The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is taking the front page on many newspapers, media outlets and dominating the conversation at the workplace. One of these discussions is on mask mandates inside of schools. With the school year kicking off, this is a critical discussion.

Let’s break down some statistics on COVID-19 and children. As of July 7, 2021, the CDC reported approximately 4.13 million children between the ages of 0 and 17 tested positive for COVID-19 (all variants). Of these 4.13 million children, a total of 391 children between the ages of 0 and 17 died from the virus. When broken down, almost all of these children had pre-existing conditions. If we take the number of children who have been killed from COVID-19 and divide it by the number of positive tests amongst children ages 0 to 17, we get 0.0000009467… When we take this and convert it into a percentage, we get 0.00009467%, approximately 0.00009% chance of dying from COVID-19 once contracted amongst children.

Some may argue this does not include how the children may operate as carriers to other children and thus to other households. Ultimately, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to determine whether or not they should take the vaccine, mask, social distance, etc. To force upon children masks is to force an adult problem onto our children, something we do too often.

Adults — let’s discuss the numbers. As of July 30, 2021 (according to the CDC), there were a total of 34,722,631 cases of COVID-19 reported inside the United States. Of these individuals, 609,853 died from complications from the virus. Again, we take the total number who died and divide it by the total number of cases, then convert that into a percentage. The chance of an adult dying from COVID-19 once contracted is 1.7563%, roughly 1.75%. Of these, the majority, yet again, have pre-existing conditions.

Here I will not attempt to argue whether this is good or bad; I am putting these numbers in context. Our children are not at risk of dying from COVID-19, at least such a small percentage that it is almost inconceivable. Some children cannot wear masks for their health. Yet, our local school boards are forcing our children to wear masks and, if they have their way, they will force them to get the vaccine once it is allowed. We must not allow this to occur.

Wearing masks dehumanizes one another. You cannot see a smile from your friend, the blushing of the cheeks when embarrassed or clearly understand one another in conversation. Communication is done through both verbal and non-verbal cues. Teachers have to work extra hard to be understood and to understand. An acquaintance of my wife, a teacher, just bought a microphone system to have under her mask to be understood — all of this for the 0.00009% chance of a child dying from this virus.

We, as a society, must do better. We must say no to masks in schools!

Micah Messer

Lee County

In response to Tim James letter (8/5/21) on excuses for not being vaccinated:

Governor Ivey was exactly right in stating that unvaccinated folks in our state are the real reasons we are seeing an upsurge in COVID 19.  Suppose everyone had gotten vaccinated in February, March or April when we were first allowed the vaccine. Where would we be? Few cases for hospital personnel to fight; less chance of COVID 19 migrating to the Delta variance, fewer chances of exposing our children at family events or at school, less chance of being exposed in restaurants and other places of business.

No, there are few excuses. The few who for health reasons should not take the shots can be determined by Doctors. Remember — “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.”  

You are prolonging this virus by being stubborn. You are not being a responsible citizen.

Marilyn Garrett


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