The debate over mandating masks in schools is shocking. We are clearly still in the throes of the coronavirus epidemic, notably the highly transmissible Delta variant. Responsible adults have a moral obligation to do everything within their power to safeguard the health of children.
Masking proved largely effective last school year in mitigating the spread of COVID in schools. It is the best tool currently at our disposal to protect children in schools until vaccination becomes available to those younger than 12.
Children are remarkably adaptable and resilient. They adjusted quickly and well to the situation last school year. There is no evidence to suggest that wearing a mask is in any way harmful. If anything, it is a tangible reminder that their wellness is of utmost importance to the adults in their lives. It goes without saying that we all wish we were not in this situation and that such precautions were not necessary.
COVID is not the flu. Masks are a temporary protection until infection rates fall and/or vaccines are approved for children. They are strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the scientists and doctors who actually understand the virus. In terms of social cueing, social awareness and self-awareness, children will make the required adaptations while necessary and will also catch up easily. It will help them to know that the adults charged with their safety have made the best, science-based choice.
— M. Julie Doucette, Hopkinton
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