Sunday, September 19, 2021

Letters to the editor Sept. 5

| September 5, 2021 12:00 AM

Flimsy research

The Gianforte Administration issued a new rule discouraging mask mandates in schools. The Governor rationalized this by contending that several studies show masking has adverse effects upon children. His office released a supporting document titled “Research Report on Mask Mandates”.

The “research” consisted of six Twitter posts, three magazine articles, one study still awaiting peer review, and one actual study that concluded, “This study highlighted the importance of masking and ventilation for preventing [Covid] transmission in elementary schools...”. There was no study proving any adverse effects on children.

The most cited resource by the Governor is a New York Magazine article written by a musician which argued that there is not enough evidence to mandate masks. However, a new, large-scale randomized study conducted by Stanford Medicine and Yale University proves that mask wearing prevents the spread of Covid. See:

In the U.S. during the last week of July, 72,000 new Covid cases were reported in kids. The next week, the number was 94,000. Missoula County has about 700 active Covid cases. Kids deserve to be protected at school, not used as the Governor’s political pawns.

— Richard Buley, Missoula

School masks

The Aug. 30 editorial was very well done and articulate — thank you.

Regarding parents who don’t want to protect their children from Covid and its sequelae (i.e. they don’t want their children to mask at school), they have the right to home-school their children or transfer to a school that isn’t protecting young children.

Children have adapted easily to masks, masks do not affect their breathing. There are readily available two and three ply paper masks that are lightweight and protective. It is so surprising that some parents deny the protection masks have been shown scientifically to provide. Why risk a child’s health and life over refusing to have them mask at school?

— Rayne Beach, Whitefish