Earlier this week Keung Hui of the News and Observer tweeted that Wake County Public Schools is still recommending that all students and staff wear masks in schools

isn’t time to ask: Why? 

If you want a compelling case as to why schools should drop mask mandate, read the many articles my colleague Jon Sanders has written on the subject (For a sample see here, here, and here.)

Jon does a great job of reviewing the research and the tortured logic behind many of the decisions to mask.

Me?  I’m not going to do a deep dive into the topic. I’d like to merely interject a few simple facts to this discussion.

The number of confirmed covid cases among North Carolina youth ages 0-17  -as of July 30, 2022, is over 533,000. The number of covid deaths; 23. 

That’s a death rate of .000043.

That’s a lot of cases. But it also seems to suggest the cases are fairly mild and young people recover fairly well.

According to the latest data (2018) of Child Deaths in North Carolina: Annual Report, if covid deaths were compared to the major categories of death for North Carolina youth, they would rank ninth behind homicide. If deaths were ranked by medical condition, covid deaths among youth ages 0 to 17 would rank fourth behind heart disease and before pneumonia/influenza.

Yes, 23 young people lost their lives. However, we don’t know if those deaths were primarily a result of covid or if they were a result of other co-morbidities.

The point: covid isn’t the pervasive deadly threat we once thought it would be. 

If the threat was as menacing as some suggest, wouldn’t unmasked children and adults be getting sick and dying in large numbers?

That hypothesis has already been tested over the last two years. 

And, WCPSS wants us to ignore the evidence that we see every day.

If children and families have risk factors that make covid a concern for students or staff, by all means take precautions. However, those decisions should be left to individuals and their families, those closest to the problem. Likewise, if covid is not the menace we all thought it would be, students and staff should be free to live their lives and take their own precautions .

Real life is proving Wake County Public School’s mask recommendations to be worse than silly. They deserve to be treated that way.