As we enter the third year of the pandemic, every child age 5 and up is eligible to receive a COVID vaccine in the United States. Oddly, this development has been accompanied by increased pressure on kids to wear masks in school. Some private schools have gone beyond cloth-masking and mandated N95 (or equivalent) masks for children as young as 4. The Berkeley Unified School District in California recently began transitioning students to N95-level masking. This isn’t a matter of protecting children, their teachers, or their grandparents; it’s delusional and dangerous cultlike behavior.
The way to reduce scientific uncertainty when it comes to practices like masking young children is to conduct randomized studies. When it comes to masking kids in schools, the global scientific community has launched no such studies during the pandemic. The U.K. government recently commissioned a report on the efficacy of masks in school settings, which failed to identify any clear evidence in favor of this practice. Moreover, the authors write:
“Wearing face coverings may have physical side effects and impair face identification, verbal and non-verbal communication between teacher and learner. This means there are downsides to face coverings for pupils and students, including detrimental impacts on communication in the classroom.”
H/T Corey Morningstar