Last week, the Commack School District on Long Island wished to do the sane factor and make masks non-obligatory for youngsters. The transfer is lengthy overdue. The state COVID positivity price is below 1 %, and deaths and hospitalizations have dropped precipitously.
So why are kids, who ought to have by no means been masked within the first place, nonetheless forced to cover their faces? Why are kindergartners masked at recess open air, even after national virus guru Anthony Fauci said “the risk outdoors is very low”?
In New York, it seems it’s as a result of Gov. Cuomo says so.
Cuomo has been a disaster for New York’s kids all through the pandemic. Last April, on the peak of the disaster, throughout one among his slap-fights with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cuomo swaggered and declared he was answerable for Gotham faculties. Hizzoner had introduced that faculties would stay closed for the rest of the college 12 months. Cuomo seethed that the choice wasn’t up to de Blasio. Then, two weeks later, the governor confirmed faculties would certainly keep closed. Way to present the mayor who is boss, Governor!
When it got here time to open faculties once more in September, the governor was MIA. Showing up tanned and cocky to his information conferences all through the summer season, Cuomo stated he was leaving reopening selections to native districts. Now that it was time to make powerful calls that will both anger both lecturers unions or assist kids, the governor was not in cost.
In October, he established a color-coded system that made no sense and closed a number of college districts within the Big Apple primarily based on it. “The schools are important, because you will very often see the schools be a place of transmission,” he stated. Even then, we all know that, in reality, faculties aren’t a vector of COVID transmission in contrast to different group settings, however no matter.
Then, in November, when New York City hit the magic 3 % optimistic quantity to power faculties to shut (solely to reopen them a month later when numbers have been increased), the governor went on MSNBC and eventually admitted that unfold wasn’t taking place in faculties. But the faculties can be closing anyway, he shrugged, as a result of it was an area determination. Out of his fingers, you see.
Now he is immediately again in cost. Clown nostril on, clown nostril off.
The Commack faculties had made the announcement to dad and mom that masks can be non-obligatory going ahead. And why shouldn’t they be? The state Department of Health’s steering says masks may very well be eliminated when 6 ft of distance may very well be maintained, as they have been at Commack faculties. Then, too, we’ve identified for greater than a 12 months that solely a minuscule share of kids get sick from COVID, and that they transmit the virus at a far decrease price than do adults.
But the governor had slipped way back from “follow the science” to “follow my orders,” and the Commack faculties bore the brunt of it. He put the kibosh on the transfer.
“When we explained to the governor’s office our strictness in keeping students 6 feet apart since the beginning of the school year,” an announcement from the college learn, “they indicated that didn’t matter, and we were directed that masks must be worn at all times.” Superintendent Donald James positioned a robo-call to the district’s dad and mom to inform them of the change. The calls included a warning that state mask inspectors can be checking in on compliance.
So a lot for native management.
Masking will hopefully quickly stop to be a narrative. There is a restrict to how lengthy folks will enable politicians to make dumb decisions for their children. But the governor’s incompetence and flip-flopping, together with his whole disregard for science and customary sense this 12 months, must be scrutinized by means of the subsequent election. The mad bully governor is using youngsters to flex his waning power. It’s time to cease letting him.