I’m not a big fan of public education, otherwise known as government schools. Home schooling or private schools (without government-imposed curricula) are preferred, if we actually want the kids to be educated, not indoctrinated (indoctrinated with the latest wacko social or political doctrine, that is).
But in the controversy over whether the kids should return to schools this September amid the COVID-19 hysteria, I think it’s better for the kids’ emotional and social development to return to the schools. This stay-at-home for lengthy periods has been irrational and destructive, in my opinion.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has strongly advised that children return to school this Fall for in-person classes. Here are some excerpts from their guidance advisory updated June 25, 2020:
[The American Academy of Pediatrics] strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.
Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home.
Unfortunately, after all that encouragement, they then go into all these specific directions on social distancing, the 6 feet apart stuff and promoting the terrible face coverings. There are a lot of specific directions, like it’s Soviet central-planning kinds of stuff. (I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, quite frankly.)
But we have more realistic assessments, at least of the mandate that everybody wear the masks, from more rational and non-hysterical physicians out there.
For instance, Dr. Marilyn Singleton, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, recently published a science-backed article on the face coverings, including:
Filter efficiency was measured across a wide range of small particle sizes (0.02 to 1 µm) at 33 and 99 L/min.
- N95 respirators had efficiencies greater than 95% (as expected).
- T-shirts had 10% efficiency,
- Scarves 10% to 20%,
- Cloth masks 10% to 30%,
- Sweatshirts 20% to 40%, and
- Towels 40%.
- All of the cloth masks and materials had near zero efficiency at 0.3 µm, a particle size that easily penetrates into the lungs.
Another study evaluated 44 masks, respirators, and other materials with similar methods and small aerosols (0.08 and 0.22 µm).
- N95 FFR filter efficiency was greater than 95%.
- Medical masks – 55% efficiency
- General masks – 38% and
- Handkerchiefs – 2% (one layer) to 13% (four layers) efficiency.
Conclusion: Wearing masks will not reduce SARS-CoV-2.
- N95 masks protect health care workers, but are not recommended for source control transmission.
- Surgical masks are better than cloth but not very efficient at preventing emissions from infected patients.
- Cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Masks may confuse that message and give people a false sense of security. If masks had been the solution in Asia, shouldn’t they have stopped the pandemic before it spread elsewhere?”
Dr. Singleton continues with several more studies and conclusions from the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the New England Journal of Medicine, all apparently discouraging the use of face masks by the general public, stating that they offer little to no protection. Dr. Singleton also suggests maintaining healthy vitamin D levels, and, if someone is sick that person should stay home.
So if a child has any actual cold- or flu-like symptoms that child should obviously stay home from school. isn’t that the way it should be now, anyway?
Further, the New York Times published an article that discussed the psychological effects of children wearing masks, as well as their family members also wearing masks. Such activities can affect the children’s ability to develop recognition skills. The article discussed mainly masks in the context of Halloween masks, but I think the comments should apply to what we are discussing here.
In my opinion, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ directions for children returning to school are not necessary when we are dealing with an illness and a virus that is very much like the flu for most of the people who have the virus. We are talking about an infection fatality rate of less than .1%. The CDC has said more recently that it’s an infection fatality rate of .26%. That’s one-tenth to two-tenths of one percent.
No children have died from COVID-19, although some states using the revised “count every non-COVID death as a COVID death” guidelines are now citing some child deaths (who have died from some other illness but happened to have tested positive for COVID-19). But in reality, no children have died from COVID-19.
The people who have been dying of COVID-19 are mainly elderly nursing home patients, and not just elderly nursing home patients but already very sick elderly nursing home patients who have been battling some serious illness, and others with very serious illnesses and conditions, such as obesity, hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease.
But the government bureaucrats in charge have been disseminating a lot of misleading propaganda, and the mainstream news media merely repeat the government’s propaganda and fear-mongering. They have been provoking hysteria among the general population who don’t look into these things further.
If the schools are allowing the kids back to resume their “education” (such as it is these days, mainly “woke” social justice indoctrination more than the needed reading, writing, and math learning), but are going to impose all these Orwellian, draconian guidelines for kids constantly being self-aware and pathologically self-conscious, and constantly worrying if they are 6 feet apart or if they are wearing a terrible face mask or covering the right way, the educational and health bureaucrats are going to drive these little kids literally INSANE!!