Eight hours a day, five days a week, muffled and controlled; this is our 2020-2021 school year. Our new life is filled with small cloths covering half our identity and stealing our voices. The masks are causing health issues, mentally, physically and socially, stopping most life.

In an interview, Maria Godoy, an NPR health correspondent, said, “The fibers masks are made of aren’t dense enough to block the exchange of gases, like oxygen or carbon dioxide. And these masks aren’t so tight that air can’t get in around the sides.”

If they’re thin enough to continue our regular breathing, how are they dense enough to protect against COVID-19 particles? Answer is, they aren’t. While this is an answer to lesser breathing, it shows the weakness against the virus itself.

There’s proof of this from an article about the California smoke, by Matthew Brown, saying this about the cloth masks, “Cloth masks and other non-medical-grade face coverings aren’t the best way to stop a person from inhaling infectious particles and droplets.”

He follows this by saying, “Rather, face coverings are widely mandated because they make it more difficult for infected people to spread the virus.”

Which suggests that only the infected should wear the masks, but even then, there isn’t much protection.

Godoy suggests wearing an N95 respirator and then goes on to say how only medical professionals should be wearing these due to the low stock; yet we’re still told to wear the smaller cloth ones. Godoy also suggests mask breaks throughout your day when no one else is around. To me personally, this isn’t an option as I attend a high school full of almost 3,000 students, and rules saying we cannot eat or drink in the hallways or classrooms.

This is too far. Eight hours of anyone’s day cannot be lived with less oxygen, being uncomfortable, no water and only 30 minutes for you to eat enough to sustain you through the rest of your day, not to mention this is every day, five days of the week. As a student, I find this unreasonable and difficult to abide by. We need change.

Regardless of factual evidence, I wanted to hear from the students at Clear Creek High school, so I created a simple survey and got responses of many statements expressing their frustrations: “The masks make communication much more difficult than it needs to be. Students on the other side of the classroom from the teacher practically yell to answer questions, and I just don’t see how people condone living confined like that.” Other responses expressed masks making anxiety worse and quarantine forcing children into failing.

It’s very clear that these unnecessary precautions are suffocating the future, the present and stifling the past of this world. Making masks a choice would be one step in the right direction. We’ve had the masks on long enough; it’s time to take them off. After all, this is a free country.

Maddison Greer is a sophomore at Clear Creek High School in League City.

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(21) comments

Mary Moore

I agree with you 100%. It's time to drop the masks and get on with our lives.

Paula Flinn

Masks, along with social distancing, will protect you when you are inside. I wonder if the people who lived during the 1918 flu pandemic complained as much about wearing masks? There are many pictures of them on the internet. Their friends and family members were dying, so I’m guessing not.

I know several young teachers who got the CoVid-19 virus and are still feeling after effects months later. Our mothers used to say, “An ounce of prevention is wort a pound of cure.” So many people have died. The inconvenience is worth it for awhile longer.

Bailey Jones

During the 1918 pandemic, there was a lot of complaining about wearing masks. The masks they had in those days didn't do much good.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kionasmith/2020/04/29/protesting-during-a-pandemic-isnt-new-meet-the-anti-mask-league/

If one doubts the efficacy of modern masks - just look at the tragedies unfolding now in India and Brazil - two nations whose government leaders adopted the same arguments as Miss Greer.

Carlos Ponce

Paula and Bailey: Get your Joe Biden dolly out and pull the string. "Come on, man!" The CDC reported 84% of those infected wore masks. What you are posting is NOT SCIENCE. They call it PROPAGANDA.

Bailey Jones

Carlos: "84% of people who died in car crashes last year had airbags. Therefore airbags don't work!"

"84% of people who died of cancer last year had chemo. Therefore chemo doesn't work!"

"84% of people who had cavities last year brushed their teeth. Therefore brushing doesn't work!"

You're ignorance rains down upon us once again. And you can't even see it.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey, can you PROVE any of your statements about airbags, cancer and cavities? I cannot find anything that remotely resembles your claims. Did you make them up? Sounds like it. [whistling]

Carlos Ponce

No proof of your assertions? I guess you made it up. Leave it to a Liberal to make things up.

Bailey Jones

Sorry, Carlos, I forget how dense you are. What I was doing is illustrating the logical fallacy of your argument.

No one has ever claimed that masks provide 100% protection against COVID. No one. Even if masks were very, very effective - let's say 90% effective, and 100% of the population wore them all the time, 10% of the population would still catch COVID. And you would say "duuhhhh lookit all those people who were wearing masks and still gots the COVID" - completely ignorant of how stupid you sound.

For the less dense readers, I offer this explanation based on actual science:

Infectious diseases are characterized by their infection rate, R0. This is the average number of people that one person with SARS-CoV-2 is likely to infect. If R0 is greater than 1, the disease grows. If R0 is less than 1, the disease decreases. The current low estimate for R0 is 2, meaning that on average, each infected person will infect 2 more people. Each of those people will infect two more, and the number of cases will expand exponentially. This is what we saw during each of our surges.

If your COVID protocols - such as wearing a mask - can decrease R0 below 1, then the number of cases will decrease to zero. Lower is better. At an R0 or 0.9 - a population of 100,000 infected people will reduce to 0 infections in just over 100 infection cycles. At an R0 of 0.5, it only takes 18 cycles. Masks are not perfect. They don't need to be. If masks, and social distancing, reduce your chances of infecting others by just 51%, then - congratulations, R0 is now 0.98, and you've defeated the virus.

The claim that "84% of people who died of COVID wore masks" is specious nonsense, based on a Trump lie about a CDC study that was not looking at the effectivity of masks. A recent survey of scientific studies that did look at the effectivity of masks found these results:

Mask wearing reduced risk of infection by 70% (Payne)

Mask wearing reduced risk of secondary infection by 79% (Wang)

Mask wearing reduced risk of infection by 77% (Doung-ngern)

A 10% increase in mask wearing tripled the likelihood of halting community spread (Rader)

A weekly decline of 3.4% in new infections among health care workers, after masking was implemented (Wang)

A daily decline of 1.32% in new infections after masking was implemented. (Mitze)

In Kansas, rates went down in counties with mask mandates, up in those without. (Van Dyke)

in Canada, a weekly decline of 25%-40% after mask mandates were implemented indoors (Karaivanov)

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776536

COVID spreads when the virus from one person gets into another person. Wearing a mask slows that spread. Social distancing also slows that spread. It's not complicated, but it is science. And it is real.

Carlos Ponce

Where's the link or proof. Bailey: "84% of people who died in car crashes last year had airbags. Therefore airbags don't work!"

"84% of people who died of cancer last year had chemo. Therefore chemo doesn't work!"

"84% of people who had cavities last year brushed their teeth. Therefore brushing doesn't work!"

Oh, that's right. Liberals fabricate lies all the time. By the way, I supplied the CDC link to the 84% getting the virus with a mask on in a previous link.

Bailey Jones

My goodness, Carlos. How do you even find your way home from the grocery store?

SILVER ALERT! SILVER ALERT!

There is no link or proof. These are analogies. I obviously just recast the "logic" of your "argument" into other contexts to show you how stupid it was. Mission not accomplished, apparently.

Let me dumb and dumber it down for you. Pay, attention now.

Every year a lot of people in cars equipped with airbags die in crashes anyway. Applying the "logic" of your "argument" means that airbags don't work. We know that to be false.

Every year a lot of cancer patients who have received chemo die anyway. Applying the "logic" of your "argument" means that chemo doesn't work. We know that to be false.

Every year a lot of people who brush and floss develop cavities anyway. Applying the "logic" of your "argument" means that brushing and flossing don't prevent cavities. We know that to be false.

In each of these cases, the fact that a preventative measure doesn't work 100% of the time does not imply that it is not effective. The analogy holds for masks. Your logic is specious. Your reasoning is fallacious. Your president lost. Your prophets are fake. Go get vaccinated.

Carlos Ponce

"There is no link or proof." In other words..... YOU LIED!

Carlos Ponce

Bailey, what you posted is NOT an analogy.

But you posted, "Let me dumb and dumber" Yes, you got that right.

Norman Pappous

Well researched, well reasoned, and well written! Well done!

Michael Jozwiak

Suspending mask mandate will kill people, but they will be mostly stupid people, so who cares?

Carlos Ponce

Unsubstantiated hyperbole, Michael Jozwiak.

Norman Pappous

Rest assured, we'll send flowers to your funeral Michael.

Jack Cross

Masks will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud on the people.

The young lady is correct, The science says that kids across the U,S. should be in school.. I'm waiting for this to end and as MLK said; "free at last," God almighty we're free at last.

Jim Funkhouser

It would sure be a better read for me if Bailey Jones and Carlos Ponce would stop posting their back and forth banter.

Carlos Ponce

I respond when my name is brought up.

Bailey Jones

I agree.[thumbup]

Paula Flinn

The CDC still recommends mask wearing for children inside schools.

“Do face masks provide protection from COVID-19?

Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. The CDC recommends people wear face masks in public settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Wearing a face mask may limit exposure to respiratory droplets and large particles and may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus.Apr 9, 2021“

A person needs to wear a close fitting mask over their nose and mouth. I’ve seen people wearing masks only over their mouths. They are not wearing them correctly. No wonder there are problems with the statistics.

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