Ignore the anti maskers — masks are the best way to keep kids safe in school

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

All around the county local school boards have had to wrestle with the topic of requiring masks for students and staff.

Honestly, with the Delta variant of COVID-19, it really shouldn’t have been a tough decision.

Enter willfully misinformed (or just flat out lying) residents making any number of false claims about masks: they cut oxygen (they don’t — otherwise surgeons, dentists and other medical professionals would drop over regularly);  masks don’t work (again, more than a century of use, including multiple recent studies showing masks reduce transmission of COVID, albeit at varying levels depending on the quality of the mask — spoiler alert: medical masks work well, KN95s work best); wearing a mask somehow infringes on freedom — I guess much like stopping at stop signs or removing your shoes at the airport (neither of which seems to draw much protest these days). 

One idiot at the Unionville-Chadds Ford meeting claimed cases were down locally, using made up numbers — the truth is that both the infection rate and number of cases continues to grow weekly in Chester County, with the positively rate climbing to 5.3% this week, up from 4.7%.

Yes, Chester County — due to its high level of vaccination — is doing better than much of the country, but cases are still going up — 53 more cases last week than the week before. With no vaccine yet for kids, this increase in spread puts them at risk.

The last and most dangerous false claim: COVID doesn’t infect kids. While the earlier version of the virus was less likely to impact kids, the Delta variant is proving much more dangerous. In poorly vaccinated areas of the U.S., ICUs are full of sick kids.

Now understand these people — many of whom were wildly disruptive and disrespectful at school board meetings around the county — are making arguments based on junk science, largely sourced from some Web site run out of Belgrade, St. Petersburg or some similar location, not from trusted medical authorities.

Of course, some of these same people are taking horse deworming medicine more likely to kill them than do anything about COVID.

But they are very sure of their “facts.”

So sure, they’re willing to risk the lives of your kids, their teachers and school staff.

All of which is horrible. One child’s death because a school board caved into these lunatics is one too many.

One other issue not being discussed: when kids or staff die from COVID in a school without a mask mandate, school districts will have a massive liability concern. Typical liability insurance for schools specifically excludes pandemics. If a suit is able to show reckless disregard for the science — i.e. not insisting on masks and vaccinations where appropriate — multi-million dollar verdicts are likely to follow.

And guess who pays? You, the property owner. You can look forward to multiple years of Act 1 maxed tax rates. But that’s not all. That won’t be enough money — especially if there are multiple suits. It will mean less teachers, bigger classes and lower ratings for your local school district. Those lower ratings could hit you hard when you go to sell your home down the road — as well as further cut the tax income for school districts, leading to a nasty cycle of school defunding (see Delaware County).

Obviously, the health and safety of our kids comes first.

But these knuckleheads — a clear but noisy minority — also wants to hit you in the pocketbook out of their sheer ignorance.

Kudos to the school districts that stood firm in the face of idiocy to make the decision to protect our kids and our community.


A funny thing happened on the road to overturning democracy for Pennsylvania Republicans: what seems to be shaping up to be an internal civil war.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano was relieved of his committee chairmanship and staff by state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and replaced by Sen. Chris Dush this week.

Predictably, Mastriano went nuts — along with his merry band of wacked out conspiracy loonies — while Corman tried to dance around the subject of the “fraudit.” Dush, who is kind of a right-wing extremist in his own right — he’s known for claiming Gov. Tom Wolf was some sort of Nazi for attempting to contain the COVID virus.

Corman is trying – and I suspect, failing — to walk a tightrope between keeping the Trumpy lunatics who demand the election be set aside because their guy lost and not because there was fraud while not totally alienating the white, moderate voters in suburban areas such as Chester County.

The problem is that Mastriano has spun a web of lies — like Trump — and the true believers now think Corman is part of the Deep State. Meanwhile, most of the moderate voters in places like Chester County voted by mail — the very votes the Trump idiots are attempting to void. It seems like a tough argument to make to the voters of this county and neighboring counties that their votes shouldn’t have counted.

Corman knows there was no fraud (I think Mastriano does, too, but is so intoxicated by the idea of running for governor next year that he’s just fine with lying about it) but has to treat the “fraudit” like a dead groundhog under the porch: it’s going to stink for a while, but eventually the problem will go away.

While there might be some entertainment value in watching these people tear each other up, the larger GOP madness is not going to go away on its own. 

Bottom line: if you keep voting for this madness, it will continue. I’ve spent a lot of time around politicians of all stripes, you know what they hate: losing elections.

There are a lot of legitimate debates to be had about the future of our country — none of which can go on when one party is attempting to delegitimize our election system. We’re either going to be a country of laws and one vote, one person or an autocracy, where only some voters count.

Where do you fall?  

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment