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Yet Another Study: School Mask Requirements Don't Work

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

A fitting follow-up to this morning's post on resurrected mask mandates. The study mentioned in the headline is hardly groundbreaking stuff, given the raft of data that's been illustrating this point for well over a year, but worth highlighting anyway. Why? Because, as noted, elites are starting to resurrect the masking debate again, as they will any time there's a new variant surging. Two prominent universities in Washington, DC, have reinstated their mask requirements, for no good reason – impacting a group of overwhelmingly healthy, almost universally vaxxed and boosted young people. The hardcore restrictionists may never give up the ghost, so preemptively opposing them is a similarly unending task. And because their worst and most harmful ideas seem to be the ones they cling to most aggressively, we must constantly build and reinforce the case against forcing school kids to wear face coverings all day long. 

To that end, here's a brand new study out of Finland: 

Use of face masks did not impact COVID-19 incidence among 10–12-year-olds in Finland...In fall 2021 in Finland, the recommendation to use face masks in schools for pupils ages 12 years and above was in place nationwide. Some cities recommended face masks for younger pupils as well. Our aim was to compare COVID-19 incidence among 10–12-year-olds between cities with different recommendations on the use of face masks in schools...According to our analysis, no additional effect seemed to be gained from this, based on comparisons between the cities and between the age groups of the unvaccinated children (10–12 years versus 7–9 years).

Per Phil Kerpen, the 10-12 age range is pertinent for this reason: "All schools were masked 12+ in Finland last year. None masked under 10. But some masked 10-12 and some didn't, creating a natural experiment in that age group." So they ran the experiment. And masks had no impact. Again, this isn't a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention, but so many among the "Pro Science" crowd have ignored this actual science. Meanwhile, here's a Washington Post headline about the spread of (mild) infections among the "DC elite," who continue to "party on" in the face of the outbreaks. I happen to believe they should party on, but as they do, their rules continue to force three-year-olds to wear masks on airplanes, which is based in zero science whatsoever. And kids remain masked in some schools around the country, primarily in blue areas. Relatedly, as mentioned briefly in my earlier piece, it turns out that many parents aren't easily forgetting the terrible harm inflicted on their kids in so many places last academic year: 

Democrat Jennifer Loughran spent the pandemic’s early days sewing face masks for neighbors. Last month, as a newly elected school-board member, she voted to lift the district’s mask mandate. That came four months after she voted for the state’s Republican candidate for governor. After a monthslong political identity crisis, Ms. Loughran decided her opposition to her party’s mask mandates, economic restrictions and school-closure policies outweighed her support for positions on climate change, abortion and gay rights, at least for the moment. Watching her daughter fall behind in virtual kindergarten, Ms. Loughran had grown so frustrated not knowing when her children would return to the classroom that she joined a group that attracted right-leaning parents in its school-reopening push. She was unhappy that Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t fight to reopen schools sooner, and she associated his fellow Democrats with mask mandates and restrictions. She hasn’t decided which party to pick this fall in her local House race, a contest expected to help determine control of Congress. “What I do know,” she said, “is that my party-line vote shouldn’t be taken for granted anymore.”

A lot of normal people have seen their confidence systematically sapped by the rhetorical games and intelligence insulting spin from people in elite positions of power. The more the elites keep messing with them, the stronger the signal they'll want to send in November. This line, trotted out last week, is just preposterous: 

It wasn't technically a close contact between the 79-year-old president and the COVID-infected 82-year-old Speaker of the House because the kiss wasn't 15 minutes. Laughable. But if they're relying on technicalities, wouldn't this be one, too? I'll leave you with the total and dystopic implosion of China's (already dubious) "zero COVID" regime: 


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