The horror of masking children

In an ironic twist, the FDA's and CDC's approval of COVID vaccines for children has some families breathing a sigh of relief.  In addition to the (questionable) protection afforded by experimental gene therapy, they believe that their children will finally be able to show their faces again.  However, damaging though masks are for children, parents' hopes may be dashed.

The mask was quickly politicized and has become a visible sign of obedience to authority, despite the misery it causes.  Some people have suffered such mental health problems from being forced into masks that they have developed an unnatural dependency on covering their face.  No one has suffered more from masks than small children.

Masks impede children's breathing — and this is true even though there are studies that show there is no actual respiratory distress involved in wearing a mask.  Such studies may or may not be factually accurate.  However, there is a perception in small children that they cannot breathe with a mask.  They constantly pull their masks down or even off.

Citing a study that shows there is no actual respiratory problem caused by wearing a mask is like telling someone who can't afford to buy food or gas that all the data show that the economy is getting better.  If you don't have enough money for the necessities of life, it doesn't matter if someone somewhere has a study showing the economy is getting better.

Likewise, if a child is complaining that he can't breathe with a mask, it is not going to help in any way to have a study showing that it's all in the child's head.  That child's distress is real, and it's cruel to insist on them wearing a mask.

Image: Children in masks (cropped) by Ilya Perelude.  Free to use.

Children learn social cues from observing body language of the people around them, including facial expressions.  Masks preclude all social development based on facial expressions.  A critical period is between the ages of 3 and 11, when children make great strides in reading emotions from facial expressions.  There is some evidence that determining emotions from facial expressions correlates with social skills.  How many children are being stunted in this area by being deprived of this vital period in their development?

Kids are pretty tough and resilient.  They have an amazing capacity to bounce back from all sorts of traumas.  However, children should never be deliberately traumatized.  Children should never be deliberately deprived of normal social development.  They should not be struggling to breathe.  It's not right for small children to be deprived of classroom instruction because they can't make out what their teacher is saying from behind a mask.  Hearing-impaired children are especially vulnerable in all these areas.

Vaccine or no vaccine, it's time to get rid of masks and give kids their lives back.  However, it's not clear that Biden's administration is going to let that happen: on Wednesday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said that when it comes to kids, vaccination or not, they need to keep wearing those masks:

Pandra Selivanov is the author of The Pardon, a story of forgiveness based on the thief on the cross in the Bible.

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