New York is following Science by forcing 2-4-year-olds to wear face masks in their preschools (see Adult unvaccinated New Yorkers can go unmasked to the strip club; 3-year-olds must be masked in pre-K). A saliva-soaked rag has been proven “protective” against an aerosol virus according to our most respected media sources, such as the NYT (example from December 2021).
It turns out that there was a natural experiment on face masks in schools over in Spain. Catalonian children 6+ were ordered to wear masks in schools while children through age 5 were allowed to breathe freely. In comparing the 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds, the researchers summarized “[face mask] mandates in schools were not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 incidence or transmission, suggesting that this intervention was not effective.”
See “Unravelling the Role of the Mandatory Use of Face Covering Masks for the Control of SARS-CoV-2 in Schools: A Quasi-Experimental Study Nested in a Population-Based Cohort in Catalonia (Spain)” (SSRN) for some Science that should not be followed. From the Abstract…
Methods: We performed a retrospective population-based study among 599,314 children aged 3 to 11 years attending preschool (3-5 years, without [face covering masks] FCM mandate) and primary education (6-11 years, with FCM mandate) with the aim of calculating the incidence of SARS-CoV-2, secondary attack rates (SAR) and the effective reproductive number (R*) for each grade during the first trimester of the 2021-2022 academic year, and analysing the differences between 5-year-old, without FCM, and 6 year-old children, with FCM.
Findings: SARS-CoV-2 incidence was significantly lower in preschool than in primary education, and an age-dependent trend was observed. Children aged 3 and 4 showed lower outcomes for all the analysed epidemiological variables, while children aged 11 had the higher values. Six-year-old children showed higher incidence than 5 year-olds (3•54% vs 3•1%; OR: 1•15 [95%CI: 1•08-1•22]) and slightly lower but not statistically significant SAR and R: SAR were 4•36% in 6 year-old children, and 4•59% in 5 year-old (IRR: 0•96 [95%CI: 0•82-1•11]); and R was 0•9 and 0•93 (OR: 0•96 [95%CI: 0•87-1•09]), respectively.
- “Oakland school students, teachers must keep wearing masks indoors at least another month” (Mercury News, March 10, 2022): The school district decided this week the masks must stay on at least another month indoors and another two weeks outdoors as an extra precaution against another potential COVID-19 surge. The school board didn’t budge from that position at its meeting Wednesday night despite complaints from some parents who said enough is enough. The district — which includes elementary, middle and high schools — indicated it’ll reassess the indoor mask mandate around April 15 after everyone returns from spring break April 1-8. … “Children across the country have been mask optional for over a year. California has lifted the mandates for adults, for kids and say they’re lifting it for schools across the state,” a mother of three district students told the board. “Stop the craziness, follow the science.”