Letter to editor stock art - old mailbox

Thank you school board!

Last week’s letter titled “Stand for freedom and unmask our kids” says there is “zero evidence” to support kids wearing masks at school and says that MDH data directly refutes the concept. He concludes that we need to regain control of the school board. The letter cites the MDH reporting of zero COVID-19 deaths of students aged 10-19 as the data.

However, there are at least three problems with these statements.

First, MDH guidelines specifically recommend wearing masks in classrooms. Clearly our school board is following MDH guidelines on this: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/plan.html#key.

Second, that MDH data does cite two deaths in the 5- to 9-year-old age group, which the letter writer didn't include. No that is not a lot, but tell that to those two sets of parents.

Third, this “zero deaths” argument assumes that a child’s death is the only outcome that should be considered a bad outcome. How about the 101,618 kids in the 10-19 age group who got sick? How about the kids who transmitted the virus on to someone else who got sick? How about the rising case levels in our state and in our schools and our overwhelmed hospitals? How much more evidence is needed here?

The letter then goes on to imply that being required to wear a mask is communism. Just because something requires a group effort lead by the government does not make it “communist."

When my grandparents fought WWII abroad, and supported the war effort at home, were they being communists because the government asked for everyone’s participation? No, they were being patriots. A patriot is willing to make a sacrifice for the good of his or her community or country.

Being asked to wear a mask (and get vaccinated) is such a small sacrifice that we can all do for the good of our country. If you love your country and your neighbors, you should be pro-mask. I challenge the letter writer to see how his “individualism” actually impacts those around him and is therefore not individualism at all. I would ask him to support masks for the simple reason that it might benefit someone else.

In conclusion, I thank the ISD 112 school board for having my children’s best interests in mind when they follow the guidance and the science in their decision-making process. You do not deserve the grief that you are getting in your board meetings these days. Please know that you have widespread support for what you are doing.

Andy Neisen