Everyone Has The Right to Mask
A teacher at a San Antonio charter school recently ordered a student to remove her mask, even though she has asthma. On top of that, she's trying to protect her sister, who has cancer.
The Covid cautious community is rightfully disturbed.
As the head of the school stated, "We have found over the last 2 years that most students who have continued to wear a mask were not doing it for any medical reason, but that it was just a teenage trend... Most students we have stopped couldn't tell us a good reason."
The school further explained that they've "noticed" that students who wear masks aren't learning as well.
The girl's family has been speaking up and raising awareness.
This news follows a recent decision by the fast food chain In-n-Out to forbid their employees from wearing masks. It doesn't often make the news, but those who choose to continue masking are being treated with increasing amounts of hostility and violence. We're being told to take our masks off because it makes others uncomfortable, or for any number of other thinly veiled excuses. Our rights are being violated, and few people seem to care. The persecution of maskers flies in the face of the "you do you" mentality that was used to justify the removal of masks from public spaces to begin with.
Banks have also started trying to ban masks.
Let's get one thing clear. If an authority figure stops and asks you why you're wearing a mask, you don't have to take it off.
You have rights.
Anti-maskers spent years reminding everyone that nobody could force them to do anything they didn't want to do, even if there was strong evidence it would protect them and others. Critics of mask mandates called them unconstitutional, and the courts have struck them down.
If you can't force someone to wear a mask for their own protection, then you can't force someone to do the opposite.
At any rate, there's always a medically sound reason to wear a mask. Covid and other viruses are airborne. According to our own EPA, aerosolized viruses can linger in the air for hours. Most viruses can spread through the air. According to an article in JAMA, up to 40 percent of those infected with Covid never show any symptoms. Our own experiences with Covid have shown us that it spreads throughout the year now.
Adults shouldn't be interrogating teenagers for all the reasons to justify keeping a mask on, and yet here they are doing exactly that. The school is trying to portray these students as immature, when they're the ones choosing to behave responsibly as this virus continues to kill and disable.
It's tragic irony at its finest.
Dozens of studies have shown that not only do N95 masks work on an individual level, but they lower transmission when people actually follow guidelines. Even the strongest critics of mask policies are forced to admit that masks themselves are effective. Surgical masks offer some protection, but N95 masks work best because of their electrostatic charge.
No study has ever shown any compelling evidence that masks interfere with learning when someone is old enough to choose to wear them. Some evidence suggests that certain types of masks pose obstacles under certain conditions, but there are always ways to deal with them.
We do have compelling evidence that bias and prejudice interfere with learning. If students who wear masks are struggling, it's more likely because they feel unsafe at school. That sense of insecurity deepens when they feel threatened and persecuted by their own teachers. We also have compelling evidence that Covid causes cognitive impairment.
That alone validates masking.
It's highly possible that teachers are treating masked students differently. When teachers become biased toward a marginalized group, they perceive performance problems that don't exist. They're more critical of those students, and they impose double standards on them. Studies have shown that bias has a tangible impact on how teachers regard their students and how they manage their classrooms. Biases even manifest when grading tests and assignments.
When teachers accost students in the hallways and order them to remove their masks, they don't have any good reason.
They're operating on bias.
This is a growing problem in the public sphere. As we predicted, more and more authority figures are trying to impose their own beliefs on the rest of us. It's especially hypocritical, given that these same voices spent the last several years demanding respect for their own personal choices. Now they don't show any regard for the rights of maskers. They believe they know better, and they believe they have the authority to determine what qualifies as a "good reason" to do something, even when they don't.
Let's be clear.
Anyone who says they've "noticed" poor performance in students who wear masks are telling on themselves. They're admitting they have a prejudice, and they shouldn't be working in education.
Everyone has the right to mask.
It should be respected.