Unmask our children!!
We, the undersigned, believe that all children and teachers should NOT be required to wear masks in school and request the policy be changed immediately to reflect those requests.
Children need to see the faces of their peers and teachers. It is a critical component of communication and development. They need to breathe freely and not be subjected to unreasonable risk of physical and mental harm (as outlined in 16 V.S.A. Section 834(a)).
The inability to see a teacher’s expression does not provide a safe or comfortable environment and greatly reduces their effectiveness as an educator. There is no way to conduct education properly and demonstrate pronunciation, empathy, and non-verbal communication without seeing full facial expression and mouths. Additionally, face masks may spread virus and are ineffective at reducing transmission and infection. Please view this researc review along with links referenced below.
"(3) The quality and the volume of speech between two people wearing masks is considerably compromised and they may unconsciously come closer. While one may be trained to counteract side effect n.1, this side effect may be more difficult to tackle.
(4) Wearing a face mask makes the exhaled air go into the eyes. This generates an uncomfortable feeling and an impulse to touch your eyes. If your hands are contaminated, you are infecting yourself.
(5) Face masks make breathing more difficult. For people with COPD, face masks are in fact intolerable to wear as they worsen their breathlessness. Moreover, a fraction of carbon dioxide previously exhaled is inhaled at each respiratory cycle. Those two phenomena increase breathing frequency and deepness, and hence they increase the amount of inhaled and exhaled air. This may worsen the burden of covid-19 if infected people wearing masks spread more contaminated air. This may also worsen the clinical condition of infected people if the enhanced breathing pushes the viral load down into their lungs."
In a study performed in a randomized controlled Trial (RCT), it was found the penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97%. The conclusion of this study noted “Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.” Not to mention if kids are sweating whilst wearing a mask, the bacteria they will be exposed to could induce infection. You can reference this article here:
"We have provided the first clinical efficacy data of cloth masks, which suggest HCWs should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm."
- Offeddu, V., Yung, C.-F., Low, M., & Tam, C. (2016). Effectiveness of masks and respirators against respiratory infections in healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 53, 27. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29140516/
- Seongman Bae, MD, et. al., Effectiveness of Surgical and Cotton Masks in Blocking 5. SARS-CoV-2: A Controlled Comparison in 4 Patients, Annals of Internal Medicine, 6 April 2020, https://doi.org/10.7326/M20-1342
- Coronavirus: Face masks could increase risk of infection, medical chief warns https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-news-face-masks-increase-risk-infection-doctor-jenny-harries-a9396811.html
- Gao, Ming et al. A study on infectivity of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers. Respiratory medicine, vol. 169 106026. 13 May 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219423/
- Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H., et al. Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era, New England Journal of Medicine, 21 May 2020 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372?query=TOC