Philadelphia school district cracks down more, tells students to double mask

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Officials at one Philadelphia school district trust the so-called “public health experts” so much that they’re encouraging children to double-mask based on the supposed wisdom of these “experts.”

In an update issued this week, the School District of Philadelphia decreed that “[c]loth masks alone are no longer considered to be effective protection against the spread of coronavirus.”

Therefore, “students are recommend to wear in the order of preference” one of the following three mask setups.

The most “preferred” setup is “a 3 play disposable surgical mask supplied by the District, with the addition of a cloth mask.”

The second “preferred” setup is just “a 3 ply disposable surgical mask” by itself. And the least preferred setup is “a well fitting KN95 mask.”

(Source: School District of Philadelphia)

That district officials have decreed that cloth masks aren’t effective isn’t a surprise given the growing consensus that cloth masks are virtually “useless” against COVID.

What critics find befuddling is the officials’ “preference” that students nevertheless wear a cloth mask in addition to a surgical mask.

As noted by critics, it seems the list is backwards, and “a well fitting KN95 mask” should be in first place, while the cloth mask + surgical mask combo should be last.

District officials stand by their decision nevertheless.

“We are simply following the guidelines from the public health experts who obviously know best how we can stay safe to continue to have in-person learning available to our students, which is the best way for our children to learn,” a district  spokesperson said to local station WTXF.

Critics have been quick to mock the district:

Critics were correct in noting that this “is not science.”

Writing this week for USA Today, a team of 14 doctors, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, etc., including renowned health researcher Vinay Prasad, noted that “the risk children face from the pandemic is not extraordinary.”

“COVID-19 can be serious in children in rare cases, and vaccines are available to prevent serious disease. Even in unvaccinated children, though, rates of serious disease from COVID-19 are similar to that of the seasonal flu, and we do not normally take exceptional precautions in schools for the flu for which we do not normally implement school mask mandates, quarantines or other disruptive policies,” according to the medical professionals.

Add to this the fact that “symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled among young people during the pandemic, with 1 in 4 showing depressive symptoms and 1 in 5 showing anxiety,” they write, and it becomes clear that “[i]t’s time to shift our focus away from masks and onto the faces behind them.”

Which, incidentally, is something that’s already happened in most Western countries, including the U.K., as noted below by Prasad:

Pay attention to what he said about the beloved “experts” that school officials nationwide, including in Philadelphia, view as all-knowing and wise.

Over in the U.S. meanwhile, those officials — virtually all of them Republicans — who’ve sought to push back against pro-mask zealotry (virtually all of it from the left) have been attacked as somehow ignorant and anti-science.

And indeed, in response to the criticism being leveled at School District of Philadelphia officials, some zealots trotted out the same smear:

To people like both the woman above and the officials in Philly, it appears the definition of science is “whatever the public health experts” say.

Even when what the “public health experts” say is contradicted by oodles and oodles of evidence …

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