Illinois, at last, is emerging from unwarranted COVID-19 restraints, but kids still may be stuck wearing masks.
Under Gov. J.B. Pritzker, masks will not be required for vaccinated people, except when federal, state or local law requires one, like on public transportation.
Swell. It’s only months late. But it doesn’t apply to school children. They will have to continue wearing masks inside. Outside, generally no masks will be required. An exception continues to be some students competing in sports.
It makes no sense.
A Pritzker press release states:
Individuals in schools and day cares must also continue to wear face coverings per guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health. ]
It references the oft-wrong Centers for Disease Control Prevention for justifying maintaining stricter measures for children, even though they are extremely less likely to get, transmit, go the the hospital and, by a wide margin, die from Covid-19. It’s own figures demonstrate that “Children are less likely to develop severe illness or die from COVID-19.”
That’s a vast understatement. How much less likely?
It shows that only 203 children, infants to age 18, died from the disease through Jan. 27, 2021. That’s 203 children out of a population of 81 million children attending school. (I can’t find data on how many had pre-existing medical conditions.) If my math is correct (please correct me if I’m wrong) that’s 0.000000025 percent.
Sure that’s more than the number of children who are recorded as dying from the flu. But not by much. The 188 pediatric flu deaths in the 2019-2020 season recorded by the CDC didn’t set off the kind of raging panic that resulted in the destructive lockdown, face mask and social distancing requirements in the classroom.
Nor did it directly lead, as the current restrictions have, to the devastating emotional, learning and socializing problems. And clearly it did not lead to the increase in suicides that the Covid-19 restrictions have.
Never in my lifetime has public policy ravaged children like this. As a child, polio was even more scary for my generation than the always-present and serious threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. More children died from or were crippled from polio than today’s children from Covid-19, but the fear of polio did not set of the kind of war of children that we’re witnessing today.
A prediction. When cooler heads prevail–maybe in a year or two or in the next decade–the Covid-19 campaign against children will be regarded as one of the worst public policy failures in American history. In retrospect, people will wonder, “Look what they did to the kids! What the hell was the matter with those people?!” All those progressives who say that the rest of us are “on the wrong side of history,” will be on the outside, deservedly ridiculed.
Now is the time to urge, encourage, or, if necessary, threaten school, local and state officials with political curtains if they don’t give American children back childhoods.
Fully open means, no masks, especially during sports. (See Illinois Parents Union for parents of children made to wear masks during athletics.) Forget the social distancing and plexiglass barriers.
It also means every teacher returns to the classroom; no remote learning. If some Chicago teachers refuse to return to do their full-time jobs, fire them. If the Chicago Teachers Union initiates an “action” (read: strike) because of some cockamamie made-up “health” reason, take the leadership to court. Better yet, prosecute them for not only denying children the basic right to learn but also for the intentional long-lasting damage they’ve done to the children.
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