My 9-year-old daughter came home from camp two weeks ago after playing three hours of outdoor tennis in a mask. “I thought I was going to faint,” she told me, looking ill after playing in 98-degree weather. Later that afternoon the camp, run by the Sidwell Friends School, called to complain about her mask compliance.
We’re now 16 months into the pandemic and children remain victims of the Covid political theater that has characterized the national debate about masks ever since.
We’ve had an entire school year to prove what scientists have said all along: Children aren’t major vectors of the virus, and schools and child-care centers aren’t drivers of community spread. Consider three of my children and their two schools. One went to class in person all year unmasked; the other two were required to wear masks, even at recess. Both schools had the same number of Covid cases: zero.
Multiple peer-reviewed studies have found that children transmit the virus at a much lower rate than adults do. The latest comprehensive data show that children have an extremely low chance of dying or becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, and that the child mortality rate is much lower than what public-health officials had initially suspected.