Letter — There should not be a mask debate

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

To the Editor:

Thanks to the governor’s executive order we now have a resurgence of the “mask debate.” Let me be clear — there should be no debate. Masks are proven to reduce the spread of viral disease, including COVID-19. If the issue is poor mask quality and inconsistent use/improper use of a mask then the answer is not, as declared in the executive order, to discontinue mask use. We should be educating our students and staff on proper and consistent mask usage and providing them with the highest quality mask available. Instead of stating (as the governor does in his order) that parents and their students do not have to comply with guidelines from state agencies we should be supporting and adhering to recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health. We should not be ignoring what the CDC, AAP, VEA, VDH and countless other organizations are sharing — COVID-19 is an easily transmissible disease with unknown long-term effects that has (as of the time of writing) killed almost 16,000 Virginians. Our case count, including pediatric cases, have been climbing. Now is not the time to allow people to opt out of protecting their neighbors and friends. Wearing a mask does not, contrary to many anti-maskers, inhibit a child’s ability to express themself or harm them physically. Children understand the importance of wearing a mask to protect each other; it is time the adults follow suit.

Meghan DuFrain

Cumberland