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Why Are We Continuing to Punish Our Children?

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that vaccinated individuals can take off their masks indoors in most circumstances. Sane people have been saying this for a long time. If the vaccines are effective, then why keep up with the theater? So those on both sides of the political aisle—aside from the Rachel Maddow types—were relieved the CDC finally came around. But questions remain, like why are we forcing children as young as two to wear masks? 

For starters, young children are not a high-risk group. Most of those who do contract COVID-19 are asymptomatic or suffer mild symptoms. They also aren’t significant spreaders of the virus, according to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association. But they're still being forced to wear them, even in outdoor settings

With multiple COVID vaccines readily available (to the point that many states are now incentivizing people to get inoculated), teachers and staff who were concerned about being around children are now protected, even from people who have not received the vaccine. So there is no good reason young children should continue being forced to mask up—a concept even the WHO has grasped and many European nations have followed.

"For children what we recommend is that under six years old, we don't recommend the use of masks, for many reasons - because of the way children are developing, the adherence to wearing them, many reasons," according to Maria van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit. 

"Between 6 to 11, we recommend taking a risk-based approach depending on where the children are, the types of activities they are doing, if they are being monitored, because if they are wearing a mask there are some risks associated, they need to be worn safely. 

"Twelve years and older we recommend the same recommendations as adults." 

Bethany Mandel is among those who have been extremely vocal about this, and she has put together a sample letter to send to your elected officials. It's time to speak up. Our children deserve better. 


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