In an editorial published today the Los Angeles Times writes that the state of California is dumping its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people Wednesday. As for schools state officials say their mandate remains and will be reviewed on February 28th.
“Some parents won’t feel safe sending their kids to mask-free classrooms, and many depend on schools not just for academics but for child care and nutritious meals. If masking keeps schools open, it certainly should be continued.
“The state is right to wait until the downward case trend becomes more of a certainty before lifting the school mandate” the LA Times editorial board writes.
To bolster their argument the paper links back to an editorial written last August with the headline:
Masks at school? The kids are fine. It’s the parents who are acting like jerks”
Here’s an excerpt:
But kids have been going to all kinds of places where they wear masks and they’ve been managing. No one should pretend this is normal for the long term. Still, we give kids far too little credit. They’re generally adaptable and able to understand limitations well — at times, it would seem, far better than their parents.
So when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered mask-wearing inside schools this year — it’s optional outdoors — he wasn’t doing anything California kids can’t handle.
The 5- and 6-year-olds don’t know any other reality. And they’re fine with it as long as their parents and other hyper-excited adults would calm down.
It’s a familiar scenario to me. I used to volunteer at the tide pools, dispensing information about the creatures there but also trying to keep people from ripping sea stars off the rocks and going home with a bucket full of shells. The kids, accustomed to the idea that the world is a crowded place with finite resources, were always fine with the restrictions. When there was a problem, it was inevitably the parents. How dare I tell them that their children couldn’t collect shells and sea stars as they had as little kids? The children would squirm with embarrassment over their parents’ unseemly public behavior.
It’s more than just masks or COVID-19; kids pick up on what their parents model. How will they have the resilience to keep climate change from decimating the planet — which demands urgent collective sacrifice — if all they see is adult entitlement and selfishness?
What we need to do next, for kids if not for ourselves, is learn to stop kvetching and fighting every little step.
Of course, life is not fair. It’s not fair that our kids won’t have a childhood quite as free and easy as they used to. But they take their cues from us. If we can take all this on the chin, their chances of emerging resilient are much higher.
You’ve just read a perfect example of why:
1) Parents are angry
2) People hate he news media