Some Virginia School Districts Set To Ignore Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s COVID-Friendly Mask Policies

Some Virginia School Districts Set To Ignore Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s COVID-Friendly Mask Policies

Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin delivered on his promise to ban school mask mandates on Day One of his administration, even though the pandemic is on Day 676 and counting. His anti-life executive order is filled with disingenuous statements posing as policy.

Recent government orders requiring virtually every child in Virginia wear masks virtually every moment they are in school have proven ineffective and impractical.

That’s only according to COVID-19 skeptics and “doctors” who received their medical degree from a bubblegum machine. Recent studies still maintain that universal mask wearing in schools reduce the spread of the virus.

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They have also failed to keep up with rapidly changing scientific information. For example, the August 12, 2021 Order of the State Health Commissioner explicitly relates to the Delta variant and not the Omicron variant, which results in less severe illness.

The Omicron variant didn’t exist in August 2021. It was first identified in late November, as an early Christmas present from the Grinch. Some medical experts agree that Omicron results in less severe illness for children than the Delta variant, but it’s also more transmissible. If you understand how math and probabilities work, you’d appreciate that there’s a greater chance for more children to suffer severe illness. Also, cars might be constructed better than 20 years ago, but that doesn’t mean children should ride without seat belts or booster seats.

The order states children under the age of 12 cannot obtain vaccines. Now children five and older are eligible.

Youngkin doesn’t support vaccine mandates, so this is a meaningless statement. Maskless kids can still spread COVID-19 around school like a bad rumor. Maybe some kids (and immuno-compromised teachers) will die, but we guess that’s a risk Youngkin’s willing to take.

The order notes that “universal and correct mask use” helps reduce transmission. As parents and educators have observed, many children wear masks incorrectly, providing little or no health benefit. The masks worn by children are often ineffective because they are made from cloth material, and they are often not clean, resulting in the collection of impurities, including bacteria and parasites. Additionally, wearing masks for prolonged periods of time, such as for an entire school day, decreases their effectiveness. Masking may be more or less effective dependent on the age of the child.

This is the most cynical, nihilistic bullshit, and 62 percent of white Virginians supported this fraud because he vowed to protect their children from Toni Morrison.

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If students wear masks incorrectly, then teachers and administrators should correct them. It’s a goddamn school. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Just because your dumb kid thinks a mask is a snot rag doesn’t mean schools should collectively abandon public health measures.

Schools received billions in COVID-19 relief funding, so Mr. Businessman Sensible Conservative Governor should demand that some of the money go to providing kids with clean masks. Instead, he’s just thrown up his hands and shouted, “Mission Accomplished." That’s not leadership.

However, the Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County school systems are demonstrating actual leadership rather than craven pandering. They immediately announced Saturday that their school masking policies would remain in place. Teachers might have to master such strenuous pedagogical tactics as telling kids, “Please keep your mask over your nose,” but they will rise to the challenge.

Youngkin has threatened to use state resources to force compliance with his executive order, but it’s unclear how he’ll achieve this.

Your common Chuck Todds might promote a “both sides” narrative that equates local officials defying Youngkin’s orders with, say, local officials who defied Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown’s orders reinstating mask mandates last August. Dr. Martin Luther King said: "One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.

Mask mandates have played a key role in keeping schools safely open over the past year. There is nothing just about an executive order that would endanger children’s lives so that an opportunistic politician can make his bones with the MAGA electorate.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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