I am normally an easy going guy that doesn’t get angry or upset easily. For instance, I was furloughed more than half the year last year by an employer that received millions of dollars in pandemic relief funds. I didn’t get very angry about that. I’m a big boy and and I knew I’d be fine - and that turned out to be correct. My only regret was worrying at all and not enjoying my time off as much as I should have.
But now that the government is starting to put out the mask rules for school children, it’s taking an effort to contain my anger. And I am fortunate compared to what most parents went through and will be going through.
My son is 4 and will turn 5 right before the 2021-2022 school year starts. We were already planning on putting him in private junior kindergarten during his first year of public school kindergarten eligibility before the pandemic even started. Had he gone into kindergarten at 5, he would have been one of the youngest kids in his class and a lot of data points to that making it particularly difficult, especially for boys. The pandemic just reinforced that decision as many more parents than usual held their children back from starting public school last year if they could. This year’s kindergarten class is likely to be the oldest average age kindergarten class ever, so he would have been even further behind his peers.
Last school year, my state used some common sense when it came to masking kids. They realized how silly the CDC’s recommendation of 2 and older was and instead, the Virginia Department of Social Services (which regulates private daycares and preschools) recommended kids 5 and older wear masks. All businesses and indoor facilities I took my son to over the past year and half have also used common sense and I was never once asked to put a mask on him. My son has essentially never donned a mask. I was so happy he didn’t have to wear a mask in preschool. My son had to have speech therapy early on and his speech right now is unbelievably improved. I don’t know how that would have been possible had he and his classmates been forced to wear masks last year. Not to mention all the interpersonal communication that kids are learning at this age, most of which is non-verbal facial expressions. I’m sure some of his peers from other parts of the country that required masks for his age are going to be showing the effects of a year plus of stunted development for quite some time.
But back to current day, thanks to the idiocy of government officials, a child who has never once worn a mask, and was in preschool with unmasked kids all last school year, during some of the worst parts of the pandemic, will now, magically because he is 1 year older, be considered a spreader and will have to wear a mask in junior kindergarten private preschool. In context, this is going to happen even though every adult that he could possibly come in contact with has been offered a vaccine (and likely has been vaccinated), and pretty much no one in public in my area wears a mask anymore. We’ve had over a year of experience at this point and the states with relaxed or no mask mandate for kids haven’t shown a significantly higher rate of infection of death than the states with strict mask mandates. I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist, but I’m really starting to wonder if there is something behind the desire to control our population the way so many in political power are doing right now contrary to so much evidence out there.
I don’t normally get angry or call people names, but if you are one of these people that want my kid, and kids like him, wearing a mask in school this upcoming school year, you are the problem and I think you are an a**hole. If it were a legitimate way of settling our differences, I would gladly physically fight you. There are a heck of a lot of parents out there that feel as strongly as me about this, and a LOT of them do not have the same principles that would limit how far they would go for their kids. If you people aren’t prepared for a knock down drag out fight with those you disagree, you are making a big miscalculation. I have never been vindictive. But when this is all over and you people are in the minority again, you deserved to be punished for what you’ve done to our (and your) children.