Say no to mask mandate

Aug. 10, 2021To Whom It May Concern:As Covid-19 cases have become more prevalent in our beloved state of Utah, calls for a mask mandate have returned, along with the ever present vaccination efforts by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Government.  The following points should be considered when voting a return to a mask mandate, especially in our schools: The Covid-19 virus has a mortality rate in children less than the seasonal flu.  (Contagionlive, Comparing COVID-19 and Influenza Course in Hospitalized Children June 22, 2021 Kenneth Bender, PharmD, MA)We have never had a mask mandate for the flu, for colds, or for respiratory syncytial virus in the past.Masks cause significant problems to persons wearing them, including headaches, skin breakouts such as acne and skin breakdown, and impaired cognition (From Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology “Adverse Effects of Prolonged Mask Use Among Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19”, June 1, 2020)The risk of a child dying from Covid-19 is miniscule compared to the elderly population > 65 years old has a 95 times greater chance of dying than kids aged 0-17 (.From CDC website: Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death By Age Group Updated July 19, 2021).  We acknowledge the risk of this highly contagious virus spreading throughout our school-aged children and them going home to older relatives and possibly infecting them.   At some point this is where the question “is it a risk we are willing to take?”There has been significant time for people to decide to be vaccinated against Covid-19, so the vaccine should be offering protection for those who have decided to get a vaccine.If vaccines work, then why mask everyone up again?  If masks work, then why did it not eradicate Covid-19 the first time around?  Remember the “2 weeks of wearing a mask” promise?  Some states have been wearing masks ever since.   Covid-19 is not going away.  It’s not like smallpox where the disease was eradicated.  This virus is acting more like the flu where there are different strains every year.  Masks have not been shown to be helpful, in fact they have shown harm.  If we wanted masks to work, we would all be wearing a respirator.  Current masks that kids wear are either a piece of cloth or a surgical mask.  Neither are able to trap smaller virus particles. N95 masks are only helpful to the wearer and must be fitted properly.  But if the wearer has Covid, they can still infect others.  As doctors trained in treating respiratory illnesses, we strongly oppose bringing a mask mandate to our schools.  It would cause harm to our children both physically and psychologically.  SignedDonald Harline, MDJay T. Flottmann, MD

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