Masking of young people, the final big COVID battle?

James Yodice the sports reporter from the Albuquerque Journal has done all New Mexicans a favor with his recent article on the ongoing State mandate that young people, especially student athletes, must wear masks during competition.

Ironically, while Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails from early in the pandemic question the very effectiveness of masks (while Fauci has changed his position, the scientific evidence on masks remains mixed at best). When asked for comment by Yodice, the Lujan Grisham Administration’s spokesperson fell back on vaccination rates (as they have done repeatedly with state reopening overall).

“In the Department of Health’s view, not enough kids are vaccinated yet,” said spokesman Tripp Stelnicki. “We’re certainly making progress. But we’re not at the point where they feel comfortable removing that requirement.”

Stelnicki  went on to say that “The DOH and the governor’s office are working on a plan to tie vaccinations, vaccination rates among teens and schools or districts to a (change) that would remove the mask requirement before the season ends.”

Of course, this completely ignores individual choice on the matter, the fact that young people are not really susceptible to the Virus, the lack of outdoor spread of the Virus, and the potential negatives associated with wearing a mask during a strenuous workout.

Of course, while summer has just begun and most State-sponsored sports are nearing conclusion, this battle is going to arise again both in terms of classroom masking during the school day as well as in athletics which are right around the corner this fall.

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