Montgomery County (Md.) earlier this week became the latest, if not quite the last, jurisdiction across the, cough, “DMV” to lift its indoor mask mandate in schools.
Interestingly, based on the media coverage, many of those who lined up to plead with school officials to keep the mask mandate were students themselves.
Why would that be any surprise? Their growing but still not yet fully formed brains for two years have been bombarded with fearmongering, first that they must whip on those masks to stand up to (then-)President Trump, and after he was gone with the message that if they didn’t mask at all times, everyone around them was almost assuredly going to die.
Not a particularly nuanced approach to public health, nor one grounded much in reality, but alas one that has seeped into their still-forming craniums and led them around by the nose in fear even as, ahem, “the science” shows what it shows about COVID not being a major threat to the young.
Gonna take a lot of time, and perhaps a good deal of therapy, for some of them to weaned from the scare tactics they have endured.
Let’s try a new tack. It’s called parenting. It used to be commonplace but seems to have fallen out of favor with some, particularly in the local area.
Parents, talk to youth about risk-reward calculations, give them the facts, let them ask questions and do your best to be honest. Maybe then we can start edging them away for an overreliance on a tool that clearly has been shown to have limited effectiveness, at best.
Some of today youngsters are going to live to the year 2100 (holy moley!). One hopes they won’t be living in irrational fear all that time, based on the messaging they received during two formative years of their adolescence.
ON A HAPPIER NOTE: Let me add my congratulations to local legend Sonia Johnston, who has been announced as the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 inductee into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame.
(Self-pitying note to self: Always a bridesmaid, Scott, never a bride …. 🙂 )
Johnston came to the U.S. as a refugee from Vietnam and built an incredibly successful career in the banking industry. She’s a decidedly deserving person for enshrinement into the pantheon.
- Scott McCaffrey