To the Journal editor:
I appreciate your editorial on Sept. 22 supporting mask mandates in schools. In your general reporting on Marquette Area Public School board policy, individuals were quoted on both sides of the issue.
Sadly, there are instances when individuals state their opinions (incorrectly) as science.
Valerie Olson insists we follow “science” and children have “statistically zero chance” of dying from COVID. Her statement is demonstrably false. Ms. Olson can verify with the parents of at least 491 children aged 0-17 dead from COVID as of Sept 21, 2021. (Source: Harvard Health Sept 21, 2021). COVID infection is also linked to MIS-C – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.
This can have complications (sometimes life-threatening) in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. A study released on Sept. 15 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine regarding children and COVID looked at nearly 20,000 emergency room visits from April to September 2020 with children diagnosed with COVID. Over 20% of these were admitted to the hospital, and 21% of these needed ICU care.
Ms. Olson states concern over CO2 levels building up in the mask. The only “science” is a study on herself. This is a disingenuous use of “science” to support personal opinion. Antidotally, I was working with school-aged students at the start of the pandemic and through last school year.
I got a viral infection every month from October 2019 through February 2020. Since the shut down in March 2020, I have not been sick! I worked from home initially then wore a mask all last school year. Is the mask the reason I stayed healthy? I can’t say for sure, though have suffered zero side effects from wearing a mask.
Nor have I heard of side effects from friends and family who have worn masks (several of whom work in the ICU). Surgical teams have worn masks for decades and I have heard of no reported adverse effects.
If there are vigorous, controlled, peer review studies indicating the dangers of masks please share so we can all be informed.