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Alexi
Feb 08, 2022

How refreshing to see more narrative-challenging articles in the media. 😷

"One fact-checker rated as mostly-true, the claim that Omicron is the fastest spreading virus known to humankind. That is some metric. Yet forcing children to wear a mask, the medical equivalent of wearing a raincoat while swimming when dealing with this variant, is going to slow the spread?

The decision to impose involuntary non-pharmacological intervention on children should only be done in extreme circumstances and where the health of the child is directly at risk. This is not that case, and it comes at a cost.

Masks impede communication. They deny children the full range of social engagement. They are clearly going to be ineffective against this new variant unless the teachers are especially draconian in enforcing their usage. Also; they hate them.

They are, in short, cruel."

Read the full account below ...

OPINION:

Damien Grant is a regular columnist for Stuff, and a business owner based in Auckland. He writes from a libertarian perspective and is a member of the Taxpayers’ Union but not of any political party.

Under the red-light system (red-light, really?) children in Year Four and above are required to wear masks at schools. That is kids from the age of 8.

Great. As it happens, I have an 8-year-old. I am quite attached to him, although the feeling is only fleetingly mutual. I am also his parent. Well, my wife does most of the actual parenting, but she consults me on occasions when she thinks I might have something to contribute, such as a major purchase to which a contribution is required.

Anyway. He is going to be forced to wear a mask, along with every other Year Four and above child. I am unsure as to why this is required, but I am certain that most kids will not want to wear them, and I am positive they are pointless.

Omicron escaped our MIQ system, where we lock people into hotel rooms for two weeks, test them until their nose bleeds and feed them through a metaphorical straw. Yet; the virus is here. It passes through rooms, apparently.

One fact-checker rated as mostly-true the claim that Omicron is the fastest spreading virus known to humankind. That is some metric. Yet forcing children to wear a mask, the medical equivalent of wearing a raincoat while swimming when dealing with this variant, is going to slow the spread?

What masks in schools will do, however, is reduce even further the trickle of knowledge that is getting into our children. The decline in literacy and numeracy is one of our greatest challenges, and it is being compounded by a growing rate of non-attendance.

In 2021, less than 60 per cent of students met the Ministry of Education’s fairly liberal standard for regular attendance. This figure is even worse for our Māori and Pasifika students, who had regular attendance levels of only 45 per cent.

This is the crisis that should be the focus on the 1pm press conferences. We are failing a generation of our children by not educating them and the growing disparity between ethnic groups is planting the seeds for future inequality.

I am not a fan of state funded education, but one of its benefits must be giving disadvantaged children a path out of poverty. A means by which all members of our society have the opportunity to create better lives than their parents.

Forget co-governance, Three Waters and Treaty partnership; how about the Ministry of Education and its overworked minister start with understanding what is happening to this generation before we lose them forever?

To be fair to the schools and even the Ministry, the drivers of non-attendance may be factors outside their control. It is hard to educate a kid who doesn’t show. I am not going to offer a solution, there are forces here that are beyond a simpleminded Sunday columnist, but what is obvious is the total indifference from Wellington about this problem.

Faced with a crisis of this size and complexity the state had decided that masking the declining number of students who show up is a greater priority. Sadly, it isn’t just the state that has developed a taste for forcing children to wear masks. Epidemiologist Michael Baker wants us to put these accursed things on toddlers as young as two.

This is taking helicopter parenting to extreme levels. Most children are not at serious risk from Covid. They are at risk of loneliness, depression and forced social isolation from these excessive measures that are not, it needs to be stated, designed to protect them.

Baker states: “Our biggest gap in immunity, in many ways, is younger children”. I am assuming he wants them masked up to keep grandma safe when it isn’t clear that grandma wants to be kept safe from her grandchildren. She’d probably prefer to hug them rather than wave across a Zoom call and take her chances.

Parents are not being given the opportunity to be involved. Your child will wear a mask and, as a parent. You will not be consulted. The state is asserting its role as guardian over our nation’s tamariki, at least those who can be enticed to attend school.

What makes this new mandate for masking school students pernicious is that we have no path for when it will end. We have moved from lockdown levels, to traffic lights, and now a three-phase approach to Omicron that is somehow operating within the traffic light system.

Last year Auckland children missed out on nearly half of their school year. Most of our kids last attended school in August. It will be nearly six months before they are back in a classroom, and they will be forced to wear masks when they do.

The decision to impose involuntary non-pharmacological intervention on children should only be done in extreme circumstances and where the health of the child is directly at risk. This is not that case, and it comes at a cost.

Masks impede communication. They deny children the full range of social engagement. They are clearly going to be ineffective against this new variant unless the teachers are especially draconian in enforcing their usage. Also; they hate them.

They are, in short, cruel.

Overseas evidence is that this variant spreads exceptionally fast but is an order of magnitude less dangerous than earlier variants. Many people catch it, few get very sick initially and comparatively few people die.

The virus, it seems, has learnt to live with us. It is time we learnt to live with it.

Read the article HERE

www.voicesforfreedom.co.nz/stay-informed 🙌


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