Leave the Kids Alone

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

I came across this Twitter exchange between my friend and professional colleague Karol Markowicz and some crank who apparently believes that defeating COVID is a binary choice between locking up people’s faces and constitutional rights and certain death.

All of this was in response to the latests confused messaging out of the CDC, claiming children should still be required to mask up in school even after vaccinations.

I found myself cheering Karol’s declaration, and frankly, we need to be stepping up more as conservatives – as Republicans, as Americans who value reason over political hysteria – and shouting this loudly and without ceasing.

Leave the kids alone.

The fascist-minded come for our children because they know they can control parents by threatening their kids. They know that parents have been devastated over the last 18 months as we’ve watched the mental health of our children decline rapidly, as we’ve watched their socialization decline rapidly, as we’ve watched their freedom to laugh and play and sing and just be children decline rapidly.

We capitulate to mask mandates and vaccine demands because they threaten our children with expulsion from school if they don’t comply. We are all terrified of having to witness them suffer any more isolation, so we keep allowing ourselves to be pushed and pushed and pushed. We sacrifice their future freedoms to appease an elite political class that has convinced themselves that if they can control every single decision of every single person in the country that they can control the spread of a virus. That elite political class wants nothing more than to prove to all of us that if we simply hand over control of every aspect of our lives to them that they can deliver us utopia.

It is maddening, because the truth is that this isn’t about children at all. These are just mechanisms to control parents who insist on being peskily stubborn about their civil rights.

The COVID risk to children is almost non-existent, at least statistically speaking. Study after study – on schools in the UK and in America- has shown that masking children creates no discernible difference in COVID cases. And that is the other metric that is being used as a disservice for our children – case counts. In my own public school district we receive emails about positive cases in our school almost daily. My response is always, “So what?”

What does it matter if there are 10 COVID-positive tests or 100? The important questions would be, “How many developed symptoms?” or “How many hospitalizations?” or “Has the number of hospitalizations in our county increased on par with the positivity rates in the school?” In other words, have the kids been bringing the virus home to more vulnerable family members?

The unexpected silver lining of COVID is that it has little to no effect on children. In fact, the evidence is pointing to the idea that for some reason, it doesn’t seem to “stick” to children the way it does adults. We have more child deaths from the flu in any given season than we’ve had from COVID, and yet it is the children who continue to bear the harshest measures. We are making them responsible for the health of every adult in their lives. Any family therapist will tell you that there are terrible consequences for making the children in any family responsible for the health and welfare of the adults around them.

When we force children to mask at school or worse, take a vaccine they don’t need and that won’t stop the spread of COVID, we are telling them that if they don’t comply, they are effectively killing adults. We are telling them that they are guilty of being infectors simply for being a child doing childlike things like going to school and playing sports or hanging out with friends. We are telling them that they can only “save” the adults around them by compliance.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. As we’ve already discussed, these mandates aren’t about children at all, in any way. They are about controlling parents by using their children as weapons. You won’t comply? Fine, your child will be forced to comply at the risk of losing everything dear and comforting to their social well-being until you get in line.

Karol is right. It’s time to stop with this nonsense, and this will involve every one of us who still values reason and logic standing up and making noise. If you can exit the public school system, you should. If you can’t, then show up to those board meetings and don’t stop. If they cut off your mic, yell. If they kick you out of the room, shout outside. If they call you a terrorist, remind them that they are not authorities, they are representatives.

It makes no sense to force children to mask at school when there is no solid evidence (besides one study that immediately nullified its results when researchers confessed that they didn’t have a control group) that it makes a bit of difference to their health. It makes no sense to force a vaccine on children who are not at risk from COVID and in fact incur more risk of vaccine side effects than they do in contracting the virus itself. And if you’re telling me it’s for the teachers, then I reiterate – we cannot make children the sole arbiters of the well-being of the adults in their lives.

Our children are paying the price for something that really has nothing to do with them. This is monstrous and it must stop.

Leave the kids alone.