We have a biostatistician on our campaign staff. She has done a tremendous amount of research on the issue of the efficacy and effectiveness of wearing cloth and surgical masks which can be found on her own blog here as well as the damage they can cause to children here.
To be clear it is not wearing masks that we are against. It is that children, who are the least likely to be infected, are being mandated to wear them to attend school. Treating COVID as if it is the only thing we have to worry about in our lives is irresponsible and blatantly false. People should be free and encouraged to understand costs and the risks, as well as the amount of protection wearing a mask gives.
So what are the costs of wearing masks?
Pediatric nurses and doctors have identified significantly increased reporting rates of the following adverse incidence for the child population related to mask wearing:
Headaches and migraines
Skin lesions, rashes and acne on the face
Skin breakdown behind the ears
Poor dentition - increased cavities, mouth sores and abscesses
Reduced ability to concentrate
Exacerbation of mental health issues including anxiety and depression
For many children, their comprehension relies on seeing the teacher's mouth when they speak or when reading with expression. It is also key for developing interpersonal relationships.
The long term effects are still unknown but in the relative short term the effects from the fear perpetuated by news media and government officials, isolation, and mask wearing
And the risks of not wearing masks?
For healthy children it is quite low.
The Denmark study, which is the only study that compared people with masks vs without in the same real-world settings, found the amount of protection is inconclusive. The difference in the number of new COVID-19 cases between the two groups was statistically insignificant.
Some make the argument that a benefit of wearing masks is that it limits source transmission but the data in school environments tells a different story.
students in masked schools had a 21% higher case rate than students in schools with no masks. masks do not look to protect your kids.
staff case rate was 23% higher in masked schools.
areas imposing masks had a 19% higher overall community case rate.