Speech Therapist View – LET’S END SCHOOL MASK MANDATE ASAP

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  • #1026744

    Ladyblahblah
    Participant

    If you indoctrinated your child to believe that wearing pants was unnecessary and wrong, he’d most likely comment negatively on the kids in his school photo wearing pants. You need to consider that your 4 year old’s “social emotional learning” may be negatively affected more by your anti-mask obsession than by actually wearing a mask. At the age your kids are, they most likely won’t even remember much about the pandemic or masks when they are older unless you make sure they do.

    #1026317

    wseakell
    Participant

    Hello, I started the other chain and want to keep this discussion going. My dear friend is a Speech Language Pathologist and wrote this well-thought out letter we’re trying to get out to the public. I’d also recommend reading this article published today: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/kids-masks-schools-weak-science/621133/?utm_content=edit-promo&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_source=twitter&utm_term=2022-01-26T13%3A25%3A59&s=01

    From a local Speech Therapist who wants to remain anonymous for fear of the backlash she’ll get from voicing very valid, logical concerns:

    I am writing to voice my serious concerns about the indefinite orders for young children to wear face masks to participate in society. I am writing as a parent of a 4 year old currently enrolled in a preschool that requires them (as well as a newborn son who I hope will never have to wear one). In addition, I write as a licensed school-based speech-language pathologist, with concerns on the effects of prolonged facial covering on speech, language, and social development for children.

    Please first note that the United States, and particularly King County/Washington State, is an outlier in our approach to masking children. Consider that the World Health Organization does not recommend masks until age 6, and only selectively for children up to 11. Many countries do not mandate or even recommend masks for children under 12. Consider that many parts of our own country do not mask school children of any age, instead instituting a masking-optional policy.

    Even if our current mask policies were clearly beneficial in protecting children from infection and preventing transmission (which is unlikely, given scarce quality, real-world evidence for cloth masks under the best of conditions [e.g. worn properly, not soaked in saliva as children’s often are]), we have done a terrible job of calculating the benefit to cost ratio of such a policy. When we thought perhaps children would wear masks for 2 weeks, or 2 months, perhaps it is forgivable that we failed to do this analysis. But we have now reached the 2 year mark of this pandemic, without any serious analysis of whether or not masking children has a net positive, and without any explicit “off-ramp” metrics; how long will we subjugate the children to these measures? We have reached a point in the pandemic where it no longer makes sense to continue untested mitigations without any regard for the downsides.

    We have to ask, Why are we still masking children? Is it to protect them from Covid? If so, it is beyond evident that Covid poses an astonishingly small risk to children; this is particularly true of the Omicron variant now dominant in our area. Is it to protect the adults around them? If so, remember that vaccinations and boosters are effective against severe disease and are free/available to all who want them. Is it to reduce community spread? If so, please see studies that show real-world use of cloth masks are ineffective at significantly reducing transmission (among adults; children are less likely to even wear them properly). Why can adults spend hours unmasked in restaurants and bars and sporting events, while we make the children mask for hours during their most pivotal years of development?

    Now consider all of the possible downsides to forcing children to wear masks for hours on end, in school and community settings, including effects on speech/language development, socialization, mental health, physical health, etc.

    As a speech therapist in the local schools, I am absolutely baffled about how to provide meaningful speech therapy to children when neither of us can see one another’s mouth. How to teach a sound when they cannot see a competent speaker model it? Now consider an entire generation of children who may be more at risk of speech sound delays and language delays simply because they have been denied copious modeling due to universal face masking. As a speech therapist, I also treat social communication disorders, which includes difficulty with social aspects such as nonverbal communication (facial expressions, eye contact, body language) and interacting with peers (turn-taking, responding to questions). Humans are deeply social creatures and we have evolved to communicate so much nonverbally. We now have a generation of children who rarely see their peers’ faces, might often misunderstand their peers; tone of speech, etc. Regarding physical health, could children’s damp cloth masks harbor microorganisms harmful to their health? Could it cause them to touch their face more often, spreading other illnesses more? Could it restrict oxygenation in any way, when worn for hours on end?

    Finally, two anecdotes to illustrate the impact to my son’s social emotional learning at school:
    1. We were talking about masks and my son chimed in, “You know what is silly? When they take our picture at school, they tell us to smile but it’s silly because they can’t see our mouth.”
    2. When the class pictures were taken and distributed, my son couldn’t recognize any of the people in the picture. He had only seen them masked for months.

    I think that we as a society have completely failed to correctly calculate the cost benefit analysis of mitigation strategies for our children. Perhaps it is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight, but we have an opportunity to change moving forward.
    I do not intend to trivialize the serious nature of this pandemic, nor the risks to certain demographics, nor the children who have gotten ill and even tragically died from this disease. But it is myopic and detrimental to focus on these risks without also thinking of all the other harms our mitigation efforts have wrought. This email alone may be inconsequential in decision-making for our preschool, or our city, or county, or state, but I can’t live with myself any longer without having tried to change things for my children and others. I expect decision-makers to say, “It’s out of our hands / it’s coming down from the board of health / it’s coming from the governor / we’re waiting for official guidance” – to them I say, History does not look kindly on those who are just following orders. How long will you wait to stand up for our children on your own accord? Please, be brave, be logical, be compassionate to the children who have already lost part of their fleeting childhood forever to the adults’ efforts to keep them “safe.”

    Thank you – please speak up to local politicians so we can end this mandate as soon as humanly possible.

    #1026390

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, and masks work – they work for children and they’re not being psychologically scarred by this. If anything, they’re probably more scarred from the ignorant adults in their lives preaching nonsense. If you don’t want to wear a mask or get vaccinated or believe doctors I guess that’s your business and I personally wouldn’t post hysterical screeds about it on a local forum but you do you, boo. Your view on this is ignorant and dangerous and it’s astounding that you keep at it. I think that we have failed as a society when ignorance is allowed to rule the day in place of scientific proof. Spotify has Joe Rogan, and the WSB has you.

    #1026398

    wseakell
    Participant

    @shotinthefoot I love your response because you completely prove my point! It seems if any sane adult speaks out about the fact that studies do not show continuous masking of children in school does in fact help slow the spread of COVID in schools (read the article boo), and speaks out against the school mask mandate then they must be, let me use your words, “ignorant adults in their lives preaching nonsense; [that] don’t want to wear a mask or get vaccinated or believe doctors; [that post] hysterical screeds about it on a local forum.” That’s too funny! I’m a rational adult (who is vaccinated, with a 5-year old who’s vaccinated, but funny how you jumped to that stereotype) posting a well thought-out point of view from a speech therapist (did you read any of it?), and a link to one of many articles that show the many studies that more so do not prove masking kids in schools slows the spread of COVID. I’m posting this also on more than this public forum, thanks, but want people to start doing the research so their head-in-the-sand point of view on endless masking in schools can perhaps one day be changed. Keep your mind open, read the studies, talk to the kids (and teachers, I know of MANY of those too that hate the school mask mandate). I will not stop speaking up about this and hope it helps others that have the same valid point of view have the courage to speak up about it too.
    It’s difficult when people post violent threats toward myself and kids (as someone did on my last thread), or people like you that attack my character and jump to incorrect stereotypes, but that won’t stop me as much as I’m sure you hope it will. :)

    Bye boo! #boocrew

    #1026404

    CarDriver
    Participant

    Sad reality is sometime in the future there will be another pandemic. Your son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter may have to face it. Masking could very well be the difference between life or severe illness with a new virus. Would you want the (real) medical experts to ignore that fact as it wouldn’t be “popular” and they would be ridiculed for “taking our rights away”

    #1026407

    anonyme
    Participant

    What “violent threats” are you talking about? DO tell. If you don’t like stereotypes perhaps you should refrain from referring to those who don’t agree with you as having a “head-in-the-sand point of view”. Don’t be such a hypocrite, and then blame it on being “fired up” like in your last rant. And why would you think it necessary to begin a new rant simply because you didn’t get the responses you wanted on the other one? You do know it’s the same audience, right? As for your young clients, have you ever heard of Zoom? Maybe you should do some research…? Meanwhile, I will continue to applaud the brave, sensible kids who continue to mask as this pandemic rages through our schools. Good for them.

    #1026408

    wseakell
    Participant

    @CarDriver – I’m not talking about the future, I’m talking about now. The current pandemic we’re in. The current real doctors and the studies they have done that show masking is not effective in stopping the spread of COVID in schools. Why are you bringing up me not wanting to mask up in an imaginary future pandemic? Did I ever say I would be against masking in said imaginary future pandemic? I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Do people not actually read other studies or points of views other than their own? It is apparent most on the blog do not. My views were not always this! But they have changed, especially in the last 6 months, as I educated myself, spoke to people in the community, and also as COVID has fluidly changed and morphed into the not-so-deadly disease it was at first (thanks to huge increase in vaccination, and the less severe Omicron variant).

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by wseakell.
    #1026410

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    @wseakell – ignorance like you’re displaying is why we’re still in this pandemic. So, thanks for that. You keep spewing your “I dId mY oWN ReSeARcH” theories, people listen and follow your dumb example. We are never going to be done with this thanks to folks like you. We are all tired of this and it’s never going away unless we all do the right thing. I am sorry you and your little kids are such delicate little snowflakes that you can’t do something as simple as wearing a mask. God forbid you think about someone other than your stupid, selfish selves.

    #1026412

    wseakell
    Participant

    @shotinthefoot – It is apparent you can’t think of a well thought out response, so must attack my character, call me names, and also – way to go, I bet this feels great! – speak down on my kids. Very mature! I will not engage.
    Oh wait, I have to say one thing though, it’s too tempting … my kids, husband, and I ARE wearing our masks you idiot! Stop jumping to conclusions!! My goal is to get the conversation started on ENDING the school mandate (and public mandate) when it makes sense, instead of mindlessly allowing it to continue just because it makes snowflakes like you feel better.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by wseakell.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by wseakell.
    #1026418

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    @wseakell – there is no logical response to your post because it’s purely idiotic drivel. It’s hard to not “attack your character” because you’re clearly a very angry, triggered individual. Nothing anyone has to say on this subject gets by without an insult from you, so I guess I was replying in kind. Why would you even post any of this – do you just want to get angry and argue? You knew what the community thought after your last post, so I guess that’s the reasoning. You just want to get angry and fight. Might I suggest you take your bad concern trolling to Reddit?

    #1026419

    CarDriver
    Participant

    At the end of the day i follow and believe Dr Fauchi, the CDC, UW experts and state and county health officials. The internet is so full of experts that it is IMPOSSIBLE to weed out the knowledgeable ones from the “mama’s basement” “expert”. All of us can be CERTAIN that covid will be studied and dissected for years to come. There will be a truth to come that we did too much or we did too little or we wore masks too much or we wore masks too little or or or. I’ve found that going with the flow and doing my part has NOT impacted my mental health in any way. Don’t get me wrong i’ll be VERY happy to not have to wear a mask or show my vaccine card but all this “hoopla” has exposed a scary fact that there’s a LOT of people whose mental health is awfully fragile! Also exposed how much selfishness there is as peoples only concern is that they must be allowed to do anything they want any time they want.

    #1026451

    angelescrest
    Participant

    Teacher here. I certainly don’t believe that you know “many teachers” who’d prefer in their classrooms with unmasked kids. Uh, no. 30 mostly unvaxxed children, in an unventilated classroom, for hours each day, too close to each other and too close to the teacher?
    We have been through teaching hell.

    #1026466

    wseakell
    Participant

    @shotinthefoot – You are a master of stereotyping and jumping to false conclusions. I’m not angry or triggered, my goal is to start an open discussion on the open discussion area of the blog. The research I’ve found is not made up or false. Show me the studies that prove masking kids slows the spread of COVID in schools. I’ll wait. Instead of bashing someone that has a different point of view from you, why not engage in meaningful discussion and show studies that prove your point?
    If you met me you’d find I’m one of the happiest, friendliest people around that cares about my community and neighbors. That’s why I happily mask right now when Omicron is surging. But we need to get on our leaders to get a plan in place for the mandate, especially in schools, to end. I’d be happy to meet for coffee to discuss!

    #1026476

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    @wseakell – maybe you should listen to actual teachers – like the one above you that you haven’t responded to. They’re the ones putting their very lives at risk to teach your kids. What message does that send to teachers, that you care more about some made up Joe Rogan-level nonsense than their health. Ridiculous, and insulting.

    #1026483

    anonyme
    Participant

    “…get a plan in place for the mandate, especially in schools, to end”. And here is the fatally flawed argument behind the anti-mask mentality – that somehow a virus will respond to legislation, or that legislators can predict the precise behavior of a virus, including an end date. No one can do that, no matter how zealous they might be or how god-like in their own eyes. After all, you failed to predict Omicron, didn’t you, as your first rant preceded it? A virus is not a policy. Please tell us all the exact date when Covid will end, back up that claim with evidence, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get someone to agree with you. Meanwhile, we have no choice other than to be flexible depending on the direction that the virus takes. It is also baffling that you would open another thread with exactly the same rant, presented to exactly the same audience, and somehow expect that this time everyone will agree with you. That is the very definition of insanity, and the more you screech and name-call, the more likely the definition seems to fit.

    #1026498

    donewithcovid
    Participant

    @wseakell I completely agree with you. Masking children is inhumane and must be stopped now. How disturbing is it that we have a society full of adults who are so afraid of a virus that has a 99.99% survival rate (for young, healthy people) that they are sacrificing children to “protect” themselves? The fact that everywhere else in the world is lifting mask restrictions but Seattle is not is absolute insanity.

    I would love to get together to talk in more detail about what can be done to stop this. If we don’t stand up for our rights and protect our children they will continue to keep us masked as long as they want.

    #1026502

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    @donewithcovid: so much hysteria! OMG. please explain how children wearing masks is equal to being “sacrificed” – you people are frickin’ loony. oh and ps? we’d be “done with covid” if people weren’t so selfish and focused on “muh freedumbs”.

    #1026504

    wseakell
    Participant

    @shotinthefoot – LOOK! Call the police! People can actually change their views. Like in this opinion piece below from the director of infectious disease management in the emergency department of the Boston Medical Center. But she must also listen to Joe Rogan and be a selfish lunatic as you’d like to believe. Get a life. Read studies. Post your facts, instead of having no debate other than attacking others with literally nothing to back up the crap you say. I don’t expect you’ll read this, because it’s apparent you don’t read anything, but here you are:

    #1026505

    shotinthefoot
    Participant

    @wseakell – here’s where I find it hard to believe that, in your own words, you’re “one of the happiest, friendliest people” because if your posts are any indication, you’re incredibly rude and dismissive of ANYONE who doesn’t subscribe to your views. I’ve read plenty, thank you, and continue to grow and learn every day. Save your judgments for the individual in the mirror. Oh, and no need to respond to me again with your histrionics, I have no further interest in engaging with angry trolls. Hope your little maskless trolls remain healthy, and I sure as hell hope their teachers do, too.

    Freedom is the recognition of necessity. – Hegel

    #1026507

    wseakell
    Participant

    Posting from the car (as a passenger, don’t worry) I don’t think the link came through so trying again. This ins one of many examples of educated people changing their views on school masking as the pandemic evolves:


    @donewithcovid
    – my friend and I would love to do an in person meeting to discuss this further and see how we can encourage change. Wondering how we can exchange emails without the crazies getting them!


    @shotinthefoot
    – you should join! It would be nice for you to meet people and talk face to face about your baseless claims. Also, I replied to the teacher and had a couple edits then it didn’t re-post. Once I get back to my computer I’ll try again.

    #1026558

    Buddy
    Participant

    @ wseakell and donewithcovid – Thank you for having the courage to speak up and out. There are so MANY people agree with you –
    @ shotinthe (darkages)
    * Men, do as I say and I will always lead you to Victory ;)
    Nathan Bedford Forrest

    #1026671

    wseakell
    Participant

    Thank you for the support @Buddy! The New York Times newsletter this morning had an interesting and accurate look at vaccine skepticism, this time from both sides. “The second form of vaccine skepticism is among Democrats — although many would recoil at any suggestion that they are vaccine skeptics. Most Democrats are certainly not skeptical about getting a shot. But many are skeptical that the vaccines protect them.”

    Here’s what I wrote last week which didn’t post for some reason. This is why I’m encouraging the discussion. It needs to happen now so our poor kids aren’t masking indefinitely. I hope more people feel comfortable about speaking up about this.


    @angelescrest
    – Thank you for all you’ve been doing through this crazy time! Yes, my “many” teachers was used in respective to the amount I know, which I’m sure is not as many as you! I do have quite a few teacher friends though, having received my degree from Central Washington. My children go to a daycare with many Highline SD teacher’s and staff’s children, so I do know quite a few there (like my great friend, the Speech Therapist I quote above). My sister is also a Professor of Nursing at a local college, so I have her opinion as well. And yes, many of them – including my nurse sister who also works in the hospitals – are ready to end the school mask mandate when the Omicron wave is over. They comment on how hard it is to teach when children have a hard time understanding them and vice versa, how they’re sick of playing mask police all day, and how (for those that teach smaller children) it’s hard to get the kids to wear them properly, or they (the teacher) has to help change saliva-soaked, snotty masks. They’ve read the studies that do not prove school mandates slow the spread of COVID, and have seen other states successfully lose the school mandate and not have increased outbreaks.


    @shotinthefoot
    – This is the last time I will reply to your nonsense. You show your stereotyping once again with your Joe Rogan comment (the only time I’ve listened to old Joe was in college watching his greatly awful Fear Factor). There is a vaccine mandate for school district employees. The purpose of said vaccine is to prevent death and hospitalization. So how would children put teachers lives at risk if they all have the vaccine that prevents death and hospitalization?

    Also, your rants have not included any studies that show masking kids actually helps slow the spread of COVID. Until you are able to provide that data, stop commenting until you can come up with an factual, well thought out debate. (Which it appears you have stopped, hurray!)

    To those that call me an angry troll, I laugh at that! I’m not typing hysterically, with my brow furrowed and a crimson face. Currently I’m hearing my laughing kids in the next room and smiling with a cat on my lap. I’m loving this discussion. I understand the view from the other side, and think it is incorrect which is why I’m engaging in debate. The shear attacks that I receive for posting anything (on an open discussion board, mind you) is insane. If you call me and my kids names, and jump to stereotypes, I’m not going to be kind anymore. Instead of jumping to an incorrect conclusion that I’m some FOX news-lovin’, gun totin’, Joe Rogan listenin’, anti-vaxxer, why not engage in meaningful dialogue? You’ll find I’m none of those things. It all makes me a little sad, and also laugh, but never angry.

    Have a lovely Monday everyone!

    #1026704

    anonyme
    Participant

    @WSeaKell, congrats on your new buddy, Buddy. For those of you who don’t know who Nathan Bedford Forrest was (the man whose authoritarian quotes apparently inspire Buddy) Forrest was a Confederate general and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. You’ve got some great company there! For someone who self-describes as happy, friendly and “never angry” (bizarrely narcissistic descriptors) you’ve spewed an enormous amount of dismissive and hateful rhetoric at anyone and everyone who has either disagreed with you or tried to provide reasonable information to counter your alternative facts. It should also be noted that, despite your numerous demands for proof of the benefits of masking, you have shown NO proof, aside from largely anonymous opinion pieces, to bolster your claims to the contrary. Not that it would do any good; you’re perfectly capable of finding that evidence yourself if you were even slightly interested in facts. Every science (not opinion) based website, including the CDC, recommends that children mask in school and provide documentation of the negative consequences of not doing so. You do, however, make an excellent case for recent studies showing that conspiracy theorists not only reject facts when directly presented with them, but dig in even deeper. I’m fine with letting you do just that.

    #1027199

    wseakell
    Participant

    States are showing signs of positive change and lifting the school mask mandate. Democratic states. Let’s speak up so Washington will soon follow suit. Any ideas of how we can drive this change in this state? Friends and I have written to the Governor and school superintendent but I’d love other ideas!

    Democratic Governors of Delaware and New Jersey Lift School Mask Mandate:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/07/new-jersey-school-mask-mandate/

    #1027201

    wseakell
    Participant

    @anonyme – I’m pretty sure Buddy was posting the quote from that guy as a sarcastic rebuke to those that blindly follow the mask mandate… because people like you and @shotinthefoot aren’t questioning this state’s government’s overreaching authority and believe it will “lead to victory if you just do what I say.” I don’t think you got the jab and Buddy’s sarcastic use of a bad guy’s quote.

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