California mask mandate for schools should stay

CN: Max Miranda

By Raymond Nava

California’s decision to lift the mask mandate on March 11 for schools is a bad decision.
The move comes as the number of reported cases in the state has been dwindling.
The logic behind ditching the mandate doesn’t appear to be based on scientific data. The state will now only be strongly recommending that masks be worn in the classroom.
The fact that the state will now just strongly recommend mask wearing seems to suggest that wearing a mask is still important. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t still be recommending people to wear a mask.
This decision feels like it was made due to backlash from anti-mask people.
With the mask mandate ending, it has become a recommendation to wear masks. This recommended that people wear masks. This is a bad idea.
One of the reasons it was a good idea to reimpose the mask mandate was because it was very likely unvaccinated individuals were not wearing masks.
This likely caused cases to spike back up in 2021.
Relying on the honor system was an idiotic idea. Obviously people can lie about vaccination status.
Now that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people aren’t required to be masked, those who are unvaccinated will be unlikely to wear a mask now. This could possibly take away any incentive they might have had to finally get the vaccine.
While the lifting of the mask mandate will only apply to K-12 schools and child care facilities, this still poses a dangerous risk.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the most recent state data as of February 28 shows that only 36.5% of kids ages 5 to 11 are partially or fully vaccinated.
Yet despite this statistic, the state decided to do away with the mandate.
Removing the mask mandate will also cause great risk to children who aren’t vaccinated yet.
The fact that cases could be attributed to the mask mandate and removing it can possibly cause cases to spike again. This is important to take into consideration.
There’s a difference if the removal was attributed to new data or if it was due to political pressure.
For example, if California had 90% of the population vaccinated, it would make sense to remove the mask mandate because a huge majority of the state would be protected.
This difference in data or pressure would also likely result in masks not needing a strong recommendation.
High vaccine rates would not need mask usage.
Unfortunately, masks are still being recommended. This means there is still great risk of the virus threatening a portion of individuals.
Since the state is continuing to strongly recommend masks, then that gives the impression that masks continue to be vital, which would make removing the mask mandate counterintuitive.
Los Angeles Community College District colleges will continue enforcing mask wearing and that is the right decision. So long as masks are still seen as vital, then we should not be removing mask mandates.
The mandate has been attacked by anti-maskers but that should not mean that the state bows to their demands just to boost approval ratings.
Letting our guard down was what let COVID-19 spread in the first place.
The state can’t get complacent when only 36% of school children are vaccinated.
The mask mandate should remain in place.

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