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The irresponsibility of ignoring science

August 28, 2021

“A conclusion can be reached based on the current studies: correctly wearing masks of all kinds, despite their different designs, functions and effectiveness, will to a large degree reduce the overall risks of COVID‐19 infection and enhance general protection from coronavirus.” April 2021 report from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, citing 102 different reference sources

State health officials have determined that to protect against coronavirus, people should get vaccinated, and wear masks indoors and in close quarters with other people. Following that mandate, Cape Henlopen School District has adopted a mask-wearing policy as it prepares to open schools. Very few people want masks for themselves or their children; even fewer want to catch a devastating virus that is once again rearing its ugly head. The goal is simply to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

The public has every right to attend school board meetings, make statements and question policy. A few dozen people did just that at a recent meeting, questioning and objecting to the mask policy.

Exercising freedom of speech, however, comes with responsibility. Using that freedom to suggest to school board members that they should ignore overwhelmingly prevailing science, and in so doing jeopardize the health of all in the educational system, is flat-out irresponsible and dangerous.

One speaker suggested that mandatory mask-wearing in schools amounts to child abuse and a violation of the Nuremberg Code regarding medical ethics. When he encouraged other sympathizers in the audience, they joined him in stating, out loud and more than once, that the penalty for violating that code is death. That is nothing less than terroristic threatening. Law enforcement authorities should investigate it as such. Public officials serving the community should know they have protection from that kind of abuse.

Sussex County parents have never had more choices for educating their children, including home schooling and several school systems. Opting for that freedom, rather than berating and threatening people working to provide a safe, high-quality educational environment, is the right choice.   

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

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