. Biden will be sending his vaxx trolls to your door with needle in hand.
        Submit…..prepare to be assimilated….resistance is futile!

        1. Start shooting.

        2. Every democrat is a disinformation troll. They should be deleted.

    11. Teachers unions are horrible. And you generally don’t give up your status as a person unless you’re a progressive. Also, most people really do not need to vaccinate.

      At least you acknowledge that cloth masks are worthless.

    12. “I think masks are fine but would be better if everyone used KN95 masks instead of cheap ones.”

      Of course you think masks are “fine” because you are signaling for your team [they have been called “team blue’s MAGA hats” for a reason]; sure, it would be better if everyone used N 95 respirators and if they had enough sense to wear them properly and at times when they are needed. What I see every day in the community are people wearing cheap assed pieces of cloth or ineffective “surgical” masks they do little to nothing to protect them; and even then they are not worn correctly even if they were effective. Masks are at best performative theater and at worst provide a false sense of confidence that does more harm than good.

      1. “if everyone used KN95 masks instead of cheap ones”

        KN95s are supposed to be single use. That comes out to 110 billion masks/year for the USA. The production capacity probably doesn’t exist.

        1. Last I checked, KN95 or 99 filters for 3M industrial masks are still not back in stock at Home Depot.

        2. Old data. New testing has shown that n95 masks are very durable.

          https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/do-n95-masks-really-expire/

          “Longevity tests have found less than a 1% decrease in fit effectiveness in pollution masks worn every day for 30 days. “

          1. LOL! So now you are using a blog post on an air filter website about the effectiveness of filtering pollution over the course of 30 days. I’m hoping upon rereading your comment that you can spot at least one of many problems that should make you realize how stupid and irrelevant that is to the current conversation.

            1. Pollution.. wonder how small those particles are compared to a virus…. DoL isn’t the sharpest leftist authoritarian here.

              1. Ah yes, the mythical free-floating virus particle that doesn’t cling to any other particle, including the saliva/mucous it rode on.

                There is ignorance being exposed here, yes.

                1. Did you usually spit, sneeze, and cough on people’s face prior to the mask fad?

                2. Indeed. Yours. You’re a lying shitweasel.

          2. Once again you display your ignorance and desire to fit something to your beliefs.

            Fit effectiveness for pollution not being the same as fit effectiveness for airborne virus.

            1. Then enlighten me. Where is this study on fir for airborne virus that is different than fit for pollution?

              Or was this a lame gotcha! attempt?

          3. That cuts it to 3.6 billion, plus whatever health care workers use on a daily basis.

    13. The unions clearly think they do and they think the inconvenience costs less than the health risks. But do they do this because they want to create obstacles for children? Come on.

      Unions don’t wear masks. Individual teachers do. Further, almost by definition, unions create a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem they see. Individual teachers see their particular classroom environment – which also happens to be where the virus exists.

      Do unions consciously want to create obstacles for children? No. Do they give a shit about children? No.

      This whole pandemic is just one more demonstration that we should get rid of school district governance and revert back to individual school governance.

      1. …and destroy all public sector unions.

        1. You do have to be able to see the flaw in the concept of good faith negotiations between unions and those politicians whose campaigns are being funded by those same unions, particularly when there is nothing to be lost by not opposing the union’s position, even if entirely unreasonable.

          I wonder if your public sector union support would change any if 95% of their support was going to Republican politicians.

          1. Is it opposite day? I just said to destroy all public sector unions. I’m not being funny.

            1. On that we agree.

        2. “…and destroy all public sector unions.”

          We can dream, you lying piece of lefty shit.

      2. Individual school governance is an anathema to every bureaucrat in the food chain starting with the politically placed positions within each school, up through school boards, state governance and of course the Dept of Ed and Congress that allocates funding.

        And of course, I can’t imagine any recent president that would relinquish their power to squelch funding for any school who did not yield to their predilections. It’s too delicious to even think about walking away from that. That became most blatantly obvious when Obama that any school that didn’t make his desired restroom/locker room accommodations would lose federal funding and I think Trump was at least making some threats along another line.

        That doesn’t even begin to touch the local tax and spending folks who have much of their power at stake, and even many contractors who derive substantial income from the current formation.

        A reformation of districts into school governance would likely face opposition by 90% of all government and anyone associated with supplying or contracting. Imagine the fear-mongering that would be on full display.

        1. That’s why it would work. Imagine school staff composed of almost no bureaucrats and where contractors (like cafeteria, hell even curriculum/charter classrooms, etc) compete. Course getting from here to there is difficult. But easier than a privatized education trough which goes nowhere except a bigger trough.

    14. This comes down to an empirical debate. Do masks prevent spread or not?

      Two points. First, no, masks do not prevent spread. They might attenuate spread a little bit. But evidence is clear that they don’t prevent anything. Second, the question is a lot bigger than “do masks prevent spread”. Masks are not without risks and downsides. I’d say the psychological and developmental harm to children is enough to say that we should absolutely not be requiring or encouraging children to wear masks in school or anywhere. Children have very low risk. And in many countries where children are in school with no masks, there is no significant extra risk observed for teachers.
      This virus isn’t going anywhere. At some point going back to normal and accepting that it exists has to be the answer.

      1. They might attenuate spread a little bit.
        Second, the question is a lot bigger than “do masks prevent spread”. Masks are not without risks and downsides.

        There is no room for nuance in this debate. Masks are either a magic bullet with no, or totally useless / downright harmful. Just like ivermectin.

        Aside, my wife went back to in-person teaching yesterday. She has been very pro mask, but when she got home her first words were, “I can’t wait to get rid of these fucking things.”

        This virus isn’t going anywhere. At some point going back to normal and accepting that it exists has to be the answer.

        For 15-25% of this country, this option is worse than death.

        1. Yeah, I don’t find a lot of people who have actually had to work in the damn things who are enthusiastic about masks.

    15. “This comes down to an empirical debate. Do masks prevent spread or not?”

      Singleminded views like that are the problem.

      It is not just a question of, “Do they work?” but rather a question of, “Do benefits exist? And if they do, ***do they outweigh the costs?***”

      The impact of masking young children is real and significant. Attempting to ignore this cost / benefit analysis in favor of the simpler, “Do they work?” is the biggest reason why people are able to continue promoting harmful policies on children without feeling the slightest remorse.

      It’s disgusting.

    16. They don’t intend kids harm any more than the thief’s motivation is to harm the proprietor. But they do see an opportunity to either get paid for doing nothing or to make their jobs cushier.

    17. “We should do something” is the beginning of every bad law and policy decision since the beginning of time.

    18. “We should do something.”

      Sure, Clit. When there’s a problem, the most important thing is that “we” do “something.” I mean, what happens if the top men are’s seen to be doing something? If that something is ineffective or creates a bigger problem than we had before, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and do “something” about that.

    19. Beautifully said. Ultimately, the longer the virus is around with a Ro (contagion rate) > 1, the more likely at some point it will mutate into a really bad variant, that may thwart the vaccinated.

      How do you stop a respiratory virus? Reduced sharing of air.

      Unfortunately it is not clear how well the vaccines stop the virus — they mainly seem to reduce the risk of serious illness. Probably some effect, maybe a large (?) one too on reducing spread — but this is still unclear.

      At this point, what the best way we know to have this virus die off is to reduce sharing of air between infected and noninfected, through a combination of ventilation (maximizing the outdoors and to limited degree HVAC tweaks indoors), distancing and masking. For now, masks make sense (and are a hell of lot better than keeping schools closed. If Asians can wear masks, Americans can suck it up too to get it done.

  3. The other day Howard Stern was quoted as saying “fuck your freedoms”. Covid fear is rampant and unremitting.

    It was an astounding thing coming from a guy who knew first hand how precious freedom is and how much the state can abuse their authority.

    1. Wow, this is insane. I know there’s the comparison to the 9/11 powergrabs, but nobody back then was saying anything close to “fuck your freedom”.

      1. I don’t know. It sure felt that way to me.

        Any time I complained that security theater was over the top, or when the TSA was randomly stopping people at train stations (Sometimes after they got OFF) or when the naked scanners came in… There was always some hand wringer willing to tell me it was a sacrifice for all of our goods.

        Even the most obvious shit, like financial surveillance and FISA warrants where the whole process is secret. Mention “That’ll get used against Americans” and you got are response of “So what?” which is close to “fuck your freedom.” That’s just a blunt version of “If you’re not doing anything wrong what are you worried about?” isn’t it?

        1. 9/11 reaction and dismissal of the concept of individual rights wasn’t even in the same ballpark as the covid collectivist totalitarianism we see today.
          Trying to equate the two is no more than shilling for this bullshit tyranny.

        2. That’s the kind of thing we saw early last year, when “two weeks to slow the spread” became “we’ll get back to normal eventually”. We’re now at the stage of “this is the new normal and fuck you if you don’t like it; fuck your freedom”, which is somewhere we never got with surveillance and TSA molestation.

          I know of nobody, not one person, that says the TSA is a good thing, much less anyone that will claim that you’re evil for speaking out against them. But people that vocally demand that you yield to the whims of the state because COVID and proclaim that you’re literally Hitler for objecting is a daily occurrence depending on where you live.

          1. I know what you mean, of course.

            I still disagree. But I’m not just talking TSA. We DID get that way with a lot of patriot act shit. In fact, I had many people completely dismiss my complaints about it. The secret warrants and the massive militarization of the police, especially.

            20 years has softened it for you, I bet, but my perception at the time was that it massively changed people’s responses to the risk/freedom equation, and it was very much “Fuck you, the loss of all those freedoms is to keep you safe”.

            We’d never have today’s covidiocy if we didn’t have a generation of Millennials come of age under the 9/11 reaction.

            1. All the airport shit was because of political correctness. The easy way to deal with it would have been to simply follow the terrorist profile and not assume an 80 year old white woman on a walker was an Islamic terrorist.

    2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9973731/Howard-Stern-mocks-right-wing-radio-hosts-died-Covid-preaching-against-vaccine.html

      While there is definitely some irony in anti-vaxxers dying of COVID, it’s not something to laugh about.

      What an asshole.

      1. That is pretty much his stock-in-trade and nobody has ever said he’s anything but an asshole… unless they were just calling him a pig.

        I couldn’t care less about anyone who picks their audience from those who share a junior high mentality by targeting public individuals who have have the capacity to shoot back.

        But doing it to those who can’t, and he often does, is just being a bully, and doing it to the dead just for spite and giggles just deserves a solid punch to the windpipe. And perhaps a few folks sitting around giggling about it in the aftermath.

    3. There’s a guy who drank the Kool-Aid. The guy was a rebel for decades. But now he’s the establishment.

      1. Half a billion $$$ can do that to someone as shallow as Stern.

    4. Medical advice from the Butt Bongos guy…the old folks were right, we really are going to Hell in a handbasket.

    5. To anyone who says “fuck your freedoms”, I say “fuck your lives”. My freedoms are valuable, and if it’s a contest between my freedom, and the lives of slavers, the slavers are not required.

      1. This. Whatever social contract obligates me to go out of my way to make feel safer was voided when you failed to do the bare minimum to make me feel freer.

      2. Yes, it’s fucking insane and evil. Our freedoms are worth a whole lot more than the tiny risk posed by covid to most people. People fought wars for freedom and now we can’t even accept a small risk of disease in order to keep them. Fuck those people. At this point I’ll take all the idiot anti-vaxxers over that bullshit.

        1. Well if THEY are vaccinated, then they aren’t at any significant risk from anyone who isn’t. And if the tiny risk you might get the sniffles bothers you, they stay home in your bubble and hope nobody on the road with you is talking on their phone because they are a far bigger risk.

    6. Fuck Howard Stern…filthy little chew.

    7. Wow. When you’ve lost Stern, you’ve lost libertarians.

    8. Howard Stern is a fucking clown who ceased being relevant decades ago.

  4. “…Please take a minute to fully understand this: our teachers are being killed right now at a much higher rate than our soldiers…”

    Had to check the entire orchard to find that cherry.

    1. …This kind of alarmist no-context bullshit brought to you by the same people who reference water as a “chemical compound found in antifreeze” to provoke you to their position.

      Just so I know, is this including/excluding Biden’s 13 dead soldiers?

  5. >>What’s killing Florida teachers—and practically everyone else who suffers a negative health outcome due to COVID-19—is a lack of vaccination.

    a bold statement not certain is factual.

    1. Well, and probably even more from obesity and related ills (e.g. Type 2 Diabetes). Even the few kids who died mostly had well known comorbidities.

    2. “a bold statement not certain is factual.”

      Limited to the Miami-Dade schoolteachers being cited it is a reasonable conclusion. Eighty six percent of those who died from Covid being unvaccinated.

      1. sure. but he disqualified that with the 13 words between the dashes

      2. None of it the the Secy of Ed’s tweet is factual anyway. Only half were teachers, none of them had even been in a school building, and most were sick well before the year even started. None were vaxxed. I thought victim blaming was fine so long as they are the unvaxxed.

        One might note however, that all were black, all Democrat, and at least from the pics they showed, most had severe health issues that at least included severe obesity. Heck, they probably didn’t even know how to get an ID.

        So naturally the most logical course is to fire away at the Republican because blaming black Democrats for their personal choices isn’t as politically expedient as blaming white people, particularly white Republicans.

  6. “It’s worth noting that masks are of dubious importance for school children.”

    It’s funny because I’ve noted that systems with mask mandates around here have the odd quarantine of onesies and twosies but the ones without have had entire classes or schools quarantine. Anecdotal but I think the masks help more than you think.

    That said, masks are also quite a small deal. What’s the harm in having them until the vaccine is approved (hopefully end of year?) for kids? The amount of hand wringing and utter whining about such a trivial issue is astounding. It truly shows those who 1) haven’t had to face much if any sacrifice and 2) who truly are selfish as can be.

    1. Cloth masks are worthless and kids don’t wear them well anyway. But I’m not surprised at your reaction as you’re pretty goddamn stupid.

      1. Keep in mind that the “studies” supposedly finding commonly worn masks useful almost invariably utilize models, that almost always presuppose droplet dispersal – but we know now that most COVID-19 viral dispersal is by aerosol, and not droplets. GIGO. The openings in surgical masks are an order or two in magnitude larger than the target virons (and, indeed, surgical masks are designed to collect droplets, and not aerosols). And the handmade masks and neck gators we see so often don’t do much of anything with aerosols. Wonder why it’s hard finding underwear these days in the stores? Partly, it is probably because the big underwear making companies cut over to making fabric masks instead. Might as well wear a couple pair of underwear over your head instead. Do as much good.

        1. Masks are not meant to be chromatography or nano-filtration for virus particles. No one has ever suggested that is how they function, other than disingenuous partisans and their brain dead parrots.

          And they are effective, unless you have a competing study (not modeled) with over 300k participants that shows the counter.

          https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02457-y

          1. People ‘suggest’ that all the time.

          2. You keep posting the same debunked study. Booring.

            1. It has not been debunked at all. Just because a bunch of moronic cultists around here say “nah-uh”, does not make it so.

          3. Study, again, shows N-95 masks used properly help. Not cloth masks.

            You could at least read what you link to.

          4. Disingenuous partisans? Brain dead parrots?

            That’s you.

    2. There is no science to support forcing masks onto children. The sole purpose is conformity and compliance. That’s it. So fuck you.

      1. ” The sole purpose is conformity and compliance. That’s it. So fuck you.”

        Evidence? Masking is effective at reducing the spread. New study with over 300k participants puts this completely to bed. So why wouldn’t it prevent spreading among children and from children to adults?

        1. It would have to be consistent to be effective. I can only speak for my kid’s school, but there they’re making the kids “tolerate” masks for two eight minute intervals per day. If masking kids was to prevent the spread then I’d think they’d have the kids wear masks for more than sixteen minutes a day. It’s not about preventing the spread. It’s about compliance.

          1. Well, that’s strange.

        2. Holy shit you need to shut up about this study.

          It shows SURGICAL masks make a 10% difference ONLY IN people 50%!

          1. Why should I? Because you don’t like it? You don’t like that you and your cult were wrong.

            1. We’re not wrong. We’ve all been nice enough to straighten you out amd you’ve been nothing but rude and peevish.

              You should thank us.

              1. I’m being rude, but when nardz makes death threats by the dozen we get crickets. Yeah, go find someone else’s fainting couch.

                1. I’ve never seen Nardz actually threaten anyone. Even though many progs here deserve to be beaten for their mendacious bullshit.

                  If he really did threaten you, he has stayed his hand. Perhaps you should instead thank him, for the generosity of his mercy. Perhaps you should thank all of us.

    3. As I said above – masks are unhealthy for kids, both due to O2 starvation and CO2 buildup, and their masks accumulate, often bad, bacteria and viruses. Moreover, they reduce facial cues, that kids use more than adults.

      They don’t need vaccines either, because there is no evidence that they would die at a lower rate if they were vaccinated with our current crop of unsterializing vaccines. The virus isn’t killing them now – why do we think that it will save any of their lives? Besides, there are incessant rumors of side effects – that are inversely age related (as contrasted with the virus, where lethality is almost exponentially age related).

      1. “As I said above – masks are unhealthy for kids, both due to O2 starvation and CO2 buildup, and their masks accumulate, often bad, bacteria and viruses”

        Today on Facebook Facts!

        https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-oxygen/fact-check-face-masks-do-not-cause-terrible-damage-to-the-brain-by-depriving-it-of-oxygen-idUSKBN2761ZW

        1. No one said it causes terrible brain damage.

          1. They said it deprives kids of oxygen, which is false.

            1. It restricts breathing. I don’t know if it causes significant physical problems, but it definitely causes psychological distress, which is important. Remember when everyone was getting all into the importance of mental health? I guess that doesn’t matter any more. Who cares if a bunch of kids kill themselves? At least we are pretending to do something about a virus.

              1. Kids killing themselves over masks? Well, this escalated quickly.

            2. You have no idea what O2 deprivation causes. And you really should learn how to read a study before commenting on it. First, they were only testing adults. Doctors and old veterans with COPD, not kids whose O2 requirements per kg of body mass are significantly higher than adults.

              Second, they didn’t say there was no oxygen deprivation. The numbers themselves show a lower blood O2 count. They just showed that after exertion, the body managed to catch up somewhat if allowed 5 minutes and then 30 minutes of rest. There was on indicator of lung pressure in order to make this happen. And they sure as hell didn’t put these people through the paces all day long or test their capacity to learn after being on a mask for hours.

              Third, the body makes up for lower intake by increasing respiration count and intensity. These are make-up functions or you’d never catch up after losing your breath. But it’s also been shown that you shouldn’t do this all day long day after day and that doing so causes overwork of the diaphragm causing long term heart damage. This is the net effect of obstructive sleep apnea and why people spend billions on CPAP machines.

              Simply put, nobody is gonna die from wearing a mask. But that doesn’t mean there are no effects on learning, mitosis, or that it won’t stress organ function over the long term.

              1. He’s irrational, and obsessed with forcing a dangerous placebo on everyone. Including small children. Unfortunately, he’s not just some lone nut. There are millions like him.

                There is no real debate to be had about the efficacy of cloth masks. It’s proven they’re near worthless and are a net health hazard. The real discussion is what to do about these leftist nutcases? Democrats

                I don’t see a way we can survive with them around. So we should discuss how to handle them.

      2. Oxygen deprivation and co2 buildup are myths, buddy.

        1. So, the teenagers passing out after running races are myths?

          My counter is that the claim that masking prevents COVD-19 is a myth.

        2. Then you should give yourself 100% protection and tie a plastic bag around your head and make sure the seal is airtight.

          I guarantee you will never need to worry about KungFlu ever again.

    4. “quite a small deal. What’s the harm in having them ”
      You’re Juden? You might try to pollute our Aryan girls. The safety of the general public requires you to wear a yellow Star of David on your clothes. No big deal. You’re gay? Well you may have AIDS and the public safety requires you wear a pink H on your clothes. No big deal.

      1. Godwin’s law offender ^

        1. It might be if you weren’t advocating and practicing totalitarian collectivism.

          1. Cite one single comment in which I advocate for “totalitarian collectivism”.

            I mean, jesus christ. There is hyperbolic and then there is Nardz.

            1. This entire thread.

              1. So that’s a “no”. Keep taking selfies with your AR15. Pathetic as those are, they are less embarrassing than your comments here.

                1. We are embarrassed…….. for you.

                2. Asshole lying pile of lefty shit offender

    5. I doubt it. My guess is school districts without masks are also not interested in testing kids/staff early on. So they ignore the problem until it’s too big to be ignored.

      I’d really like to see some example of schools that don’t focus on mask but do keep the infected out of school.

      1. Your stupid, too.

        A kid comes to school sick, is tested by the school staff, and everyone in their class is quarantined for 11 days (or 4 with a negative test).

        That’s why the quarantine numbers are so high. We don’t just quarantine sick kids, we quarantine everyone. We have not had any students stay in quarantine from testing positive. Nearly all of our positive cases came from the community, not the schools.

        1. “Your stupid, too.”

          My god guys. The quality of commenter around here has plummeted.

          1. Good comment. Of course, you’re missing a comma in your response.

            I can’t tell you how often my phone changes “you’re” to “your,” leaving me to hopefully notice before I submit.

          2. It has. It went downhill once you came here. Even worse when you started this sock?

        2. “A kid comes to school sick, is tested by the school staff, and everyone in their class is quarantined for 11 days (or 4 with a negative test).”

          That is absolutely not how they are doing it around here. Kids with negative tests are not quarantined.

          1. In missouri, no quarantines if the kids are wearing masks, don’t even test them. That would distort things significantly, although it does nothing to tell if the mask actually works. Most schools last year implemented mask mandates to keep attendance numbers up. In our rural school, there was never much difference. Teenagers spread it while partying on the weekends, otherwise it was just a stray case here and there. Nobody actually got very sick, and there was never an outbreak from school, masks or not.

          2. Good god no. I just saw the stats for the next county over. 40 kids diagnosed positive, 5300 in quarantine. If that wasn’t how they did it, the numbers would be identical. They aren’t even close.

    6. That you think that shows you have no idea how a quarantine happens.

    7. ” It truly shows those who 1) haven’t had to face much if any sacrifice and 2) who truly are selfish as can be.”

      Bingo. These people (universally the same as the maga crowd) showing up screaming at school board meetings about their precious baby not being able to see smiles at school is hopefully the peak of selfish cry-babyism.

      1. ^child molester

        1. ^ Absolute dork.

          1. ^ Fucking lefty ignramus

        2. Go easy on him Nardz, he’s terrified you are going to hunt him down and kill him.

      2. Democrat shill is a democrat shill.

    8. The harm in having them is quite well documented. You could, for a start, read the article above where some of those harms are articulated.

      Granted, those harms are smaller than the harms of getting mangled in a traffic accident because you left your kids unbuckled. But those harms are significantly greater than the benefits to kids from wearing the damn things.

    9. Masks are not no big deal when you are asked to wear them four hours a day indefinitely. It’s dirty, uncomfortable, and causes many people significant anxiety. It makes social interactions in public weird and sad. If it was only occasionally, that wouldn’t be a big deal. For a year and a half, with no end in sight? That’s a big fucking deal and a significant burden for people who are required to wear them for work or school.
      There are things in the world besides avoiding infection with SARS-CoV2 that matter. All you fuckers who want to pretend that isn’t the case are evil pieces of shit and can fuck off.

      1. All the above, but I’ve yet to see much of anyone comment on the fact that much of diction and foundational information is picked up through verbal means at school. Even those with normal hearing let alone those with mild to moderate hearing difficulties find it virtually impossible to gather all the information someone is spouting behind a mask while standing 30′ away. Most of these would otherwise be able to function and will likely go a lifetime never being diagnosed. They will merely stay behind and likely be tagged in the system as merely stupid.

        At least double that problem when the teacher isn’t directly facing the student. I can’t begin to imagine the net loss of learning on an entire generation of students, particularly those who are lacking parental support or who would otherwise be considered at risk.

    10. Maybe the quarantines are also of dubious importance for school children. Number of positive tests means shit. And at some point we have to stop all the testing and everything and accept that this is a virus we will likely be living with forever. The pandemic is over.

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    11. It’s funny because I’ve noted that systems with mask mandates around here have the odd quarantine of onesies and twosies but the ones without have had entire classes or schools quarantine. Anecdotal but I think the masks help more than you think.

      The problem in this arrangement is the very fact that they’re continuing to insist on quarantining people, and that they’re continuing to test people that don’t develop symptoms. The populations of schools and nursing homes have much, much different risk profiles re: COVID (and most everything else) – even

      That said, masks are also quite a small deal. What’s the harm in having them until the vaccine is approved (hopefully end of year?) for kids?

      Or never. What’s your solution then? Masks forever? Quarantines forever? Is this any way to live?

      That we are bothering to put children through this rigmarole over an illness which poses basically no risk to them, and whose parents’ risk can be readily mitigated should they choose, is a tremendous injustice.

      1. The problem here is that the goalposts keep moving and will continue to do so. The first mission was reducing the impact on the medical staff. Admirable and realistic while gearing up.

        Then somehow the goalpost shifted to putting everything on hold till we got a vaccine. Now that’s there, the new goalpost seems to be that every human on the planet will get that vaccine and we cross our fingers and hope that no new variants pop up in the meantime that the vaccine doesn’t work on. You think it’s hard getting people to vaxx now? Wait till they are told the first one is useless and it’s got to start all over again.

        I said it at the beginning that the thing that got the world over the 1918 Spanish flu was that there was no other choice than to let it burn through the population, select the weak for death and move on before it turned into 20 shades of variance that also had to work through the population. This is how the world has worked since Cro-Magnon and perhaps before. It’s stupid to think we have evolved enough to cheat the world of a pandemic.

        Shit happens and none of us are gonna be around 100 years from now anyway. Seriously, it isn’t a epic worldwide tragedy that the weakest 0.0005 of the population died earlier. The fact that we have set the remaining 99.95% of us and likely future generations up for long term economic failure is by far the bigger tragedy.

  7. In the USA (per the U.S. Constitution Supreme Law); The White House nor Federal Government has any authority to mandate anything about education or disease… Which country are we in again?

  8. 1. Masks, as commonly worn by individuals in the community, are ineffective. Cheap assed pieces of cloth across your face or paper surgical masks [designed primarily to protect patients with open incisions] are nothing more than performative theater. At worst they provide a false sense of confidence and do more harm than good.

    2. N 95 respirators can protect if you wear the right size and wear it properly. Also important is to wear them at the right times and places and not while riding your bicycle or driving [alone] in your car.

    3. Most of this nonsense is far more about signaling and believing that you display some sort of virtue and how you are with the program or pulling for the right “team.” The Union has taken a stand and it does not matter what “science” actually is, they just want to win.

      1. I don’t think you read your own article. The link you cite explicitly says that “The study’s authors found that surgical masks — but not cloth masks — reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in villages where the research team distributed face masks and promoted their use.” In other words, they both provided high quality masks, trained people on their use including the requirement to wash them and monitored for proper use after training.

        Nothing in that article rebuts Quo’s assertion that “Masks, as commonly worn by individuals in the community, are ineffective.”

        Notable also is their conclusion that “The study linked surgical masks with an 11% drop in risk, compared with a 5% drop for cloth.” In other words, while the fully-supported surgical masks improved the risk reduction, it improved it from almost nothing to … still very little.

        1. Even if that were true, it still disproves the ridiculous and politically motivated statement of “masks don’t work”. The conclusion would be to then wear a surgical mask or better.

          And if you read a little further:

          “The study linked surgical masks with an 11% drop in risk, compared with a 5% drop for cloth. That finding was reinforced by laboratory experiments whose results are summarized in the same preprint. The data show that even after 10 washes, surgical masks filter out 76% of small particles capable of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, says Mushfiq Mobarak, an economist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and a co-author of the study. By contrast, the team found that 3-layered cloth masks had a filtration efficiency of only 37% before washing or use.”

          1. Go back and read my comment; the correct type of mask [N 95] properly fitted and worn DO WORK; during the early part of the COVID epidemic we who work in an emergency department relied upon them exclusively. And they seemed to work because none of us got sick.

            Now read the part of my comment which you decry as false, in juxtaposition to what I state above; masks, AS COMMONLY USED AND WORN IN THE COMMUNITY, are a fucking joke.

            1. You guys can’t read? Or just immune to the parts that don’t fit your fantasy land version of reality?

              I’ll quote it again, for the inbred among us here : “The study linked surgical masks with an 11% drop in risk, compared with a 5% drop for cloth.”

              1. IF you wear the right kind of mask, the right way, at the right time.

                Aside from the fact that you are promoting a study that purports a 5-11% drop in risk [is that really the best you can come up with?] it seems you are rather obtuse; regardless of cloth or paper, go anywhere in your community and watch what the typical person is doing with that useless mask. What you are proudly advocating isn’t protecting anyone.

                You love masks because you are an asshole, so go put on your “blue team MAGA hat” and catch something and stop preaching on something about which you are totally ignorant.

                1. Ignore him, he’s just another leftist traitor.

              2. And that, as a best case scenario, is sufficient to impose all of the negatives of long term masking on a population with very little to gain? Most healthy people have like 1% chance of getting seriously ill, if that. Knocking that down to 0.9% is really worth years of physical and psychological discomfort? I’m not buying it. And I’ll say it again. No one is claiming that it’s not possible for some masks to be effective to some extent under some circumstances.

                1. Is the 5-11% reduction even quantifiable? When you look town-to-town, there are waves at differing times, and that seems like a very low number for it to be considered significant. What does a 5-11% reduction in transmission look like nationwide? You’re just lengthening the spread, not stopping shit.

          2. You can’t just say “work” as if that means something. I don’t think very many people would deny that masks probably have some effect. Even if it’s just blocking big gobs of spit when you talk. I’m a big anti-mask guy and I will accept that they probably have some marginal effect.
            If you are going to say they work, you have to say what the standards for working actually are. So yeah, they probably work in the sense that they probably can stop some transmission sometimes. Much stronger claims are frequently made which are not supported by this study or any other.

            1. It’s in the study/article. I even quoted it.

              1. I was more responding to your characterization of the claim that “masks don’t work” as ridiculous and politically motivated.
                A lot of people seem to think that if everyone would just wear a mask then everything would be OK. No study supports that claim. In that sense masks don’t work. They also don’t work in the sense that very few people use them in a way that is likely to be particularly effective. In that sense, mask requirements really don’t work.

                1. It is a low cost, low effort mitigation method that is being met with cries of “tyranny” and comparisons to the holocaust. It is ridiculous. Basically any measure whatsoever is being billed as tyranny. I suppose the djt cult crowd just wants everyone to get sick, hospitals to overfill, and then what? Then cry how Biden did this to them.

                  Check out https://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/ (hate that site but just look at the top posts). It is Trump cultist after Trump cultist asking for their freinds to pray away the covid that they got by owning the libs so damn hard. Then when they die, their family asks for donations on gofundme. But they ain’t no commie taking that medicare! The hypocrisy, the sickness, the insanity is laid bare. These people will literally die because their cult leader said that it is no big deal almost 2 years ago. And 700k deaths later, they are still determined to prove him right.

                  1. Trump is the reason that big pharma was able to get the vaccines out to the public as quickly as they did. Not your precious senile diaper shitting Biden.

          3. Bottom line, unless you’re strictly advocating for medical grade masks, you are not to be taken seriously. Which is generally the case with you anyway.

          4. There can never be a switch to “only surgical masks are acceptable” because that would be an admission that the mask mandaters were mistaken in having people wear cloth masks. Like many assholes of the world, they only care about being perceived as right, not about actually being right.

  9. I hope this backfires when the lil devils figure out that the teachers won’t be able to see the visual ques’ of an impending attack and won’t be able to be identified due to the masks.

    1. Just write quiz answers on the outside of the mask, then (have your parents) sue when the teacher endangers your life by making you take it off.

  10. Our school district couldn’t mandate masks, so they basically shamed the kids into wearing masks.

    The result was an immediate decline in the rate of covid infection while the county continues to go up.

    So maybe there is a rationale for masking.

    *shrug*

    1. There’s also a rationale for brutally executing intolerant mask advocates.

      *shrug*

    2. My grandfather said Mussolini made the trains run on time.

      So maybe there is a rationale for fascism.

      *shrug*

  11. Face it. The teachers don’t want to go back into their classrooms, because then they would have to start worrying about their marginal and troubled students again – the segment that pretty much disappeared with distance learning.

    1. But whatabout teaching LGBTQXYZ and ANTIFA and Critical Race Theory? How can teachers indoctrinate children into ANTIFA Marxism if they’re not in the classroom?
      How can they brainwash children into believing how evil they are just for being white?

  12. The little rug rats spread all manner of illnesses (colds, flu, etc.) among the school population. Some teachers are at extreme risk from such illnesses. Therefore, maybe we will soon see the unions demanding virtual learning only – let the kids keep the germs in their own homes. If it saves one teacher’s life…….

  13. If you use the metric that kids do not commonly have severe covid, then yes masks don’t make sense. But that is not the metric. Kids can and do spread covid to adults who then have severe covid. Keeping that in mind mask mandates in schools are reasonable.

    1. Yeah. It’s a real “modest proposal”.

      Fucking idiot.

    2. But that is not the metric.

      You don’t get to choose the metric. And Stand Up For The Foot

    3. So you are saying vaccines don’t work?

      Can you cite a long term study of kids wearing masks everyday for over a year?

    4. I’m fucking sick of pretending that the function of children is to protect adults.

      1. We’re not altering their function, though. Just put a little piece of paper over their mouth at school. I really don’t see the harm whatsoever. This is just another opportunity to cry about an imagined harm because fat fucks in america have it too easy, and we are not evolved to have an easy life. So we create fake hardships where none exist.

        1. “So we create fake hardships where none exist”

          Like shutting down the US economy.

        2. >I really don’t see the harm whatsoever.

          I understand you’re just a troll, so I’m really mentioning this for the rest of the world.

          But… THIS is the issue. There is harm. Everyone else in the world sees it, acknowledges it, and weighs it in their health orders.

          The fundamental human condition is precariousness. We are always balancing life and risk. This is true everywhere, for everything, including very common things like driving (35Kish people a year die in cars in the US) or normal pre-‘rona socializing when people still caught flu, colds and other less transmissible bugs.

          So just saying “One thing does help” is a disingenuous argument. What’s the risk? How much will it help? And what are the downsides — including the ones trolls and partisans won’t acknowledge once they get to their “it helps so that’s the end of the argument” stance?

          Masking is bad for learning, just for one. It’s bad for social development. It’s VERY bad in younger children for cognitive social development in things like reading cues on faces, so for pre K through early elementary masking retards progress well outside of just academic performance like reading and arithmetic.

          Again, just an example. Anyone who doesn’t understand that there is a counterbalancing argument, especially with the UK and EU countries actually weighing those in their masking policies, is either myopic or just a full of shit troll who wants to win an argument by shutting down any debate.

          1. I’m just a troll who routinely presents evidence for each argument. Something that cannot be said for many other commenters around here who are never challenged. Cultists gonna cult.

            Are you supportive of homeschooling? Because I see a lot of the same arguments about harming socialization etc from homeschooling opponents. And aren’t they getting facial cues etc. all the rest of the day they are at home or outdoors?

            1. Yes, you are trolling.

              – You choose ad hominems and belittle fellow posters for the sake of inflaming people’s ire.
              – You specifically stake out a claim and ignore all counter arguments, choosing that claim to inflame people’s ire.
              – You make non-sequitors rather than address very clear, very specific counterfactuals because your goal isn’t a reasonable discussion, it is just to piss people off.
              – You blame everyone else for doing precisely what you’re doing.
              – This is your modus operandi in all posts, all the time.

              This post is only for you. It is not about covid or schools.

              Like I said, my post above is not for you, it is for anyone here who is real. There are people who might like to know why other places choose a different approach to school masking. Now they know. If they care they can use the googles and read more.

              1. When I came back here after 2016, I attempted to be polite for months. The ad hominems are strictly in response to the new atmosphere here, which is prideful ignorance.

                I have to ignore some due to the volume of responses I get. I usually pick the best or the most earnest to respond to. It is simply untrue that I ignore counter factual. I address the entirety of Jesse’s gish gallop in this thread, for instance. Even though I doubt he read half of them.
                Again, I have received actual death threats. No one says shit about that. But when I call someone a cultist, it’s time to bring out the fainting couch. Oh my goodness!

              2. You know what, you are right about the ad hominem thing. Thank you for calling me on it.

          2. Follow up, would you support mandatory vaccination for teachers in place of masks? I would.

            1. That’s the least surprising thing in the history of the world.

              Of course you want to tell other people what they should do.

              1. But it’s for their own good! De Oppresso is just more virtuous than you are.

                1. It’s the freedom of the employer to set their own standards for employment. You must be a socialist.

                  1. You must be a lying pile of lefty shit.
                    Why, LOOK! Yes, you are!

                    1. Why are you responding to me? And the employer in this case would be the government, unless you’re excluding public school teachers.

              2. At will employment, hunnnnny. Libertarians used to support it. No one is forcing them to work as teachers.

            2. I support telling the CDC and Randi Weingarten to fuck off.

        3. Of course you don’t see the harm — it’s not you wearing the mask.

        4. We’re not altering their function, though. Just put a little piece of paper over their mouth at school. I really don’t see the harm whatsoever. This is just another opportunity to cry about an imagined harm because fat fucks in america have it too easy,

          You’re basically conceding the point that this is all theater, the paper doesn’t do shit to stop an airborne virus, and the people demanding this are actually applying a reductive logic to their use.

          “It’s not really hurting anyone!” is hardly the basis for a sound public health policy. Anyone who thinks this should be normal is applying bugman logic to a far more complex issue.

          1. It does do shit though. The studies are very clear. The latest study is absolutely massive and real word data instead of any modeling. And even if it was 50/50 on their effectiveness, the downsides are extremely minimal. Extremely. As in almost non-existent.

            I’m certain that the objection to masks is being driven by 2 primary factors:
            1. general contrariness (“You ain’t smarter than me! You can’t tell me whut to do!”)
            2. Trump cultist (“It will go away, like a dream…” They are still set on proving their demi god right.)

            1. The latest study doesn’t control for any variables and hence cannot prove causation.

              And no, adding a bunch of other studies that make the same (or worse) mistakes do not change that.

            2. You just said, “put a little piece of paper over their mouth.” Do you really fucking think that’s going to stop a virus?

              1. A little bit at least, yeah. It’s a cost/benefit thing, and I think it wins out. I earnestly recommend that my anti vaxx family members wear n95 masks out when they have to wear one anyway. I would for all of you as well. This is what I tell people I care about. This is not a control thing or political at all, as far as I can judge myself.

        5. Stop threadshitting.

    5. This paid troll molly feckless cunt is spreading more lies and falsehoods than even Nazi asshole Mikey.

      1. Start making money this time… Spend more time with your family & relatives by doing jobs that only require you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. HYx Start bringing up to $65,000 to $70,000 a month. I’ve started this job and earn a handsome income and now I am exchanging it with you, so you can do it too.

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    6. I use the metric that I do not tell other people what to do.

    7. No, they are not.

      If you are vaccinated, an infected kid cannot spread covid to you (except in some extreme medical circumstances that are outside reasonable scope). If you are unvaccinated, then neither I nor anyone else has a mandate to interfere with your chosen means of committing suicide.

      Yes, there are a small minority of adults who are unable to take the covid vaccine. That same small minority is at increased risk of death from influenza, measles and other common ailments for which there are vaccines. We do not abrogate everyone else’s civil rights for that small minority in the case of influenza. There is no call to do any differently for this disease.

      1. Dead on. Unfortunately, the clarity of your insight only reinforces the likelihood that mask mandates are grounded less on science/medical truths than on US v. Them polemics.

        Both sides are dug in. The ideological Maginot line has arrived. No one is changing their minds anymore in this debate. It’s beyond even personal-each respective stance now reflects a social gospel, and tribal code.

        I’m just glad my kids are grown so I don’t have to indulge the nonsense.

        1. Then why not dispense with all of this and just dispose of ‘them’?

    8. Why aren’t vaccine mandates on staff dramatically more reasonable?

  14. The horse faced union leader should be jailed. Another pathological liar.

    1. Agreed. Public sector unions should be outlawed.
      Remember what happened to Jimmy Hoffa…….

  15. What’s killing Florida teachers—and practically everyone else who suffers a negative health outcome due to COVID-19—is a lack of vaccination.

    Fuck off, faggot.

  16. Masks do nothing to stop Covid transmission (except sometimes from the mask wearer to others, if they happen stop a glob of saliva or snot that is still stuck together), and Covid does no harm to children if they get it.

    This is really about giving teachers more power to bully the kids they are indoctrinating. It’s time to make governments divest their schools.

  17. It’s not about stopping disease. It’s about social engineering.

    Always has been.

  18. I think what Ms. Weingarten really meant was that children should be ‘gagged.’

  19. I’m only here for the hair products.

  20. It’s amazing how many teachers have refused to get vaccinated. It’s almost as if they want more of their cohort to die just to force more school closures.

  21. “It is important for children to see facial expressions of their peers and the adults around them in order to learn social cues and understand how to read emotions.”

    “If we can put a man on he moon, surely we can develop transparent masks.”

    1. It’s important for adults too. When people mostly stopped with the masks this summer, it was like a dark cloud lifted from the world. You could actually smile at people again.
      That is not no big deal. Psychological discomfort and distress will shorten your life too. I’m pretty sure that most people will have had their lives shortened far more by the extra stress and anxiety of the past year and a half of health authoritarianism and theater than they ever would be by this fucking virus.

      1. Some people actually hated that. I don’t have a link, but I did see an article in the Washington Post where single women in D.C. were complaining that masking was coming to an end. Apparently the masks cut down on flirting and some of these women prefer to stay hidden so they don’t have to interact with flirty guys. Of course there’s nothing to stop them from continuing to wear the mask if they want to so bad.

        1. Yeah, people who want to be antisocial can always find a way.

        2. Those bitches should put on a hijab if they hate DUH MAIL GAYZ so much.

  22. This is all kinda funny in one way. For as long as I’ve been a libertarian, the favorite accusation leveled at us is that our ideas won’t work in the real world.

    The plan for dealing with Covid requires everybody to 1) nearly always wear a mask, 2) a high quality mask, 3) wear it perfectly, 4) with no end in sight. That’s not possible even if you’re just talking about the U.S.; the virus is worldwide.

    1. Yeah, any plan that requires everyone to behave just so is definitely going to fail.

    2. But they just love to signal and preach about how everyone, and of course it has to be EVERY ONE, has to get with their program. The divide are those who want to be responsible for themselves and leave others alone, and those who want to be taken care of, accommodated, and mind everyone else’s business.

    3. My plan: Stay at home if you are sick (if possible). Avoid sick people (if possible). Live your life. Get exercise and vitamin D.

      1. There is not treatment for COVID.

        Step 1: Go home, put your hands between your knees and hope for the best.

        Step 2: If COVID gets worse, get on respirator.

  23. For every study pointed to that supports mask mandates, an opposing study can be laid beside it.

    “Analysis of the Effects of COVID-19 Mask Mandates on Hospital Resource Consumption and Mortality at the County Level”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8395971/#!po=1.00000

    Conclusions: “There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.”

    The evidence seems very clear that younger kids don’t need to wear masks. The evidence that masks commonly worn by adults are “working” is anything but clear.

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  24. The “Devil we don’t know” in this debate is the effect(s), long and short term, that masking and social distancing could be having on our children’s’ nascent immune systems. According to a 2015 study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences:

    “More than 1600 genes are involved in innate and adaptive immune responses. These genes are of great importance for sustaining life in a hostile environment. Yet the immune system is relatively immature at birth and has to evolve during a life of exposure to multiple foreign challenges through childhood.”

    We now find ourselves in the uncharted territory of a mass, self-imposed and dramatic reduction of those “foreign challenges.”
    Thus, a child celebrating her 7th birthday this month, will have missed out on half a year of kindergarten and all of the first grade. Her immune system should have been exposed to 18 months of close contact with snotty nosed, coughing, sneezing, belching and laughing classmates. Instead, her government gave her stay at home learning and masked outings with family members. While masking young children and social distancing them in the classroom might well protect them from COVID, it could stunt the growth and development of their immune systems. This might leave them more vulnerable to other, more serious diseases down the road.

  25. Rational teacher is now an oxymoron.

  26. I don’t understand what the goal is here. What’s the prize the teachers union is going for? It’s easy to see many country’s aren’t masking children and, in fact fully opening schools. Again, what’s the goal here? Help, anyone? I’m at a loss

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