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  • Last modified 45 days ago (Aug. 12, 2021)

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Devilishly poor judgment

The honor roll for Marion County school officials got a lot shorter this week with all but Goessel failing to require masks when classes begin this week or next.

What do local school districts know that virtually every expert who isn’t some ultraconservative crackpot doesn’t? Are our local schools somehow more educated than six of the seven public universities in the state?

We would say school board members and administrators who refuse to require masks ought to be charged with child abuse, but wearing masks never has been about protecting people who wear them. It’s about protecting others from what a person wearing a mask might spread.

No one younger than 12 and far less than half of kids and adults 12 and older have been vaccinated. New, more contagious strains of our pandemic virus already have appeared in our county.

All it takes is one parent to come down with COVID-19 and send his or her child to school. The child may not get sick but easily can transmit the disease to others in his or her school. They may not get sick, either, but they most certainly can and will carry the virus home, infecting their parents, grandparents, and others. Some of these people will die or become so sick that they wish they could.

The price to prevent such a tragedy is having kids wear masks when on buses, in classes, and at school events. Sure, a few won’t do what they’re told. Teachers may have to spend a few extra minutes making sure masks remain in place. And it may be slightly harder to hear what teachers and students say. But this isn’t exactly a huge price to pay for saving lives.

The only reason we can fathom for why any school board member or administrator wouldn’t be willing to pay this price is if he or she refuses to listen to science. If that’s true, it’s perhaps even more dangerous to have these people overseeing education in our communities.

Johnny Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie wasn’t exactly a cinematic classic, but it contained one closing line worth remembering: “Never take off the mask” — not until we rid ourselves of all pandemic variants and pretty much double the percentage of people who are fully inoculated.

We understand some people don’t trust science. We understand some people don’t want government telling them what to do. Most of those people at least profess to be God-fearing people of faith.

Even anti-science, anti-government contrarians ought to recognize this slightly rephrased instruction from their maker, which miraculously appears not only in Christianity but also in almost every other recognized faith on the planet:

Spread your virus unto others as you would have others spread their virus unto you.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Aug. 12, 2021

 

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