My Turn, Renee C. Scheidt: Following the science on masks means not requiring them in schools

Published 12:01 am Monday, October 11, 2021

By Renee C. Scheidt

Confusion rules the day on the effectiveness of wearing masks, especially for those under 18.

Should masks be mandated in our schools? According to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education, yes. At its last meeting it decided to keep mask mandates in place until Oct.25. Thereafter, according to state law, the mandate will be reviewed every 30 days.

Let me say at the outset: Yes, I have a dog in this fight. Actually two. My two oldest grandbabies are in the public school system. That’s why this issue is vitally important to me. I want to know the truth. If mask wearing keeps them safe from COVID, I’m all for it. Conversely, if it is unnecessary and even harmful, I want to know that as well. So let’s “follow the science.” Just the facts, please.

Initially I became suspicious as Dr. Anthony Fauci and his minions (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health) flip-flopped in what they told us. From “You don’t need to wear a mask” to “Yes, you do” to “You should wear two masks” to “no, it’s optional,” how did I know what to believe?

Why couldn’t I get a straight answer from the “expert”? Getting such mixed messages from the highest paid government employee in the U.S.A. made me decide it was time to do my own research.

Since wearing masks is all about preventing the spread of COVID, we need to know how the virus affects children. According to CDC statistics, children generally do not spread COVID, rarely get it and have little risk of any adverse effects. If they do get the virus, their survival rate is 99.997%.

Did you get that? Fact is, children are more likely to die from the flu or falling in a swimming pool than COVID-19. This data made me wonder. Why take such drastic measures to mask children over seven hours a day? I never heard anyone calling for masks when the swine flu (which is six times more deadly) broke out 10 years ago. Why now when we’re fighting a much less deadly virus with infinitesimal chances of hurting children?

As I began to dig deeper than what my TV screen or newspaper articles said, I discovered information of which I had been unaware. After all this time not one scientific study categorically proved any benefits were produced by mask wearing, especially the little cotton ones given out for free. So how could I “follow the science” when there was no science to follow? What I first thought was “settled science” actually had no evidence to support its claim.

Dr. Fauci himself said the typical mask “is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”

N.C. Congressman and physician Rep. Greg Murphy, who specializes in urology, said mask wearing “is unsupported by scientific analysis or data but is merely a performative measure for the government to appear active.”

The University of California at San Francisco said, “only one randomized controlled trial has been conducted to examine the efficacy of cloth masks. . . and the results do not favor use of cloth masks.”

In “The Science of Masking Kids at School Remains Uncertain” published in The Atlantic, a left-leaning magazine, author David Sweig presents evidence from a large-scale study by the CDC that found “no statistically significant difference” in schools that required masks compared to those that did not.

Many more other such studies which will never see the light of day in big media could be cited. But even worse is the censorship of this information by YouTube and Facebook. For example, YouTube censored a video in April that featured scholars from Oxford, Stanford and Harvard who said children should not wear masks. Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff said “children should not wear face masks, no. . .They don’t need it for their own protection and they don’t need it for protecting other people, either.”

Stanford University’s Jay Bhattacharya stated, “It is developmentally inappropriate … and it just doesn’t help on the disease spread … it’s absolutely not the right thing to do.” He added, “If we went back a year, a lot of experts would say that wearing masks for the general public is not evidence-based.”

Later, Stanford’s Scott Atlas said, “There’s no scientific rationale or logic to have children wear masks in schools.'”

As I said at the beginning, just the facts, please. All this evidence shows me masks are not necessary for children. My babies are safe without them. If scholars at Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and others say they don’t work, any fears I might have had cease to exist. Now, if only I could get the school board to “follow the science!”

Renee C. Scheidt lives in Salisbury.