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Thank you to the school board members who voted yes on the mask mandate.

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Thank you to the school board members who voted yes on the mask mandate. Research is revealing that choosing the best mitigation strategies available helped reduce the spread of the highly contagious deadly virus we call covid-19. I hope the current school board members keep that in mind as they search for a new superintendent. I hope the anti-science members of the board don't prevail. I hope the majority chooses love over hate and science over delusional thinking. We all wanted the pandemic not to be happening, but real issues must be addressed with real solutions not delusional thinking.

Excerpts from articles:

While guidance and official policy on masking has evolved over the course of the pandemic, laboratory results have long shown the efficacy of face masks in blocking Covid-19 virus particles. In the world’s first large-scale randomized controlled trial on masking and Covid-19, EGC affiliate Mushfiq Mobarak and coauthors from Innovations for Poverty Action and other organizations demonstrate that getting people to wear masks reduces community infection. 
There can still be transmission of a virus from patient to staff or staff to patient when bothpeople are masked, but it’s rare. Lab studies show that surgical masks and respirators are good at limiting the spread of aerosols and droplets from people who are sick with the flu, coronaviruses and other respiratory viruses. Although not 100% effective, they substantially reduce the quantities of the virus that get expelled when someone is talking or coughing. Even after the expiration of the US public health emergency declaration and with many Americans moving away from pandemic precautions, masks continue to offer some protection, reducing your risk of catching Covid-19 in a community setting like in a close doctor and patient interaction, according to the study, which reviewed the latest science on the protective quality of masks. “Exposing patients unnecessarily to infections that are preventable by masking seems directly contrary to the principles of patient safety,” the commentary says. “For all of these reasons, we advocate remaining masked during patient interactions.” “We all realize the importance and utility of a mask,” Madad said. “A culture of safety shows you’re being respectful to your patients.” 
Amid an ongoing pandemic and outbreaks of influenza and RSV caused by airborne viruses, arguing over the virus-blocking power of masks remains one of the COVID era’s signature follies. Disconcertingly, despite decades of evidence of their efficacy, some of the disagreement comes from a few in the medical field itself, misusing science and endangering lives. “Does a mask protect me from aerosolized virus?” is similar to the question “Does this seat belt keep me from flying through the window in an accident?”  THE AUTHORS: Matthew Oliver is an aerospace and electrical professional engineer, and citizen of the Métis Nation. Mark Ungrin is an interdisciplinary biomedical researcher and an associate professor at the University of Calgary. Joe Vipond is an emergency doctor and a member of the John Snow Project.
Masks and mask mandates have been a hot controversy during the pandemic. … Japan, which emphasized wearing masks and mitigating airborne transmission, had a remarkably low death rate in 2020 even though it did not have any shutdowns and rarely tested and traced widely outside of clusters. … David Lazer, a political scientist at Northeastern University, calculated that before vaccines were available, U.S. states without mask mandates had 30 percent higher Covid death rates than those with mandates. … Researchers at Mass General Brigham, one of Harvard’s teaching hospital groups, found that in early 2020, before mask mandates were introduced, the infection rate among health care workers doubled every 3.6 days and rose to 21.3 percent. After universal masking was required, the rate stopped increasing, and then quickly declined to 11.4 percent. In Germany, 401 regions introduced mask mandates at various times over three months in the spring of 2020. By carefully comparing otherwise similar places before and after mask mandates, researchers concluded that “face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 47 percent,” with the effect more pronounced in large cities and among older people. … So the evidence is relatively straightforward: Consistently wearing a mask, preferably a high-quality, well-fitting one, provides protection against the coronavirus. … Masks are a tool, not a talisman or a magic wand. They have a role to play when used appropriately and consistently at the right times. They should not be dismissed or demonized.

From a November 2020 article:

Cochrane has responded to the crisis by gathering its community, working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders, in developing and publishing several systematic reviews on the effectiveness of behavioral public health measures for reducing COVID‐19 infection.These measures include masks, hand-washing, physical distancing, quarantine, contact tracing, screening, and travel restrictions. … For an intervention to work, people must get the message, find it persuasive, understand its instructions, and be able to perform the behavior in their everyday lives. A measure that could make a difference in theory might not do so in practice, if its implementation failed to meet these conditions. 

Presidential contender Ron DeSantis has used governmental power in Florida to restrict access to health and education, promoting an intolerant and harmful agenda. The governor has refused all evidence that masks are safe and help prevent COVID, appointed a surgeon general who advised against vaccines, and continues to paint science and evidence as restrictions to the freedom of Floridians. Instead of limiting the role of government, as he claimed in his fight against masks, he is expanding it to selectively promote a particular religious agenda.

Concern and care for others’ feelings are virtues we seek to instill in our children, yet they are sorely lacking in many adult Americans today.
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