Skip to main content

Schools and Masks, Special Edition

By August 28, 2021Commentary

As our children return to schools, some to public schools where they can learn to be good little social justice warriers but nothing else, we are going to see endless pandemic porn about cases among children, masking, etc.  We already had one this morning in the Minneapolis paper about a school district that, horror of horror, failed to require masks.  Somehow schools in Europe are fine without masks, social distancing, sending every child home if one is infected or anything else like that.  But here in the US we are in complete panic mode.  Wonder what is different here?  Couldn’t have anything to do with one party being completely owned by political contributions from teachers’ unions, could it?

So here again, I am going to turn to the research to see what we can learn.  The CDC has thoroughly disgraced itself by conducting and/or publishing research which is blatantly twisted to fit desired messages, massaging study time periods, ignoring obvious findings to highlight obscure and misleading ones, and so on.  It is a completely politicized agency and then it can’t figure out why it has no credibility.  Here is another example, a new “study” which the agency is pimping as proving everyone needs to mask up in school.  (CDC Study)    Except that here is the major fact that everyone should notice first–all the students were masked.  Here is what supposedly happened.  A teacher was not masked at all times in a school in California, probably properly feeling a mask inhibited his ability to teach.  The teacher was not vaxed.  So here we are abusing children by forcing them to be masked and terrorizing them about normal socializing, but letting unvaxed adults teach them.  The teacher further had been symptomatic for two days and kept working during that time before getting tested.  How can you punish children when adults act so stupidly.  The study took place in May, so no excuse for not vaxing.  In any event, the teacher tested positive and then supposedly infected a large number of students.  Now I say supposedly because here is a weird thing, somehow a sample from the teacher could not be found for sequencing to compare to the virus sequence in the students.  Hmmm, that seems almost impossible.  12 of 22 tested students were positive.  Despite being masked at all times.  Yep, masks work great.   And the students were all separated by 6 feet.  Students closer to the teacher were more likely to be infected.  Some students in other classes also became infected, as did 8 people outside the school.  Now, note carefully, three of the 8 outside cases were people who were vaccinated.  Also note that even the authors say the study does not appear to reflect significantly greater transmissibility of Delta.  Out of 27 total cases, 80% had symptoms, but all the cases were mild, with none requiring hospitalization, despite the fact that they were all from the Dread Pirate Roberts, i.e., the Delta variant.  So let’s see, what lesson should we take from this–students shouldn’t go to school?  students and teachers should wear diving helmets to protect them in school?  or maybe that it is fine if we just let kids go to school, unmasked, and tell them and staff to stay home if they have symptoms, otherwise, don’t worry about it, it is barely even a cold.

Now here is a second CDC study, which has received far less hype, for reasons that will soon be obvious.  (CDC Study)   The study looked at case rates after LA County schools returned to in-person non-education and compared those among the students going to school with those for children of that age in the county as a whole.  Among those students doing in-person education (or lack thereof, especially in California), case rates throughout the study period were much lower than the total case rate for this age group in the county.  And even the school staff had a somewhat lower rate than in their comparable group for the county as a whole.

And this study from Wales examined the effects of mitigation measures among schools in that area.  (Medrxiv Paper)   Staff wearing masks was not associated with lower case spread, but was associated with more cold symptoms.  Have I mentioned that masks are virus collection devices.  Maintaining social distancing was also not associated with lower case spread.  Teachers reported that these measures inhibited their ability to teach effectively.

I reported on this study earlier as a preprint; it has now been reviewed and published in a journal.  It showed that neither mask mandates nor mask use had any significant association with case rates or case growth rates.  (IRJPH Article)

And that is it on this topic for now.  We all know what the right thing to do is, but everything is so politicized in the US, including our supposed public health experts, and so many students will be in for another year of child abuse and neglect.  Meanwhile China forges ahead.

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • OttoAuto says:

    It continues to amaze me how school boards point to the dangers of not masking while ignoring the negative impacts of all of their “mitigation” efforts. School boards in Minnesota have also waited to spring this trap on their parents & enrolled students until just before the start of school, leaving them in the lurch.

    Parents need to take action to get their kids in the proper schools. Older students need to push back against masking & these other practices. Tell your teachers you can’t understand them when they are masked.

    I’m curious the legality of schools mandating masks (medical devices)… do they have this authority? Do they have liability for negative consequences of this?

  • JR Ewing says:

    There’s no empirical data that masks work and we’ve all seen the charts of positive tests (I refuse to use the lazy inaccurate media shorthand of “cases”) having no relationship at all to the timing of mask mandates or “99% compliance” or whatever. They simply make no difference at all in controlling the spread of the virus.

    AND YET, I simply cannot comprehend how so many people continue to be married to the idea that masks make any difference at all. Reporters on television news just report as if it’s an obvious “safety measure” and certain groups of mentally weak parents get apoplectic at school board meetings when they can’t force their superstition on other families. I get the “mechanically plausible” argument and I understand how it would SEEM to make sense that you could stop a respiratory virus by blocking one’s nose and mouth, but there is no data at all to suggest that’s the case except on the fringes.

    If you are sick enough to the point where a mask can prevent droplets (not aerosols) from being spread, then you are also sick enough to stay home and not be sneezing or coughing on other people anyway. The mask is superfluous at that point.

    ALL masks do is provide comfort to a subset of ignorant people who 1.) feel like they are “safer” by “doing something” and 2.) who are reassured by seeing other people demonstrate fealty to the same ignorance. Also, political signaling too, in that some people know they don’t work but feel it’s necessary to force those rednecks over their to acknowledge the situation and play along with the fear that benefits the politicians.

    Masks are a talisman that is only slightly better than a rabbits foot but is has become conventional wisdom in the United States that they matter.

  • dell says:

    FYI.

    “We have a key piece to the puzzle explaining why the Delta outbreak is so formidable — fully vaccinated are participating as COVID-19 patients and acting as powerful Typhoid Mary-style super-spreaders of the infection.

    “Vaccinated individuals are blasting out concentrated viral explosions into their communities and fueling new COVID surges. Vaccinated healthcare workers are almost certainly infecting their coworkers and patients, causing horrendous collateral damage.

    “Continued vaccination will only make this problem worse, particularly among frontline doctors and nurses workers who are caring for vulnerable patients.

    “The Lancet, found vaccinated individuals carry 251 times the load of COVID-19 viruses in their nostrils compared to the unvaccinated.”

    “Study: Fully Vaccinated Healthcare Workers Carry 251 Times Viral Load, Pose Threat to Unvaccinated Patients, Co-Workers”, Peter A. McCullough, Children’s Health Defense, 8/23/21.
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vaccinated-healthcare-workers-threat-unvaccinated-patients-co-workers/

  • Kevin Roche says:

    that is incredibly inaccurate

  • Blackwing1 says:

    Here’s what the pre-print abstract of that paper ( https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3897733 ) states:

    “Findings: Between 11th–25th June 2021 (week 7–8 after dose 2), 69 healthcare workers were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. 62 participated in the clinical study. 49 were (pre)symptomatic with one requiring oxygen supplementation. All recovered uneventfully. 23 complete-genome sequences were obtained. They all belonged to the Delta variant, and were phylogenetically distinct from the contemporary Delta variant sequences obtained from community transmission cases, suggestive of ongoing transmission between the workers. Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020. Time from diagnosis to PCR negative was 8–33 days (median: 21). Neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination and at diagnosis of the cases were lower than those in the matched uninfected controls. There was no correlation between vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody levels and viral loads or the development of symptoms.

    Interpretation: Breakthrough Delta variant infections are associated with high viral loads, prolonged PCR positivity, and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies, explaining the transmission between the vaccinated people.”

    This is not comparing vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated; it compares viral loads of the original strain of Covid vs. that of the Delta variant.

    In addition, that originally-linked web site must have had BS called on them by a whole lot of people, since they have added a retraction (noted as a “Clarification”) as follows:

    “CLARIFICATION: The comparison of viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated (pre-vaccine era) as reported in the Chau et al. 2021 Lancet preprint is between two different variants of SARS-CoV-2. Dr. McCullough states directly that samples were compared to those “from the pre-vaccination era of 2020.” Thus, differences between these two groups aren’t a result of vaccination status alone.”

    But to me the biggest takeaway is that while it may be more contagious it doesn’t make people anywhere near as sick. In fact, in the (very, very small sample) number of people studied none required hospitalization, and only one (1) required supplementary oxygen. They all recovered completely.

  • Val says:

    Kevin, I’ve enjoyed and appreciated your sharp sarcasm, studies and charts since you started this mission. However, I’ve been increasingly concerned about what appears to be your unwavering devotion to vaccination. As you know, many people are not on the vaccination train. Some because of a holistic approach to medicine, others because there have been no long term studies of their safety (many drugs have passed FDA approval only to be pulled from the market years later due to serious side effects including death), and many simply because they distrust healthcare and the government after all the lies they’ve spread over the past 18 months, many of which you have shared on this very site. You’ve even advocated yourself that no one should be forced or coerced into receiving the vaccine.

    If we’re all here because we know that federal and local government officials, the media, and big tech have been misleading (at best) in their messaging about COVID, why would their messaging and push for vaccination be any different?

    So I find it confusing that you would belittle anyone or blow off any comments as “incredibly inaccurate” or conspiracy theory when a reader questions vaccines or shares links to anti-vaccine documentation. It is that exact response without explanation or link(s) to studies showing otherwise, that make people even more suspicious about vaccinations.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    i sent you a longer email response, the crux is that I don’t want people not getting vaccinated either out of distrust, which is an emotion, or because of misleading data. People need to separate their “beliefs” from a rational decision based on facts and research. Most people would benefit from the vaccine. They are safe and they are effective. And I do get very frustrated with nonsense like they are a plot to control the population, or with people saying there are no long-term safety trials, like that is unusual, because they don’t understand FDA processes. This is getting to be like masks with people just being pro or against as a political statement and I just think that is not a smart way to look at any issue. And distrust, however well-justified, and I have been as critical as anyone about government messaging, is not a substitute for rational decision-making.

  • Your Name Here says:

    I really enjoy your posts, especially those geared towards masking for children as I have a 4th and 6th grader both are under 12. I do have concerns about the the vaccine for children specifically the potential for long term side affects. I am not anti vaccine, however I am anit-mandate and coercion . I don’t think parents that opt to have their children vaccinated are bad parents, I think they are making a choice for their children and I am happy for them to do so, just as I would be happy for any parent that decided to not vaccinate their child.

    At this point in time, while my children are not eligible, I am advocating for parent choice because I am not sure that I want my children vaccinated for this issue, as of right now they don’t have pre-existing health conditions that would put them at a larger risk of a severe illness. I do have some concerns about the long term, and quite frankly their long term is a lot longer than my long term so I do take a longer pause to consider if I want my child to have this specific vaccine. What I am pushing for is breathing room and choice, I don’t want this to become a mandate.

    Additionally, there are many things that adults do that children should not do. I don’t think it is odd to see vaccinated parents but the children are not vaccinated. The choice should be available to parents. Will I change my opinion? Maybe, I am certainly open to it if our personal health circumstances change. Ask me again in 10+ plus years how I feel, should the vaccine prove to be relatively safe and we had the time to see the results I very well may change my opinion, but until that happens I am still solidly sitting on the the side of discretion of the parents.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    I am in complete agreement on hesitation regarding vaxing children. The risk to them from CV is incredibly low. Unless vax has basically zero side effects in children I would be very cautious.

  • J. Thomas says:

    I couldn’t agree more about separating emotion from data. Unfortunately, there is no data we can trust. What data we do have has been filtered through the fraudulent PCR testing scheme, therefore it’s worthless. At the end of the day, it was a very bad flu for a relatively small percentage of the population, that’s it !

    I don’t care what the FDA has concocted regarding their bogus approval criteria. They are now a lapdog of the political class. Did they have a choice NOT to approve this? I don’t think so. They were told exactly what the outcome would be and when.

    A zillion jabs (now too with a myriad of [maybe] bogus data) doesn’t equal LONG TERM data and never will. To even hint at jabbing kids “unless vax has zero side effects”, like we would ever get an honest study from any group funded by the government or a university (funded by the government), is flat out negligent. ZERO means ZERO LONG TERM too, right?

    We don’t know what’s going to happen 5 years from now. Please STOP creating/supporting/hinting at, the illusion that we do because millions have been jabbed over the last year. This entire situation is on ‘life support’, being kept alive by the MSM and tyrannical elitists in our governments, local and global. You have hundreds of posts to that effect. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are starting to wake up from the mass psychoses and see this for what it is, orchestrated crimes against humanity.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    you are just dead wrong, period.

  • Johnno says:

    Hot off the press. NORMALIZING COMMUNITY MASK-WEARING:A CLUSTER RANDOMIZED TRIAL IN BANGLADESH
    https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28734/w28734.pdf
    The paper seems to focus on behaviour change rather than the efficacy of masks. Thoughts anyone?

  • Kevin Roche says:

    I will do a full ripping of this absolute piece of crap study, but all you need to do is look at the effect, or complete lack thereof, depending on age, to know that there is a serious confounder not accounted for.

Leave a comment