On Wednesday, a federal district court judge in Virginia ruled in favor of 12 plaintiffs who argued that all students in their children’s schools need to be masked for the safety of their children. The ruling pertains only to the schools that these 12 immunocompromised children attend.
This ruling opens a nationwide door for plaintiffs to chip away, one school at a time, at our parental rights to make decisions for our children to breathe air freely. Judge Norman Moon’s decision is absurd for several reasons.
While the costs of mask-optional laws to minors who are immunocompromised are statistically very low, the costs of universal masking laws are clear. Social isolation, articulation disorders, and headaches are all pervasive problems arising from the prolonged masking of our children. Accommodating the suggested “needs” of the few should not harm the many. A school of 600 students should not need to muzzle everyone because there might be one student in the school with a preexisting condition. Students with disabilities and preexisting conditions are still free to wear masks — N95s if they prefer.
We are quickly approaching the endemic phase of the coronavirus affliction. According to Moon’s written opinion, the majority of the plaintiffs in this particular case are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This lowers the risk of infection and the likelihood of hospitalization and death for everyone. Were the immunocompromised students not at higher risk of influenza before the pandemic? Mask laws were never a consideration during the prevalence of other respiratory viruses in the past, nor should they be now. The fact that they are is a testament to the politicization of this virus.
I have empathy for people with disabilities and comorbidities. But life must go on. We should not ask children to again make sacrifices that we do not and should not ask of adults.
Stephanie Lundquist-Arora is a Virginia mother and a member of the Independent Women’s Network.