by Ian Miller, Brownstone Institute:
General mask mandates for most of the country have all but ended.
What they are doing however, is forcing masks back onto children in schools.
Perhaps the most indefensible “intervention” during the pandemic, school masking has confusingly become the most prominent reoccurring mandate across the country.
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While it has seemed like this inexcusable policy would mostly be limited to far left areas, the most recent announcement comes from a much more surprising city; Louisville, Kentucky.
Starting Monday, July 25th, Louisville schools are now requiring masking at all facility locations and on buses:
— JCPS (@JCPSKY) July 22, 2022
Louisville joins San Diego schools, who also announced a mandate of their own recently.
Incredibly, that mandate was defended by a local official who claimed that students who can’t or don’t want to wear masks should just not come to school:
Mask mandates are back for @SDSchools students.
For students who feel uncomfortable wearing a mask, SDUSD President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne suggests not returning to school at all.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) July 19, 2022
This is despite the overwhelming amount of data and evidence that’s accumulated over the past several years that school masking is completely ineffective. Not to mention the tremendous learning loss from virtual schooling and missed in person education that Whitehurst-Payne ignores.
Just recently, a study on school masking was released comparing two school districts in North Dakota during the fall and winter of 2021-2022.
The Fargo district had a mask mandate in effect starting when school returned in August, while their neighboring schools in the West Fargo district did not.
The results were nearly identical, with Fargo (in black) having a higher peak than their maskless neighbors:
The study authors even attempted to get compliance rates, which based on their conversations, showed that roughly 5% or less of students in the non-mandate schools were masking, compared to 95+% in the mandate district.
Many more studies and comparisons show the same results.
After the school mask mandates were lifted in Virginia, cases fell dramatically, and comparisons of states with and without school mask mandates showed case rates were higher overall in the forced masking locations: