Letter to the Editor: Masking of schoolchildren questioned

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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Dear Editor,

This letter is intended to provide information about the masking of children in our schools here in Dare County.  It is also meant to provide a balance to an Op-Ed run by the Outer Banks Voice by Dr. Dan Dwyer. My letter does not criticize Dr. Dwyer, it adds information that should be available to parents and citizens in making decisions about our children. As a parent, a grandparent, a former teacher, coach, and School Board Member, I hope my response will be reflective of my lifelong and continuing love for all our kids and provide the community with helpful information that gives perspective. Like it or not, our community and parents have the right to hear both sides.

In May of this year, the CDC published a notable, but widely ignored, large-scale study of COVID transmission in American schools. The study’s findings, not surprisingly, found that improved ventilation, and fresh air, lowered the incidence of COVID.  Other findings of equal importance in the study, however, were absent from the summary not reported. In fact, these findings were widely ignored.

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The findings cast doubt that the widely hailed mitigation measures in our schools, like hybrid models, classroom barriers, HEPA filters, and “MASKING” had any statistically significant benefit. In other words, these measures could not be proven to be and did not appear to be measurably effective.

Many of America’s peer nations around the world – including the U.K., all of Scandinavia, France, Switzerland, and Italy, have exempted kids from wearing masks in school, and conspicuously there are no more outbreaks in their schools than where our kids were required to wear masks.

All these countries have explicitly recognized the social harms of children being masked without any clear benefit to them health-wise.

Many experts say that the Delta variant has not led them to change their calculus and should not change our thinking on masks requirements for our children and our schools.

Masks? You make the decision for yourself and your children.


Harvey Hess

Kitty Hawk