Fighting Mask Mandates

 

The following is a prepared presentation to my kid’s school board concerning mask mandates. It is scheduled for 8:30 am and is a last-minute meeting where few parents were informed. Pray for our kids and that the board members make a wise decision.

My name is Stina. I have three children in the Florida Public School system. We have been here for a year, having moved from A Big City. I understand the Big City Public Schools has re-instated mandatory masking for all students and this school board may be feeling pressure to act in accord with the larger metro school board to our south, but I encourage you to resist doing things like Big City Public Schools. We moved here, like a great many other parents in our area, because Florida Public Schools has better schools. You don’t want to be like Big City Schools. Their schools aren’t as good. If any parents prefer how Big City Schools is handling their school system, I invite them to move across the county line. The real estate is cheaper.

I am not a great public speaker. You might detect a tremor in my voice. I’m usually content to sit and listen to the people I barely know sharing their views. It isn’t that I have no views – just ask my family (and Ricochet). Community is important to me and I don’t like alienating people who disagree with me. And we live in an age where alienation from friends and neighbors is so easy to do. But this issue is very important to me and my children and it’s time for me to move out of my comfort zone and be heard outside my tiny circle of family and close friends (and the internet… that’s for Ricochet’s benefit).

I am not ok with my children wearing masks for 6-8 hours a day. I understand there are parents who are terrified of COVID-19 and have strong convictions about the health and safety of their children. Don’t we all? We are all conscientious parents here. They think masking is an important part of controlling COVID-19. I understand that they believe the science supports this conclusion. This is what they have been told by our President, the head of the CDC, and countless media outlets. I’m not here to say they cannot act on their convictions and have their children wear masks to school. However, I am here because they wish to force me to abdicate my convictions and force my children, against mine and their wills, to wear masks to school.

It might surprise you to know that the parents who send their kids to school without masks have just as strong convictions on the subject as the parents who send their kids to school in masks or keep them home during these crazy times. But we do have our convictions. We understand the importance of facial cues in our children’s developing social and emotional intelligence. We understand how important the ability to see mouths are in communication. We are also concerned about filling our children with the fear that permeates the insistence on wearing masks. We do not want our children to grow up afraid. We want them to be brave, resourceful, and daring, capable of weighing risk and reward. Aside from these social and psychological development issues, we are also aware that masks worn for long periods of time without changing and with constant touching, can breed colonies of bacteria and fungi. We strongly believe masking our children is detrimental to their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

The issue put before this school board is not simple. It is rife with strong feelings and strong opinions. Our attempts at objectivity drive us to find other ways to evaluate the best course of action, and so we turn to science. But even with science, consensus does not exist. For every study you bring up showing masks work, I can bring up a study showing that masks do not. Both sides can lay claim to highly reputable authorities to bolster our arguments.

To demonstrate, I have brought with me a collection of studies from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. It outlines the findings of multiple studies on the efficacy of mask-wearing. Repeatedly, we find that N-95 masks, tightly fitted, with proper mask hygiene (no face touching and a lot of hand washing), worn for short durations provides the best results for controlling viral spread. How many here are sending their children to school in tightly fitted N-95 masks their kids never touch? How many are only wearing them for short durations? Six – 8 hours isn’t short.

Instead, we are sending our kids with little pieces of cloth strapped to their faces. (The label reads, “Face mask for every day use. Not a medical device. Not suitable for use by children. Makes no claims of antiviral protection, prevention, or reduction.”) This cloth, while efficacious at hiding beautiful smiles and smothering knock-knock jokes, does little at stopping a virus that is 0.125 microns small. In fact, in 2010, a study on cloth masks showed they had near-zero efficiency at 0.3 microns. That’s more than twice the size of the COVID virus. While a great many people will say “masks work – look, no flu,” I would like to point out the flu virus is even smaller than SARS-COV-2 and anything stopping the flu virus would also stop COVID.

In 2015, a study from Australia showed cloth masks had an increased risk of infection due to moisture retention, reuse, and poor filtration. A few months ago, the University of Florida ran several masks through a mass spectrometer and discovered the presence of 11 pathogens! Among these pathogens were bacteria causing diphtheria, pneumonia, and meningitis. One mask was even found to contain a virus that causes fatal systemic disease in cattle and deer. And we want to put these on our children’s faces?

Recently, the CDC published a study on GA schools claiming masks were effective in preventing COVID transmission in schools. So says their conclusion. But if you read their study past the conclusion, you will find that, while teachers and faculty masking policies had a 36% reduction (I have to say kudos to those teachers for their incredible hygiene control in wearing cloth masks effectively), there was no statistically significant difference between different masking policies for children. And can there be any surprise there when children are constantly touching their faces, readjusting their masks, and have questionable hand hygiene?

The evidence to support masking simply does not exist.

Finally, of what benefit does it gain our children to be forced to wear masks? Over the course of 2020, masks were mandated in many locations and their infection curves are nearly identical to their regional peers who did not mandate masks. Kids were still testing positive for COVID-19 last year. One parent reported to me that her kids were quarantined 4 times last year, in spite of complete compliance with masking. My son was quarantined over his birthday weekend, the second year in a row. Will forced masking do away with quarantines? Or will we continue to subject our kids to a policy possessing a host of negatives and absolutely no positives?

I understand the increase in COVID numbers is alarming to many, especially when our media seems quite content to keep us in a constant state of fear and alarm. But the current 7-day average of deaths for every county in Florida is zero. What is expected in viral variants is that they spread more easily, but are less deadly. This information is backed up by hospital administrators all over the state in a recorded meeting with our governor. Repeatedly, the administrators claimed hospitalized cases consist of those who tested positive while being admitted for other reasons. There is little to nothing to fear.

I implore this board that, in the absence of a consensus of scientific evidence, you side with parents having the freedom to make the best choices for their children. We should all, both mask wearers and naked facers, be given the freedom to act on our own, deeply held convictions, however divergent they may be. Please do not re-instate the mask mandates.

Thank you.

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  1. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Excellent! 

    • #1
  2. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    This is going to be a very difficult fight for us. But remember this – these tyrants who are enforcing these inhumane measures will not be on the right side of history.

    • #2
  3. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    I say “Excellent” also.

    One suggestion: Make sure you have timed your presentation to fit into the required time limit. (Often three minutes per individual, although sometimes five.)

    Also make sure you bring a method to record names, emails and other contact info of those who are  Would Be Allies. Being part of a group can have its downsides, but also can bring about new friendships and new needed information. (Even if that new info is you discover a great new place to have dinner or lunch.)  

    • #3
  4. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    I say “Excellent” also.

    One suggestion: Make sure you have timed your presentation to fit into the required time limit. (Often three minutes per individual, although sometimes five.)

    Also make sure you bring a method to record names, emails and other contact info of those who are Would Be Allies. Being part of a group can have its downsides, but also can bring about new friendships and new needed information. (Even if that new info is you discover a great new place to have dinner or lunch.)

    It’s approx 2 minutes, but I’ll time it tonight. Thank you. I was looking for time limits and couldn’t find anything.

    And thank you for the advice! I will do so.

    • #4
  5. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Stina (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    I say “Excellent” also.

    One suggestion: Make sure you have timed your presentation to fit into the required time limit. (Often three minutes per individual, although sometimes five.)

    Also make sure you bring a method to record names, emails and other contact info of those who are Would Be Allies. Being part of a group can have its downsides, but also can bring about new friendships and new needed information. (Even if that new info is you discover a great new place to have dinner or lunch.)

    It’s approx 2 minutes, but I’ll time it tonight. Thank you. I was looking for time limits and couldn’t find anything.

    And thank you for the advice! I will do so.

    You will have to cut by at least 50%. Fewer words increase the impact.

    • #5
  6. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    BTW Stina, I just noticed this:

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/parentrising-sept-13-chd-national-walk-out-week-protest-vaccine-mask-mandates/ 08/31/21

    #ParentRising: National Walk-Out Week to Protest Vaccine, Mask Mandates Starts Sept. 13

    During the week-long event, beginning Sept. 13, parents and educators across the U.S. will engage in peaceful but noncompliant activities to remind government officials that individuals should have the final say when it comes to their health.

    #########################################

    If the pro vaxxing crowd and our new Fourth Branch of government, that is, The Pfizer Corporation, don’t like the protests, then having Congress go on to fully indemnify all vax victims and/or families of vax victims for all costs related to vaccine injury should become law, retroactive to the start of the COV vax program, and the immunity to the vax companies from paying out costs to such victims should be made null and void.

    Yes we the un-masked and un-vaxxed are considered irresponsible. Yet we had nothing to do with funding the Wuhan labs dangerous chimera experiments, nothing to do with leaking the virus, nothing to do with preventing the remedies from being used in the USA, and certainly nothing to do with the vaccine makers not having any financial ability for their products since 1986.

     

    • #6
  7. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    We moved to Florida from California last year.  DeSantis is trying hard to keep the leftests who want everyone to stay in their basements wearing their burkha’s at bay. he needs all of our support.

     

     

     

     

    • #7
  8. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    This cutting for time is painful. I’m glad I have a copy of the original =p

    • #8
  9. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    I say “Excellent” also.

    One suggestion: Make sure you have timed your presentation to fit into the required time limit. (Often three minutes per individual, although sometimes five.)

    Also make sure you bring a method to record names, emails and other contact info of those who are Would Be Allies. Being part of a group can have its downsides, but also can bring about new friendships and new needed information. (Even if that new info is you discover a great new place to have dinner or lunch.)

    It’s approx 2 minutes, but I’ll time it tonight. Thank you. I was looking for time limits and couldn’t find anything.

    And thank you for the advice! I will do so.

    You will have to cut by at least 50%. Fewer words increase the impact.

    I absolutely hate how right you were. It was pretty close to 50%.

    • #9
  10. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Stina: I implore this board that, in the absence of a consensus of scientific evidence, you side with parents having freedom to make the best choices for their children. We should all, both mask wearers and naked facers, be given the freedom to act on our own, deeply held convictions, however divergent they may be. Please do not re-instate the mask mandates.

    Wonderful conclusion with which I agree completely.

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Wear this when you speak.

    MTGHYAYA Tactical Half Face Masks, Evil Demon Kabuki Samurai Oni Half Face Protective Masks for Cs War Game Halloween Party

    Or maybe not.

    • #11
  12. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    @cm

    Well said.  As a safety professional, I can add the following:

    N95 “mask” are actually respirators, and need to be properly fitted to the user (like clothing).  Even a mask that appears tight on the face might not be fitted well – we use chemicals like Bitrex (super-bitter) and saccharin (super-sweet) to check the fit – if they can taste the stuff, it is not fitted well.  People who are working with COVID-positive patients use these kind of masks, and get properly fitting masks.  Even most people in hospitals don’t wear N95s.

    Most masks are hard to breathe through, especially cloth masks.  Since the purpose of masks is to keep the person with the mask from spreading, they are even harder to breathe through than the industrial respirators I used that had exhalation valves (breathe in through the filter, out through the valve)  Do we really want kids with asthma or similar problems wearing masks, especially in gym?

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina, I hope you will share your reflections on your experience of speaking up, positive or negative.

    • #13
  14. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Well done Stina!

    • #14
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Well said!

    • #15
  16. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Good piece, but I’m afraid this is a losing battle. The appeal of Safety™ is too irresistible. The young adore masks. Kids never take them off. Even in a place like r/catholicdating, the mask love is off the charts.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Good piece, but I’m afraid this is a losing battle. The appeal of Safety™ is too irresistible. The young adore masks. Kids never take them off. Even in a place like r/catholicdating, the mask love is off the charts.

    I’m losing patience with people who point to fights as losing battles. Is there any fight worth taking on??

    • #17
  18. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Good piece, but I’m afraid this is a losing battle. The appeal of Safety™ is too irresistible. The young adore masks. Kids never take them off. Even in a place like r/catholicdating, the mask love is off the charts.

    I’m losing patience with people who point to fights as losing battles. Is there any fight worth taking on??

    I’m willing to take on losing battles. I just do so expecting to lose.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kephalithos (View Comment):
    I’m willing to take on losing battles. I just do so expecting to lose.

    The dilemma of “expecting to lose” can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I can understand saying that it will be an uphill battle, but when we “expect” to lose, we influence the outcome more than we think. You might not agree with me, and that’s fine, but if we believe we will lose, we tip the scales against winning.

    • #19
  20. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    We’re running out of hills that we can die on.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    We’re running out of hills that we can die on.

    Defend to the last molehill.

    • #21