Parents Protesting Mask Mandates -- WTF Is Wrong With You?

by Kristina Johnson
Newsday LLC/Getty

Parents helped stage walkouts against mask mandates across the country, because apparently “liberty” is more important than “kids not ending up in the hospital”

A group calling itself “Moms for Liberty” apparently helped organized school walkouts across the country today — all over the issue of mask mandates in schools. An online flyer for one walkout in Missoula County, Montana called on parents and even teachers “to take part in this peaceful protest against masks and vaccine mandates.” Schools across the country took part, from New York to Ohio to Maine.

The nationwide walkout seems to be the natural evolution of the heated school board meetings and protests we’ve seen for months from parents who say their kids are (somehow) being harmed by wearing masks to school (even though their whole purpose is to, you know, protect from a deadly global pandemic). The pinned post on the Moms for Liberty Facebook page proudly proclaims “We do NOT CO-PARENT with the GOVERNMENT.” COVID-19 be damned, these moms apparently won’t stand for the tyranny of the GOVERNMENT trying to keep kids safe.

But here’s my honest question for these parents: What happens if your child gets sick with COVID? Desperately sick and maybe even in the hospital? Can you picture your child on a ventilator, sedated with morphine, unable to speak because of a breathing tube shoved down their throat, fighting for their life? Does that sound fun/pleasant/like no big deal to you? Because personally, I’ve been there, and I can assure you it is the absolute worst. Like fall on your knees and beg God/the universe/any higher power that might happen to exist for help — that kind of absolute worst.

How do you think you would feel experiencing that, knowing that three thin layers of fabric for a few hours a day could have prevented it? Does your “freedom” or your “principles” or your political affiliation matter more to you than your child’s life? Why risk it? Where’s the LIBERTY in that?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks cases all over the country, and it says the evidence regarding masks is clear. “The places that are having a problem, the places that are having disease that is transmitted in the schools, are the places that are not taking prevention strategies — the places that aren’t masking,” director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “The places where you see kids in the hospital, the places where you see footage of kids in the hospital, are all places that are not taking mitigation strategies to keep our children safe.”

The number of children being infected with COVID has massively increased over the last month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Last week, 250,000 children tested positive — that’s the highest number we’ve seen during the entire pandemic. It’s tricky to break it down by individual states — the AAP says some, like Texas, are underreporting their cases, while others have stopped submitting data altogether. But the situation the ground is telling: children’s hospitals in Texas and Florida have been overwhelmed by pediatric COVID cases. Both just happen to be states with mask mandate bans.

In fact, Texas has already seen the closure of several districts as COVID cases spread rapidly. Cushing ISD, Jasper ISD, Mount Enterprise ISD and Trinity ISD are closed until Sept. 13. Some districts have defied Abbott’s ridiculous mask mandate ban and it’s easy to see why — they want a prayer of being able to stay open this year and for their students and staff to not become sick.

One school district in Missouri found out the hard way how necessary masks are this year. After starting the year without masks — the Elsberry school district quickly found itself with a whopping 25% of the students in quarantine three weeks in. Masks will now be required. The same thing happened in Melrose, WI, and in Davies County, NC and in Catawba County, NC and Mentor, OH. I could go on and on and on, but I hope you get the point.

It’s on parents to lead by example for their kids. Masks in schools will not hurt kids — but COVID-19 definitely could. It sucks, and it’s not ideal, but the pandemic is never going to end — and schools are never going to get back to normal — unless people stop screaming about LIBERTY and TYRANNY and just wear the damn masks.