Someone let the right-wing nut jobs know — the mask debate is over.
Most of us understand this, but Dr. Ali Khan was on CNN stating it in the simplest and most compelling of terms. Victor Blackwell introduced the Dean of the University of Nebraska's Medical Center's College of Public Health, who also served as the CDC's Director of Public Health Preparedness and Response for 23 years. Not a bad resumé, and someone most thinking people would trust to advise them on masks in schools.
First Blackwell asked him to opine on Gov. Ron DeSantis (Death-FL) saying there doesn't need to be mass quarantine after exposure to a positive case of COVID. Try not to be shocked. Dr. Khan disagreed.
"[Q]uarantine is a key function of public health, especially in this disease, where people are actually infectious before they know they're sick. So, yes, this -- may well -- who was exposed may be exposing other people in the school, putting other people at risk and risking the chance of shutting down the school," Dr. Khan explained.
Alisyn Camerota then asked about whether or not this applied to kids in schools who have not had contact with the student or employee who tested positive, and came dangerously close to sounding like she was siding with DeSantis, frankly.
"Here is what is frustrating to parents," Camerota began. "This happened to my kids a couple of times, last year. They were in a class with a kid who tested positive, and then they had to go home and quarantine for ten days. It was wildly disruptive, they don't learn as well remote learning, they didn't have direct contact like this, with the other child who might have been somewhere far away from them in the corner of the room."
It IS wildly disruptive. No doubt about it. But how exactly does Camerota expect teachers to accurately assess if one child who tests positive has had direct contact with any of the other 24 students in the classroom throughout the day? And does she expect the parent of a 7-year-old to trust that child to have accurate recall of the days leading up to a classmate testing positive, days during which they were also infectious?
Here was the doctor's response about masks.
"There's clear guideline for what counts as a contact and not contact, so you wouldn't be quarantining somebody, you know, halfway across the building, because they wouldn't have the definition of contact....Going back to your children again, this debate about masks in school, the debate is done," he insisted. "Not because of scientists, and not because of research paper. It's the data right from the field."
Hello, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, etc...
"We have learned over the last two weeks that school districts that went back without fully masking everybody, they're closing. We have numerous school districts have closed, schools have closed and classrooms have closed. So, the debate's over. If you're sending your kids to school, and we must send our kids to school, make sure everybody in that school is masked. And that's how you stay out of these problems."
Blackwell made the cogent point that with the Delta variant, "even passing in the hallway can be enough exposure to transmit from one person to another, as quickly as this virus can be spread."
So, the debate IS over. We know what has to happen. Now it's just a matter of who belongs to the death cult and who doesn't, and trying to keep our kids out of schools with the former.