Letter: Editorial on mask wearing for children had it right

Posted 8/19/21

I usually read East Bay Newspapers’ editorials. Sometimes I agree; sometimes I don’t. But I have never found myself so totally pleased or displeased with an editorial position …

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Letter: Editorial on mask wearing for children had it right

Posted

I usually read East Bay Newspapers’ editorials. Sometimes I agree; sometimes I don’t. But I have never found myself so totally pleased or displeased with an editorial position to feel compelled to write a letter expressing my profound agreement or disagreement. That is until I read last week’s editorial, entitled “Set the Students Free,” and the particularly harsh and incorrect condemnation letters by one individual and a group of ten MD’s.

Jerry Blitefield condemned the editorial not so much for its position against masking children in school but rather for its sloppy logic, careless language and for offering no evidence in support of its position. He claims that advocating unmasking school children without evidence is socially irresponsible and reckless.

He implies that children will give up little by wearing a mask for several hours in class every day. I think children have already sacrificed too much, and the full extent of the real and potential harm has yet to be fully known.

The MD’s on the other hand, instead of demonstrating their medical expertise and sound judgment, show their bias in favor of pseudo reality by asserting the editorial was inflammatory, erroneous and irresponsible. They allege the editorial states a “dangerous untruth” by stating that children are “largely unaffected by the virus itself.”

Again, I believe the editorial is more accurate and consistent with the science than what the MD’s are otherwise implying.

Describing “big government” as the CDC and state public health officials is factually accurate. I would add President Biden, his administration, members of Congress and Dr. Fauci to that list. I fail to see how this can be viewed as an “attempt to politicize and delegitimize” any medical expert.

These big government experts have done enough politicizing the vaccine themselves. The many inconsistencies in the advices offered by these and so many other experts, as with the over the top and wrong criticism of the ten MD’s, is where the real harm and irresponsibilities lie.

I chose to be vaccinated. Yet I have serious reservations about its efficacy. My reasons vary, but largely rest with the different viewpoints on the merits and dangers of the vaccine presented by various credible medical experts.

If Mr. Blitefield and the ten MD’s would like to see evidence as to the efficacy or lack thereof of masks, I suggest they take the time to read this article. I believe it is one of many sources that support the idea that healthy children need not wear a mask for several hours each day in the classroom. Doing so will likely do more harm than good for the children and accomplish little in curbing the spread of the virus. Healthy kids may not even need the vaccine (my opinion).

https://www.city-journal.org/do-masks-work-a-review-of-the-evidence.

Peter Hewett
Bristol

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.