Hopefully, children in New Jersey this school year won’t catch COVID.
Where masks are concerned, allegedly, they also won’t be catching a break.
The big news, purportedly set to drop at an East Brunswick elementary school: School staff members and students across the state, K-12, will be required to wear masks in the fall.
So goes March 2020’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread.
As noted by the outlet, in June, Phil indicated he wasn’t planning on a statewide mandate.
He even offered this last month:
“I don’t want to go backward — that’s the last thing I want to do.”
However, the governor added, “[B]ut we’ll do what we have to do.”
What they “have to do” is sure to make a lot of people less than happy. As noted by NJ.com, “Many parents and mask opponents are strongly against masking children in schools.”
But for his part, Democratic state Sen. Joseph Vitale thinks it’s great:
“This is the right call and safe call, even if it is unpopular with some. The surge of the Delta variant has put us in a position where measures like this must be taken in order to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff alike, while also achieving learning objectives.”
Children, as you know, have been largely resilient where COVID-19’s concerned.
But that was then, this is Delta.
And Phil’s got some prestigious support:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month it’s recommending everyone in K-12 schools in America to wear masks as the Delta variant drives up COVID-19 numbers across the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends face coverings. Plus, the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union — and a major Murphy supporter — has backed the CDC’s guidance on masks.
Even so, can you imagine being in kindergarten and having to wear a mask?
From CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky to NBC:
“CDC recommends that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.”
And how about those who choose not to get the shots?
According to Gov. Phil, they’re knuckleheads.
Here’s what he told a group of anti-vaccination hecklers in Union City Wednesday:
“You’ve lost your minds. You are the ultimate knuckleheads. And because of what you are saying and standing for, people are losing their life.”
“Look in the mirror,” he chided.
For 6-year-old New Jerseyans who look in the mirror next month, they’re not going to see faces.
They’ll see what we’ve all been seeing for more than a year.
When will the pandemic be kaput? When will masking be a memory?
If the goal is zero cases, the presumed answer is “never.”
But let’s all hope that isn’t the case.
Per Gov. Phil, “at long last,” we’ve “got the virus on the run.”
Oh, wait — that was in May:
NJ’s @GovMurphy defends ignoring science on masks/continuing to penalize New Jerseyans who disobey his Covid edicts.
“We’re just not ready yet … If we can save only one more life by waiting a couple of weeks longer, I’ll sign up for that" pic.twitter.com/Khi11FdoRw
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 17, 2021
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