The beginning of the school year is just around the corner, and after several months of virtual learning, the majority of kids and their parents, are excited to go back to the classroom, except that once again COVID is making things harder than everyone expected.
With the worldwide spread of the Delta variant and hospitals filling out rapidly, many families are beginning to worry about sending their children back to school and the impact it may have on their health. School districts across the nation are looking for ways to keep their staff and students safe, but some are facing more obstacles than others, including having to defy their own Governor.
In Texas, Gov. Abbott has made it clear that he does not intend to promote wearing masks, going as far as banning mask mandates all over the state, and threatening to punish those who dare to defy him. Still, many local governments and school districts have shown loyalty to their people, taking a stand against Abbott and imposing mask mandates in order to protect lives.
Dallas and Austin School Districts will require masks. The largest school district in Texas, Houston, will require masks for students, teachers, and staff. Fort Bend ISD, Conroe ISD, Humble ISD, and Katy ISD are offering a virtual learning option even though the state won’t fund it.
San Antonio Mayor, Ron Nirenberg, recently won a lawsuit against Gov. Abbott’s insane control of the coronavirus measures in the state.
Other states in the country are implementing mask mandates again, or encouraging school districts to do so. In New York, all students will be required to wear masks, and all staff will be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. New Mexico Masks will require elementary school students to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear recently announced a mask mandate for all schools K-12. California will also require all students to wear masks. “Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary.
Minnesota did not issue a mask mandate, but state health and education officials are recommending schools districts mandate indoor mask-wearing in their most recent guidance for reopening schools. Michigan and Massachusetts followed a similar approach.
Experts are yet to determine whether the Delta variant causes more severe disease in kids or not, but for now, doctors on the front lines are saying that they are seeing more critically ill children than they have at any previous point in the pandemic.
It’s important to remember that kids under 12 years of age remain ineligible to get vaccinated, meaning that the only protection we can offer to them right now is wearing a mask and social distancing, why not encourage people to do so?
Gov. Abbott’s resistance to implementing simple measures that can keep Texans’ lives safe, especially children, has been widely criticized, is he working for Texas or is he working for his own political interests?
According to the Mayo Clinic, face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing, and physical distancing, help slow the spread of the virus. And with Texas cases rapidly increasing, everyone should be looking for ways to slow it down, especially the Governor.