Hartford, Connecticut (Associated Press)-As U.S. health officials recommended that children wear masks in school this fall, parents and policymakers across the country have relapsed into whether face masks should be optional or mandatory. In the debate.
The delta change of the coronavirus is reflected in the possibility of subverting normal teaching for the third consecutive school year. Some states have indicated that they may follow the guidance of the federal government and require masks. Others will leave the decision to their parents.
As this controversy unfolds, many Americans are helpless with pandemic restrictions, while others fear that their children will be put at risk by those who do not pay enough attention to the virus. In a few Republican-led states, lawmakers have made it illegal for schools to require masks.
In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont held an anti-mask rally outside Hartford’s mansion. Lawn signs and bumper stickers called on him to “unmask our children.” The Democrat said he might follow the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends indoor masks to teachers, faculty, students, and visitors in all schools across the country on Tuesday, regardless of vaccination status. The agency cited the risk of transmission of highly contagious delta variants, even among vaccinated people.
Alima Bryant, 33, is a mother of four. She organized anti-masked parents in Branford, Connecticut. She said she is not a conspiracy theorist, but she believes that scientists have exaggerated the danger of COVID-19, especially Danger to children. She said she would let the children drop out of school instead of letting them wear masks. She thinks that wearing masks is more likely to make them sick than the virus.
“Especially for children, I can imagine how often they touch dirty things and then touch the mask,” she said. “In addition, in kindergarten, you have to learn social cues, even if it is talking and everything, it is important not to wear a mask.”
However, parents such as Ryan Zuimmerman of Lenexa, Kansas worry that this practice will prolong the duration of the pandemic.
In Johnson County, Kansas’ most populous county, five districts recommend but not require masks. The sixth district has not yet been decided.
Zimmerman said in a speech at a recent meeting of national commissioners that if you only recommend and don’t need to wear a mask, “95% of children will not wear a mask.”
“It’s not about comfort, control, obedience or your rights. It’s not about conspiracy or child abuse. It’s about how to treat others as you want them to do to you,” he said.
“I ask you: If your child is at high risk, what if you have to send the child you protect your life to school in this environment?”
Another public meeting held in Broward County, Florida this week had to be postponed for a day, because about 22 people who opposed wearing masks had a fierce match with school board members and burned the masks outside the building.
When the discussion resumed on Wednesday, it was limited to 10 public speakers. All but one strongly opposed wearing masks, saying that their personal rights had been eroded.
Naval veteran Vivian Hug took her twins in a speech to board members, saying that she was tired of “spreading fear” and “giving up freedom in the name of safety.”
“Please stop the madness. You have caused harm to these children who have to wear masks,” she said, and then put her daughter in front of the microphone. The little girl complained that wearing a mask made her breathe hard and had a headache.
But Dr. Carrier Latai, director of the Delaware Department of Public Health, said that there is no credible evidence that masks are unsafe for children. She said that the science is very clear that the face mask has prevented the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
“If we want to get children to school this fall, and as many children as possible go to school, then masks are a key component,” she said.
In the debate, there are also people pushing for more older children to be vaccinated. President Joe Biden has asked schools to open vaccination clinics for students 12 years of age and older, and states have also begun to discuss whether it is mandatory for school employees to be vaccinated or regularly tested for coronavirus.
“In my opinion, this seems very reasonable,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health. “You achieved your goal of providing a safe environment. You maintain some options there. It is obvious that, given this situation, most people will see this and say that it makes sense for them to be vaccinated.”
Efforts to vaccinate children vary from country to country.half Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city The first shot has been vaccinated, and local health officials are working to increase this number to 70% before the start of the school year. Countries such as Denmark and France are also actively encouraging children to be vaccinated, while other countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom have not yet begun mass vaccinations for children under 18 years of age.
Pfizer injection is currently the only vaccine authorized for use in children 12 years of age and older in the United States. Moderna expects that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will soon make a ruling on its application for children of the same age.
Moderna said on Monday that it expects to have enough data to apply for FDA authorization for young children by the end of this year or early 2022. Pfizer said it expects to apply for children aged 5 to 11 in September.
But some parents, such as Bryant, say they will not vaccinate their children, even if the children qualify, until they learn more about the potential side effects. Bryant said she knows people who have had severe reactions and others who think it has affected their menstrual cycle.
Kanter urged families to vaccinate all eligible children. He said the argument that they rarely get serious illnesses due to COVID-19 is outdated.
“As an absolute number, we see younger people and children more serious than before, and more serious than before,” he said.
Young people themselves have been fighting against misinformation and vaccine hesitation between parents and peers.
Angelica Granados, 16, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, finally got her mother’s permission last month to get the COVID-19 vaccine. She is worried about a potential allergic reaction.
“I always wanted to accept it,” Granados said, describing the injection as a choice between “returning to normal life” or risking infection.
Her mother, Erica Gonzales, stood by while receiving the injection and waited with her during the 30-minute observation period.
“I don’t want her to accept it, but I mean, it’s her choice. It’s her body. She knows this best,” Gonzalez said.
Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Cedar Attanasio in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas contributed to this report.