90 Miles From Tyranny : Masking children is child abuse

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Masking children is child abuse

When parents allow their own fear and anxiety to be transferred onto their children, they abdicate their most basic parental role

In late December California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate statewide. In doing so, he not only brought back a failed policy that has done nothing to protect the health of California residents. He also extended a cruel practice of state-sponsored child abuse that has harmed the most vulnerable—our children.

Masks provide no meaningful protection from viral respiratory disease. That is why they have never—until March 2020—been recommended for use by the public. In all large, well-designed studies of mask use in vivo, results have at best shown no benefit. In many cases, mask-wearing has been responsible for an increase in disease. The one and only study cited by the CDC to support mask mandates for children was recently criticized as “profoundly misleading” and full of “significant flaws.” No honest, rational person has successfully defended mask-wearing as medically useful, much less necessary.

If masks were simply ineffective talismans—as the New England Journal of Medicine described them in May 2020—we might dismiss them as ornamental eccentricities, much like a rabbit’s foot keychain. They are not. They are dehumanizing and dangerous. Much like the Muslim veil, meant to erase a woman’s feminine presence by banishing her face from public view, masks dehumanize people by preventing both facial expression and facial recognition. In addition, masks have long been associated with shame. There is a reason why we say, “He can no longer show his face in public.” Their danger, though, lies primarily in the psychological harm they cause. That harm falls disproportionately on children.

“It’s only a mask.” I have heard that comment tossed around flippantly by the parents of young patients in my clinical practice. These adults fail to see the tremendous damage masks cause to their children’s development. Since children began wearing masks at school, on the athletic field, in airplanes—essentially everywhere outside the home—I have seen a significant decline in their ability to make eye contact, speak clearly, and initiate face-to-face communication with other human beings. Emotional resilience has dramatically declined. Children have become dull and slow in their thinking. I see this with all children, but it is especially pronounced in those with autism. Most of my autistic patients who were previously emotionally stable have begun throwing tantrums again, and some have returned to self-harming behaviors. One was hospitalized for the first time in an inpatient psychiatric unit.

My observations were confirmed in November, when Brown University Department of Pediatrics published a follow-up study to an earlier report on IQ point loss in infants. Babies born after January 2020 showed a 20-point drop compared to those born just one year earlier. This decline was not attributed to infant mask-wearing but rather to sensory deprivation from adults having artificially limited newborns’ healthy, natural exposure to the environment. Many of these infants had...

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