Our state and local leaders follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own guidelines when it comes to policies regarding the use of masks for children in public places and schools.

If masks are thought to be effective against a virus, then why hasn’t the CDC recommended them during the flu season? Maybe because one study by Tom Jefferson, et al. examined 13 random control trials for the Cochrane Library study in 2020.

In the notes, they found that “the pooled results of randomized trials did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks during seasonal influenza.”

There is also the CDC’s own published study, which found that mask mandates did not have a statistically significant benefit in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools. To date, only one person under the age of 20 in Maine has died with COVID-19. More have died from from drug overdoses or from suicide during that time.

Fortunately, our public policy prior to COVID-19 relied on a risk analysis approach. We balance a certain number of deaths in return for offsetting costs it would generate. It’s why the speed limit on the highway is not 25 mph, which would dramatically cut down on accidents and fatalities.

We have never opted for a society-altering policy on the ground that any lives saved make it worthwhile. This pandemic has changed our approach to public policy, and for the worse.

We should follow the data and make masks optional for children.

Kevin Landry, Lewiston

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.