Most blue states have created draconian masking rules for kids and teachers at schools, prompting angry parents to fight back. The intense pushback from parents against masking kids in schools may not have led to immediate unmasking, but it is helping to guide policy, at least in the state of Massachusetts. There, Governor Charlie Baker has chosen to institute rules that aren’t quite as strict as federal guidelines would allow. The Boston Globe reports that his decision was based on heavy pushback to mask mandates by parents. The Globe’s Kay Lazar reports:
Opponents of school mask mandates have often been louder and more insistent than supporters — even though polls suggest they’re in the minority. Parent groups opposed to making students wear masks in school have filed at least six lawsuits across Massachusetts to stop the policy.
Now, internal state e-mails suggest that anti-masking activists are having a significant impact on the Baker administration, which has resisted full compliance with federal guidance that students should wear masks at school even if they’ve been vaccinated. Current policy will soon allow schools with high vaccination rates to drop mask requirements for vaccinated students and staff.
The determination to follow this middle path may be in part political. When a Massachusetts General Hospital doctor asked in an e-mail why the state was not following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, a top state health official was blunt: pressure.
“There has been considerable pushback from parents groups that feel that masks interfere with social interactions and speech and language development,” wrote Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director for the state health department’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, in a July 30 e-mail to Dr. Regina LaRocque, his former student at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The e-mail was obtained through a public records request to the state health department.
The administration tightened its mask policy about a month after the exchange between LaRocque and Madoff, but current policy still falls short of the recommendations of both the CDC and the Massachusetts Medical Society. Those two groups argue that even vaccinated students and staff can be infected with the more contagious Delta strain of COVID and spread it to others, so all for now should wear a mask.
“What’s driving the policy in Massachusetts are … parents who are vociferous, who don’t want masks for their kids in schools,” said LaRocque, an infectious disease specialist who has previously criticized Baker’s COVID policies, in an interview. “Who decides who the stakeholders are, what values are being applied and where does the buck stop?”
Action Line: Keep pushing back on terrible policies instituted by politicians. They hear you, and when enough people speak up, they are afraid.
P.S. When Your Survival Guy looks at any ranking for countries (not county or states), guess which one is marching up the list if not already at the top? You guessed it, Ireland. Now, Your Survival Guy’s never been to Ireland, but I’m sure I’d like the golf and the pubs, the weather not so much, but, I’m absolutely sure I’d love the Freedom.
Watching Tucker Carlson last night to relax (it has been a struggle figuring out how to deal with the vax and masks in school), Ireland is standing up to the political virus called COVID and saying “No, our children will not be forced to wear masks in school.” Hallelujah.
On a recent trip to our log cabin in “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, Your Survival Guy read Sebastian Junger’s (author of The Perfect Storm) new book Freedom, about walking the last frontier of American freedom, our railways, where he talks about a range of topics as if the two of you are just taking a break on the side of the tracks, sitting on your backpacks, having a chat.
He talks about the success of the Apache Indians, perhaps the first Navy SEALs, because they traveled light and didn’t need to “protect” material things. Not exactly feasible today for a family, but you get the point. Mobility is freedom. And what’s true always is the more power you have to protect (think the elites) the further you get from the people who give you that power. In contrast to fat pols in D.C., the leader of the Apaches like a Navy SEAL, was by your shoulder in the fight.
True leaders are with you, shoulder to shoulder in the fight. Junger takes us back to the summer of 1916 where Irish revolutionary Michael Haller leads the uprising against Protestant England, eventually making the ultimate sacrifice by execution. But Haller took the fight to the English soldiers with his men.
And the greatest force multiplier? Women. In the 1912 mill strike in Lawrence, MA, it took one policeman to handle ten men, bang, bang, bang. But it took ten to kill one woman. This is what you’re seeing today as moms (and dads) lead the charge, standing up to school committees ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for the ones they love. This isn’t going away. Welcome to the new Tea Party.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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