To attend school in Marin, children must be tortured and experimented upon

Marin County is an extremely affluent, mostly White, extremely progressive community north of San Francisco.  The residents suffered emotionally during Trump's four years in office (even though he substantially increased their wealth), and they've been falling in line since January to get on board with the Biden program.  The latest example is that, beginning in fall, all students in Marin County's public schools must wear masks, and all students over the age of 12 must have received the still experimental COVID vaccination.

In the past 18 months, we've learned something about kids, COVID, and masks.  The thing about kids and COVID is that healthy kids — that is, kids without serious pre-existing conditions — simply aren't at significant risk from COVID.  The CDC's "Provisional COVID-19 Deaths: Focus on Ages 0–18 Years" reveals that from COVID's first diagnosis in America through August 4, only 416 children have died from COVID, with 128 in the 0–4 age cohort and 288 in the 5–18 cohort.  The total number is only 0.0003% of the approximately 74,000,000 children aged 0–18 in America.  The deaths, each of which is tragic, are still statistically insignificant.

What we've also learned is that masks and children are a bad combination.  Little children don't wear them properly, so their benefit is dubious at best.  In addition, children live in a swirl of dirt.  A study of masks that children in Florida were wearing revealed that, while they hadn't blocked any COVID viruses (none was found on the mask), a lot of other bacteria and viruses had made their homes there, including some particularly nasty ones, such as tuberculosis, meningitis, Legionnaires' disease, and severe staph pathogens.

Finally, there's the fact that children really suffer in masks.  They interfere with socialization because they can't read other children's (or their teachers') faces; they're hot and uncomfortable; they're often filthy; and, for those athletes forced to wear masks, hypoxia is a real risk.  (And, considering that young athletes doing non-contact sports outdoors need masks like a hole in the head, the masks are doubly cruel.)

Meanwhile, when it comes to vaccines for the young, the fact that their risk is so minimal itself argues against vaccinating them.  Add to that the real risk of blood clots and myocarditis in young people, especially boys, and the potential risk of permanent infertility in young women (although pro-vaccine articles strongly contradict this concern), and vaccines seem not only unnecessary, but disproportionately dangerous.  Keep in mind, too, that the vaccine is still labeled as experimental and that no long-term studies have been done (because none could be done) on adults or children.

With all that in mind — children's low risk of COVID, the pointlessness of masks for them, and the potential risks from vaccines — the new rules for Marin County students this fall seem both unnecessarily cruel and risky:

Marin school employees and students 12 and older will be required to supply proof of COVID-19 vaccination status this fall, county officials announced Wednesday.

Those staff members who have not been immunized will be required to be tested weekly for coronavirus infections. Students, either vaccinated or unvaccinated, are only recommended for testing if they exhibit COVID symptoms or if it is known they were exposed to the virus.

"We will be posting the vaccination rate data for each school by Oct. 1," said Dr. Lisa Santora, the county's deputy public health officer. Individual vaccination information will not be made public, she said.

Santora also said that masks will be required for everyone, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status, due to the continued surge of the highly contagious delta variant strain of the virus.

"We'll be starting the new year as we ended the old one," she said. "Masking indoors and outdoors."

The article does not mention a single bit of data justifying these policies.  Let me just say I am incredibly grateful that my kids passed through those schools some years ago, and that I feel deeply sorry for the Marin parents and students forced to grapple with rules that seem to fall deep into the "magical thinking" category.

Image: Unhappy boy in a mask.  Rawpixel.

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