They Just Keep Closing Schools and Mandating Masks

So much for politicians, educators, and public health officials learning a damn thing from Tuesday's election.


Given this week's surprise drubbing at the polls—not just in Virginia, New Jersey, and Long Island, but also in many of the estimated 117 school districts where board seats were contested on the issues of COVID-19 response, race-based policies, or sex/gender concerns—you would think that Democrats, educators, and public health officials might show a tad more sensitivity toward citizen weariness of pandemic restrictions and K-12 imperiousness.

Haha, who am I kidding, pass the Klonopin.

Did you know that Loudoun County Public Schools District—yes the Loudoun County, ground zero of the parental revolt against Democratic school governance—was 100 percent distance learning this week due to "staffing shortages," and that Wednesday and Friday were called off just days in advance?

Chicago Public Schools late Thursday announced that next Friday would be a previously unplanned (paid) day off, for "Vaccine Awareness Day." Following the same script was the San Diego Unified School District, which also informed parents yesterday that next Friday would likely be off, to "pause" for mental health. "The last 20 months of the pandemic have challenged all of us in different ways. We have heard from many parents and students that their mental health has suffered," Interim Superintendent Lamont Jackson wrote in a letter announcing the proposal. "That is why we have decided to take the extraordinary step of providing every family with additional recovery time next week."

The "recovery time" seems more geared toward teachers than for the public school families who are dealing with a third school year marred by capricious learning interruptions. Virginia Beach, Virginia, decided late last month that at least seven Wednesdays going forward will be cut by two hours. In Maryland, both Howard County and Baltimore City have also recently cut back on in-person schooling for teacher "wellness" and "relief."

Many school closures this fall have been attributed to staffing shortages, despite the record amounts of federal money sloshing through local districts. A tight labor market, plus vaccine mandates, have contributed to the K-12 squeeze.

"At least several dozen school buildings in numerous states have had to shut down due to inadequate staffing," Education Week reported last month. "Forty percent of district leaders and principals describe their current staff shortages as 'severe' or 'very severe,' according to a survey conducted Sept. 29 to Oct. 8 by the EdWeek Research Center."

Teaching during the 2021–22 school year is doubtlessly an uphill challenge, as kids reintegrate physically and socially, grappling with massive gaps in learning loss, and still trying to cope with masks, which can negatively impact language acquisition and the overall classroom experience. Yet many of those same factors impact private and parochial schools, which so far have not shown a similar tendency to capriciously shut their doors at the last minute.

Well, at least 5–11-year-olds can get vaccinated beginning this week, and a new COVID-19 therapeutic looks massively promising. Maybe that's a fine time to start deemphasizing the least sensical nonpharmaceutical initiatives, as a kind of light at the end of the tunnel for people who have maximally vaxxed and otherwise more or less continued following the rules?

Yeah right, suckers:

Wait, the "expert" is talking about colds? As in, the things that humans have always gotten and will always get, including in the Before Times when the image of a beaming Government Doctor telling us to hide our faces in terror of the sniffles would have rightly been laughed off as too dystopian to be plausible?

Nope, nunca, no more. In this family, we do not believe in junk science. We need to rip the masks off, not just from government mandates, but the whole grinning Condescension Complex, that only wants you—and especially your politically powerless kids—to sacrifice just a little bit more, just a few more months, get this cold and flu season behind us, until it's time for the next booster, then maybe we can talk about full-time K-12 school in 2022–23, and masks will only be mandatory in every government structure from here to eternity.

We no longer wipe down our groceries, padlock our playgrounds, or set the default on school opening to be "closed." All of those took 15 months too long in blue states, but we take victories over anti-science superstition where we can get them. It's time for the next idiotic interventions to be either abandoned or forcibly undone, beginning with masking elementary school kids who were safe even before getting access to the vaccine. If you think Tuesday was a bad day for Democratic busybodies, let them keep trying to squeeze the walls in on this rat cage of an American life.