Don’t Mandate Kids in Masks

President Joe Biden visits Yorktown Elementary School in Yorktown, Va., May 3, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
It is unjust and psychologically destabilizing to make them live as if they are in danger when they are not in danger.


’ve searched in vain for a reasonable explanation for the recommendation to mask children going back to school this fall. I suspect there is none.

One theoretical justification for continuing to mask children is the belief that someday, probably, there will be a juvenile vaccine against COVID-19, and therefore children could be safer than they are now. So let’s just keep doing this until then. What’s the big deal?

But this is to judge the risk to children on a relative scale that is hypothetical and self-referential, rather than honestly connecting their risk to the facts of the real world. It ignores

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