Fayette School Board must plan now to get back to maskless normal

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I am writing in regards to the Fayette County Board of Education’s decision to extend the face covering of all its students, teachers, staff and visitors until at least the end of October.

Let me start by stating that I don’t have children in the school system, so my only concern is the health and well-being of our kids.

As per The Citizen’s reporting, the number of coronavirus cases are heading down in schools and in the county. One thing we can be happy about is that children are the least affected by this virus.

The corona virus probably will be around for years just as the flu. Just as the flu mutates each year, I expect this may happen with the corona virus as well. As a senior, I do take the flu vaccine but we don’t give that to our kids because they are not at high risk for complications (though I have heard that the flu is more dangerous to our kids than coronavirus).

We have been made to feel afraid and very scared and to abandon reason. We are just going to have to figure out how to live with this virus.

I have researched mask wearing and have found data for and against. Masks were not designed to prevent [passage of] virus particles or be worn for 8 hours at a time day in and day out.

As a child psychotherapist, I don’t see how the benefits outweigh the harm we are doing. Communication is impeded, kids are more anxious than ever, depression is on the rise, learning is stifled, social skills are delayed and kids breathe in more dirt and bacteria.

The school district is erring on the side of caution, but they MUST have a plan to go back to a new normal, and it is unacceptable that this new normal means continuous mask wearing.

As a former school board member (from 1996-2002 at Half Hollow Hills School District, NY), I understand the caution, BUT there has to be a willingness to do some research. Are the kids who get the virus harmed or have they fully recovered? How are the staff doing who get coronavirus?

Staff have been incentivized by $500 to get vaccinated and the vaccine prevents serious illness, right? If they don’t get vaccinated then that is a risk that staff is willing to take.

Let’s not keep our kids masked and stifled, seen but not heard. Free our kids!

Vicki M. Leopold, LCSW

Fayetteville, Ga.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm, ok, this person is claiming to be a “psychotherapist” but puts “LCSW” behind her name. How do we report someone for medical fraud? LCSW stands for “licensed clinical social worker.”

    The person also claims that children don’t get the flu vaccine. Call any local pediatrician and ask whether or not children get the flu vaccine. You will find that information is also a lie.

    Finally, the biggest reason not to listen to this person is that she doesn’t have a child in the schools. She doesn’t have a reason to give her input, and don’t use the tax payer argument. She said she was a “senior.” If she is a property owner, then more than likely she is exempt from property taxes.

  2. whoa – there he is, haven’t seen his name in a while – thankfully. Lanman finally woke up from his liberal snowflake slumber while the world around him crumbles at the hands of tyranny and “science”.
    Thank you Vicki for your letter. I support you on this. I am a parent to ptc students. Also an employee. And it’s sad that our board is run by spineless sheep saying “follow the science” when the scientists themselves are lunatics always changing the rules of the game to suit them, in the name of “Covid’s evolving”. Homeschool is our next stop. There’s no stopping these goons. Just gotta let them dig their graves and get out while we can.

    • In defense of the scientists… most of what politicians and policy makers are doing is only loosely based on recommendations of actual scientists. Scientists rarely speak in absolutes or with certainty as a result of their scientific training which always acknowledges a number of alternate hypothesis with probabilistic likelihoods. Rather, it’s power hungry politicians who see an opportunity to capitalize on the general public’s ignorance of science to exercise power they don’t have who are driving some of these insane oversteps of civil liberties.

  3. Please ignore this writer of this letter to the editor. Having no children in FCBOE means she doesn’t get a vote in this matter nor should we consider her largely uninformed opinion. The science, the data, and the evidence based medicine clearly shows that masks, when coupled with other community mitigation measures like social distancing washing hands ventilation and yes, vaccines; clearly prevent and control CoVID19 infections, especially in a county where community transmission of CoVID19 remains high/red; where the eligible vaccinated population remains below 45%, where hospitals are more than 75% full. Over 30 teachers have died from CoVID19 infections since the beginning of August; over 13 students have died since schools started in August. FCBOE should continue their mask mandate until the foreseeable future. FCBOE should consider a vaccine mandate of all eligible teachers educational support staff and all students who are eligible to be vaccinated against CoVID19. FCBOE needs to assume a leadership role in our community, by setting tfe example for the rest of the community to emulate.

  4. Ok, so kids are more anxious than ever because of masks. Depression is on the rise because of masks. Learning is stifled because of masks. Social skills are delayed because of masks. And kids breathe in more dirt and bacteria because of masks. I could state at least one converse to each, but what’s the point? I will mention something though….I’ll bet you anything that cases of pin worms are DOWN because of masks.

  5. I do have kids in the school and until the virus has been eradicated I’m all for the kids wearing masks. This is not about politics but the safety of our kids. Unless all the staffs are vaccinated and we achieve herd immunity, I’m all for the kids wearing masks. It has been proven that mask prevents the spread of the virus. In case you forget, that’s why the mask mandate was installed in the first place. As soon as the mask mandate is canceled the surge in the virus will go back up. Do we really want that?

  6. “I don’t have children in the school system…” Well, I do, and I appreciate the scientific reasoning and potential benefits for wearing masks.

    What is this ridiculous obsession from the right wing regarding wearing masks? Unless you are educated and licensed to make public health decisions, then please don’t pretend like this is anything more than political anger.

    Vicki, saying “I have researched mask wearing” does not make it so. Overwhelming scientific consensus from people much more qualified than either of us asserts that mask wearing is one important way to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Are you claiming to know more than the majority of virologists and epidemiologist? If not, please stick to what your expertise is in, and trust the experts who know much about this than you or I.

    • Neither a virologist nor an epidemiologist is qualified to express a determination on the efficacy of masks. That is the role of an Industrial Hygiene Engineer. They’re the ones who develop the standards and conduct the tests on personal protective equipment. They tell the doctors and scientists what to wear. And they make very good money.

      By the way – those engineers have said that ear loop procedure masks are useless against COVID19. Why do you think doctors are wearing N95 masks?

      • That is not true, PTCitizen. Both virologists and epidemiologists are qualified in the study of transmission of viruses and are also qualified to make recommendations on preventative measures by means of available studies and data. While an Industrial Hygiene Engineer would of course also be qualified to contribute to this discussion, they are by no means the exclusive experts on virus transmission and preventative measures.

        Multiple studies are available which show evidence of mask effectiveness.

        N95 rated masks are ideal and preferred, so if you admit that those work well, should we not just mandate N95 masks?