In this article, Tim Stanley from the Daily Telegraph UK questions the use of masks by pupils in school. Stanley speaks about the situation in the UK but what he writes holds for Malta. In Malta too, young students are being forced to wear masks in school. This is not only stupid but harmful to the students themselves. Stanley reminds the reader that, if there is one point that the Covid-19 epidemic showed is that, the young had a higher immunity to this disease than the older generation. Therefore, where is the raison d’etre for pupils to wear masks? Stanley made an interesting point. He states that in the UK there was a strong debate against Muslim students wearing the niqab in schools. The argument was that the niqab undermines the ability of the students to learn. Masks play the same role as the niqab but none seems to argue that wearing masks is harmful to learning. Rightly so, Stanley defines the continuous wearing of masks at school as pointless and cruel. Below, one finds the reasons why Stanley is arguing in this way.
Masks in schools are as pointless as they are cruel
Nearly two years into the pandemic, the ‘one last heave’ argument is wearing very thin indeedTIM STANLEY3 January 2022 • 6:00am
Happy new year! I’m afraid I didn’t come down with omicron this Christmas, despite my best efforts (what I’d give to be banned from the office, preferably for life). From the accounts of friends, the disease is now about as debilitating as a mild cold – some didn’t even realise they had it – yet the official panic level is still set to “headless chicken”, hence the latest decree that secondary school pupils in England must wear masks in class.
Why? We’ve known for a long time that Covid threatens children the least, so we can’t be that worried about how it affects their health. My suspicion is that the teaching unions have insisted upon this as a novel method of keeping the little blighters quiet. I once worked in a primary school (a mean lot of seven-year-olds, playtime was like Lord of the Flies) and if the government had sanctioned gagging children, I would gladly have done it.
But it is cruel, wickedly – and injurious to mental health. Given the fuss made about teachers wearing niqabs, on the grounds that a hidden face undermines teaching, it’s hypocritical, too.
The mandate is obviously designed to protect teachers and parents (most of whom have now had three jabs), but why wait so late to impose it, when omicron already seems embedded in the population? And why is the requirement scheduled to end on January 26? Perhaps Covid is planning to go skiing.
The justification – always – is that in order to preserve our freedom we must give up a bit more freedom: one last heave! As the restrictions become ever more specific, and sillier, the promise that if we follow them to the letter then one day Covid will be gone entices millions to obey, sometimes even to throw more nonsense into the mix. I witnessed a grown man rise from a table, where he’d eaten maskless with his family, leave the restaurant and then put on a mask to walk about in the open air. By reinforcing hysteria, Covid restrictions only build the case for more Covid restrictions.
“If we have sacrificed so much to get this far,” goes the logic, “it’s worth a little sacrifice to get to the end.” But what does the end actually look like? Some might think this past week was it. A horrid illness, spreading fast – but one that the vast majority are learning to live with, and far fewer of us are frightened of catching.