With more and more reports of breakthrough infections for the vaccinated and the recommendation of booster shots due to diminishing immunity, wearing masks continues to be an invaluable protection from and defense against the spread of the virus. After all, who knows at what level of diminished immunity will the mild symptoms of breakthrough infection turn more serious?
So Americans, what should you do? Get vaccinated (including a booster shot), and wear masks. Right?
But as my last piece, “Governors of Death” explored, certain Republicans have decided to take a deadly, and deeply cynical, political stance against clearly supporting what is obvious. This “Give me liberty or give me death” position is indeed turning out to be true: a lot of people are dying who don’t have to, but at least they are dying with their liberty.
Media Matters, which published new research Thursday. “In a six-week period from June 28 through August 8, Media Matters found that nearly 60% of the network’s vaccine segments included claims undermining or downplaying vaccinations,” the group reported. Even more alarming was this finding: “Thirty-three percent of segments included claims suggesting that vaccination was unnecessary or dangerous.”
But guess what: This week all employees at Fox News were required to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson has called on his viewers to confront people they encounter who are wearing masks.
And confront, they have. A California parent attacked an elementary school teacher after witnessing his daughter leave her first day of school wearing a face mask. A parent in Austin, Texas has allegedly ripped a face mask off of a teacher’s face during a back to school event, while others yelled at a different teacher to remove her mask, claiming they weren’t able to understand her while she wore it. All over the country we are seeing people protect their children’s liberty by intimidating their teachers and administrators while putting their very own children and others at risk.
There are now two pandemics: The pandemic caused by the virus and the virulent antivaxer/anti mask pandemic.
The school board in Paris, Texas has come up with a creative solution to combat Governor of Death Greg Abbott’s edict blocking mask mandates. They have decided to make masks part of the dress code.
Relying on a particular section of the Texas Education Code the board of trustees of an independent school district can adopt rules requiring students to wear school uniforms if it “determines that the requirement would improve the learning environment at the school.”
In my book, preventing lots of children from getting sick (some seriously ill and dying) seems like it fits the criteria.
Let’s pretend this is a Frank Capra Movie, where things look dire and hope triumphs at the end. Think of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” or “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” or most famously “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Imagine what it would be like if all over the country dress codes included masks. Halloween all year round! What if we had mask making classes added to the curriculum? How about declaring “Super Hero Day?” or “Favorite Animal Day?” How about studying masks from around the world as part of history? Not only would children be safer, but school could become more fun. Kids would be dressing up all the time, exploring new identities, tapping into wells of creativity that often languish.
Since parents are not protecting their own children, the children need to lead the way. A groundswell of mask wearing gathers an unstoppable momentum. “Tell me about school today”, an anti masker parent asks. “Mom, look at the mask I made! Isn’t it cool? We made up this funny play where we were all mysterious people and had to find out things we didn’t know about each other. I learned that Billy, the kid everyone teases, lost his mom. I’m not teasing him anymore. And guess what? The cases at schools become rare. Schools get to stay open. And America is saved! “.
And what about parents’ opposition? Will you keep your child out of school because they are wearing a mask, even though your child is excited about Halloween all year long? Will you quell their freedom of expression? Deny them their liberty? Children, teach your parents well.