What Californians think of end-of-school mask mandates

In March 2020, California became the first state in the country to issue a stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. T...

In March 2020, California became the first state in the country to issue a stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Two years later, Covid-19 policies here and elsewhere are canceled, a divisive change among those who once agreed on the best way to deal with the pandemic.

One of the most controversial changes in California was the lifting of the statewide school mask mandate.

As of late last week, the state no longer requires students and teachers to wear masks inside classrooms, although some districts, including Los Angeles and Sacramento, will do so. keep the rules in place for now. Nationally, 68% of major school districts no longer require masks, according to Burbio tracking site.

Given the fierce debate, we asked readers what they thought about the end of the school mask mandate in California. Vote suggests that Californians are pretty split on the issue, and your responses reflect that.

You wrote to me about your reluctance to remove the masks – which one reader described as “not completing a course of antibiotics”. Or you fear that the change will come much too late, because the social development of students has already suffered irreparably over the past two years.

I’ve heard from hundreds of teachers, parents, students, school counselors and community members with many opinions on school mask mandates. Here are some of their takes, slightly edited for clarity and brevity:

“As a teacher with multiple autoimmune diseases and immunocompromised students in my classes, I am worried for myself and my children. I cannot understand the level of selfishness and lack of empathy in these decisions. — Margaret Colburn, Los Angeles

“I am delighted that the masks are coming off my young children. It is high time! We know how low risk children are, they deserve the normal childhood we all enjoyed. — Melinda Ulu, Santa Cruz

“Cases are down at my son’s middle school, and they haven’t had a positive test among staff or students for a few weeks. However, I will tell my son to wear a mask until the new rules collapse. If cases start to rise again, I’d rather be ahead of the curve on that. — Brooke Habecker, Redwood City

“I am a student in Los Angeles, so I have endured some of the most authoritarian Covid-19 measures since we returned to school in August. Cases are down to less than 1,000 a day and we have a high vaccination rate. If not now, then when?” — Shane Masterson, Los Angeles

“I am a school counselor. I feel uncomfortable about mask mandates and how schools (in Santa Clara County) are making it “optional, but strongly encouraged.” This could create new divisions and disputes between students who want to remain masked out of caution and those who prefer to be mask-free. This is one more element on which children and parents will be divided, and such a division will now be visible and obvious to everyone. — Christina Soto, Sunnyvale

“I’m glad it’s up, but I don’t think everyone is going to stop and that’s fine! I teach at a middle school, so I know students and colleagues who will continue to mask up because of their health or, in the case of students, insecurities about their appearance. I think it’s appropriate for them to make that choice and feel comfortable in school. Personally, I’m excited to see all of their quirky little faces (and I’m sure the other way around) again.” — Ed Chaney, Clovis

“My kids are 8 and 12, healthy and fully vaccinated, so I think they’ll be fine with or without a mask. But on the other hand, we’ve worked so hard over the past two years to not catch Covid; it seems silly to drop our main defense now. I would feel much more comfortable if only vaccinated students could remove their masks. As parents, we’ve had to make so many impossible choices and changes over the past two years, I’m just exhausted. — Leslie Suen, Truckee

For more:

Where to eat good Lao food around Los Angeles.

Today’s tip comes from Geraldine Mahood, who recommends Mountain table in Orville:

“In early spring, it’s covered in wildflowers and people from all over Northern California travel there. Streams run through parts of the hilly area and there are at least two waterfalls.

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Send your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in future editions of the newsletter.

songs that got us through the last two years.

Before the pandemic, Ron King was a high-profile media executive who shuttled between New York and Los Angeles.

Now he runs a donkey sanctuary in Mendocino County.

King wanted to save the donkeys, which are increasingly being slaughtered for the sale of their skins. Each of the 97 donkeys that live on his ranch have been saved from death.

“My favorite part of my day is my donkey hug,” King told CBS News.

Thanks for reading. I will be back tomorrow. — Soumya

PS Here today’s mini crosswordand a clue: Great delight (four letters).

Mariel Wamsley and Jonah Candelario contributed to California Today. You can join the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What Californians think of end-of-school mask mandates
What Californians think of end-of-school mask mandates
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