End School Mask Mandate (and unmask the poor kids outside!)

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    This is a great opinion piece I agree with 110%! We need an end in sight to putting the burden on our poor kids, especially with vaccine approval imminent for 5-11 year olds.

    Also, it’s ok to unmask your kids (and yourself!) outside! My heart drops every time I’m walking in Lincoln Park and see the poor kids running in this beautiful fall fresh air masked up, or masked at the playgrounds around all their masked parents. Study after study shows there is no need to mask outdoors – virus transmission outside is highly unlikely. And in the event COVID transmission happens, it’s not deadly or very dangerous to kids. If you see me, I’m that mom unmasked in the fresh air with her unmasked kids breathing it in letting their beautiful smiles show. Join us, it feels great! Let’s start speaking up about putting an end to the mask mandate in schools as our vaccine rate continues to climb!




    I think you’re projecting your politics onto kids. While I agree that outdoor masking is not necessary in many circumstances, it doesn’t appear that kids regard it as the onerous burden that you do. Play often involves fairly personal contact that is quite different from ordinary distanced walking, and most kids are not yet vaccinated. I see kids walking around my neighborhood fully masked all the time. They seem to embrace it, and it appears compliance is higher among kids than adults. Is it so terrible that we have an up-and-coming generation that takes responsibility for others seriously? Sounds like a lot of adults could learn from them.



    I hands down don’t agree with your reply. Because kids don’t seem to mind, (embrace it? not the kids I know) doesn’t mean we should forcibly make them wear a mask for no reason. Yes play is close, but droplets blow away nearly immediately in the fresh breeze. And in the rare instance communication does happen, kids don’t get that sick with COVID. I see the need for masking indoors right now (although also see the end in near sight) and my kids and I fully embrace the responsibility of putting them on inside, but just because they don’t seem to mind wearing them outside doesn’t mean we should make them. In reality, they do mind – the masks get wet in minutes, snotty, hot, uncomfortable. They can’t understand each other or see facial expressions. I’m not going to make my kids wear them just to play-cate to do-gooders who are the ones playing into politics. It’s funny you say that, because I think the mask thing, especially outdoors, has turned into a righteous left wing deal – like they’re saving the world when there really is no need. I voted for Inslee, am vaccinated, will get my kids vaccinated, and hate Trump. And I also feel like I and others like me need to start speaking up for the kids so they don’t need to unnecessarily wear masks outside, and are able to take them off inside so this doesn’t go on unnecessarily for ages. Don’t you think children would love seeing each other’s smiles outdoors, and soon be able to remove them indoors? They can be excited and want those things and still embrace empathy and responsibility. Both things can be simultaneous.



    If getting rid of the mask mandate is your goal, then I think the first step to that is to mandate vaccines for school-aged children. With as many people as we have throwing giant fits over a shot, I can’t really trust that all the other parents are going to do the right thing and get their kids vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has now been approved for 5-11. We’re like two months from kids being fully vaccinated. THEN we can ease up on protections indoors. Also, words matter. I don’t think anyone is “forcibly” masking children. That makes it seem like you hold your kid down and put a mask on them against their will. My kids pick out their own masks and put them on with no issue. I didn’t come this far without my kids getting sick for me to give up two months early.



    @wseakell, there are a number of inconsistencies and contradictions in your posts, but what strikes me most is the sheer level of exaggerated emotion. That might be expected if the issue were children at risk of dying of Covid, but instead it’s the opposite – children with the wherewithal to protect themselves and others by wearing masks. If your stance is truly apolitical (a claim belied by phrases like “cater to do-gooders”, and “righteous left-wing”) then it must be either religious or anti-science. Your claim about “droplets” is inaccurate, and although you are correct about children themselves not usually developing severe symptoms from Covid, they can (and do) carry and transmit it to other individuals and family members who are vulnerable. I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion so late in the game. Lindsey makes a great point – we’re very close to kids being able to be vaccinated, so what’s the urgency? My concern for your kids in particular is not the inconvenience of them having to wear masks for a few more months, but about the mental health of their mother. This level of catastrophizing is not healthy for them – or you. Take a break.



    Just to be clear, the Pfizer vaccine has not been approved for kids ages 5-11 yet. Rather, an FDA advisory committee has recommended that it receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

    In fact, the Pfizer vaccine is not yet approved for 12-15 year olds either. It is still under EUA.

    I think misinformation matters as much as words do.



    You’re not wrong about outdoor, fresh air transmission risk being low. I don’t make my kids wear masks at the playground unless there are a lot of other kids there and it’s harder to maintain distance. But as for ending it indoors, I don’t think that can happen for a while. Masks really do a great job keeping transmission rates low, there are several studies that confirm this. Britain ended their masks mandates in schools and their rates rose and and are staying high. I particularly disagree with ending mask mandates by the new year. I don’t think young children are going to be vaccinated at any where near the rates of adults, and the dry air and staying indoors of winter means more transmission. Let’s revisit indoor masking next spring.



    @anonyme – oh boy, I must have struck a cord if you feel like you need to attack my emotional state. I’m fine, wonderful actually, but thank you for your concern. What about my mention of droplets in fresh air is inaccurate? Also, 80% of West Seattle is vaccinated, so there aren’t many vulnerable folks left out there. We’re not going to wear masks outside for no reason. I hope your mental state is hanging in there!



    I’m so glad my post is creating discussion, which is just what I intended! Thank you all for replying.

    – I get that my wording may have not been the best. I was thinking that kids don’t like wearing them outside, but parents make them. Forcibly might not have been the correct term. Agree with you on vaccine mandates.

    – Good job attacking my emotional state. I’m just this lunatic mother writing furiously from behind the screen (that was sarcasm). It’s ok to be passionate about a topic, especially when it relates to your kids! Also, with West Seattle’s vaccine rate at 80+% there aren’t many vulnerable people out there. I’m not going to wear a mask outdoors, or make my kids, because I do not see the danger. Vulnerable people should be vaccinated, and the risk of transmission outdoors is almost NIL. I wish others realize this so their beautiful kids can also stop masking outdoors. And also outdoor organized sports – let the wonderful soccer, baseball, t-ball, etc children take the masks off while playing! (My wording on righteous left-wingers and do-gooders may not have been the best either – I was fired up! :)

    – Great point!

    – Agree with your stance that end of year is not realistic. However, I do think BEFORE the end of school year is and hope that others feel and speak up about the same.

    Lastly, here are some articles over the last year-ish I’ve found interesting and which have molded my opinion on masking outdoors:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/05/kids-masks-outdoors-cdc/618856/ (my favorite line which hits home: “Unmasking kids outside, getting them moving, and reconnecting them with their friends is the evidence-based path toward restoring their health and well-being.”


    Thanks again all! Let’s keep this discussion going, and encourage others to speak up about how they feel. I’ve kept my views in for a while, so it feels great to discuss with others in the community. I hope in doing so I’ll be able to see more beautiful children and parent smiles at the park! :)



    @wseakell you can be vaccinated and still vulnerable. I’ve received both vaccines, and I am on immunosuppressant drugs. After being tested I developed almost no antibodies after the second vaccine. I have an autoimmune lung disease and am on oxygen, so my risk of covid is extremely high.



    @Sue I’m sorry you’re going through all that! I understand there are some vulnerable people out there, but the risk of my unmasked child at the park spreading it to you in the end is extremely low, I’d venture to say below .01%. My educated guess is that one is much more likely to die or get injured in a car crash, but we don’t stop driving do we? Or get injured by a trip and fall, but we don’t stop walking do we? Transmission from my children being unmasked outdoors to the few vulnerable people out there is so extremely low, I don’t believe outside they need to wear the hot, snotty mask that takes the one chance of face to face interaction with other kids away from them. It’s overkill and would be much healthier for the children to take them off outside, both physically and mentally. Inside, we happily mask to protect people like you! Outdoors, it is unnecessary.
    Best of luck with your health!



    wseakell, it is not true that, as you wrote, “…80% of West Seattle is vaccinated…”

    As for the rest of this nonsense, I must say that I also noticed what Anonyme reports: in my frequent walks around West Seattle I see kids happily masking when they don’t need to. This leads me to believe that many of them really don’t mind masking up at all.

    You might find it unnecessary, but so what? If they don’t mind, and if it’s not hurting you, what do you care?

    Some people might find shoes unnecessary–heck, they might argue shoes actually damage our posture, unnaturally constrict our feet, and mention that for thousands and thousands of years people went barefoot. They might argue that there is no reason for people to wear hot, stuffy shoes, that it’s overkill and it would be much healthier to take them off!

    People wear things, and do things, for all sorts of reasons. They’re not hurting you, except for maybe your feelings, and they’re not hurting themselves–so let them be.



    heartless: It is true, compliments of WSB on this weekend’s info regarding WS Vaxx rates. “Pandemic updates, weekly check-in #17”


    82.9% of King County residents 12+ have completed their vaccine series (up .5% in the past week)

    By West Seattle zip code:
    98106 – 84.5%
    98116 – 88.4%
    98126 – 80.2%
    98136 – 89.9%
    98146 – 80.3%




    The difference is that wseakell wasn’t just talking about residents 12 and older, and you are. If you look at West Seattle’s entire population the percent vaccinated is in fact lower than 80.

    wseakell was clearly talking about West Seattle as a whole, not just those 12 and over:

    “Also, 80% of West Seattle is vaccinated, so there aren’t many vulnerable folks left out there.”
    I was just trying to clarify that, as stated, the 80% figure is not true. And while I don’t really have a problem with people regularly glossing over the difference between everyone and only those 12+, that difference does seem worth remembering–particularly when the conversation is focused on children. Again, not a big deal but certainly worth keeping in mind!



    hey seakell,

    i think your a moron and need to mask you and YOUR poor kids. i think your kids will run away from you at age 12 and enjoy to be away from you and your weird ass beliefs. all jokes aside this is a worldwide pandemic and everyone should stay masked. if i saw you at lincoln park id probably slap you and call cps. #MASKUPWS

    -cindy lou



    Please wear your masks. This Virus is not over. One Thousand and Eight Hundred are dying EVERYDAY in the US. I seriously don’t understand why it is so difficult to wear a mask.
    WEAR YOUR MASKS, it won’t kill you, the Virus CAN. If not kill you, kill my elders, or your neighbor. Is your “freedom” worth someone else’s death?




    1. Humility. I don’t know if I might have Covid as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.

    2. Kindness. I don’t know if the person I am near has a child battling cancer or caring for an elderly parent. While I might be fine, they might not be….

    3. Community. I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy. Keeping a lid on COVID helps us all.



    Is it wrong of me to assume that ALMOST all of those who are scared of covid are vaxed by now. If not why arent they? That just leaves those who arent scared so theres no matter there. So why cant things go back to normal?
    The vax and mask requirments seem dumb to me at this point (before they were understandable but not now) because the vaxed can both still get sick and can still transmit the virus, so how is getting your shot suposed to help keep others safe? Seems to me that getting vaxed only helps you. Please tell me if and how this is wrong as i dont want to keep sharing this opinion if it is indeed harmfull but untill proven otherwise…



    Cheese- i am not an authority on any of this. I didn’t get my shot to keep others safe. I got it to stay safe myself and as I understand it, the vaccines and booster can keep me from getting seriously ill. Yes I can still get sick but not as sick as I would if I hadn’t been vaccinated.
    Also, I didn’t get vaccinated because I was scared. I did it because there is a global pandemic and it was important to me to do my part. And to not die. I don’t know if the unvaccinated are not getting shots because they aren’t scared. How could they not be scared?? You ask why things can’t go back to normal, because people are still transmitting the virus.



    But isnt the virus allways going to be being transmitted?
    How can people not be scared-well i am not in the high risk catagorie and idk what it is now but when this first started 20% or something were a symptomatic. Thats 1 in 5 people. I am pretty sure i have had covid and while i only have a vague understanding of biology especially compared to a doctor i beleive how its suposed to work is i am suppsed to build up my own antibodys against the virus correct?




    I am a bit confused why you are not asking these questions of your doctor or, at least, of a medical professional staffing one of the many Covid related call centers.

    Asking random strangers on a small, local internet message board just doesn’t seem like the best way to let yourself be convinced of anything. While relying solely on authority is of course a fallacy in itself, it does seem like your questions should be posed to medical professionals (for a couple different reasons).



    Cheese, you are right about ONE thing: you have only a vague idea of biology. The facts are simple and are easy to find. Unless you listen only to Fox News, it is almost impossible to avoid knowing how Covid and vaccines work. To ask these kinds of questions two years into the pandemic demonstrates a profound commitment to ignorance.


    Michael Waldo

    I think Cheese is a anti-vax troll. His last post he asked the same questions that were answered by multiple other posts and he still pleads ignorance.



    Well, this conversation sort of devolved. But for what it’s worth, I have an 11 year old who other than one friend, has only met with her friends outdoors, masked, for the past almost two years. They meet once weekly and NONE of them complain about continued masking outdoors. They have a covered outdoor area to hang out, space out while having dinner together, watched an outdoor movie last summer, had a backyard sleepover, all in their own tents…they are more happy to be together under these circumstances and wear a mask than not see friends. When omicron hit, we met with a large number of kids to sled–and all happily agreed to mask outdoors. Their masks don’t get snotty, as was mentioned at one point, we do wash them after each use. Kids are not complaining. It sounds like one parent is. Also, suggesting we put an end to the mask mandate in schools is just irresponsible.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by kroberts.


    Actually, my questions are allways replyd too but usually most of the time are unanswered. Can you explain to me why my veiw is incorrect? If not then…

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