I was ready to be very proud of my former employer today. There was a motion put forward by Trustee Julia Burgess to require students up to Grade 3 to wear facemasks while at school in addition to those already wearing them in Grades 4-8 and then in secondary school.

Previously, the transportation system made wearing masks on school buses for all students mandatory.

Other school districts in the province have already made this new approach mandatory so it’s not like they would have been the first school district to do so.

Masks remain a contentious isssue as we all know. It’s not uncommon to hear about anti-mask demonstrations by people opposing the enforcement of any rules requiring people to wear them. Indeed the messaging around masks, particularly in the beginning was mixed. I think we all realize now that the point was to stop a run on masks like there was a run on toilet paper. Over the past months, we’ve come to realize that they are there not necessarily for your protection, but for the protection of others from you.

Rules about their wear have come up in many places. In our community with its fabulous River Lights display which is all in open parks, face masks are mandatory between 5pm and 11pm. There are no boycotts or picketers; just people that are following the rules for the safety of others. In these cooler evenings, dog walkers who wear glasses just become used to fogging up. One of the things that we know from the early days of all this is that no masks promote the spread of the virus.

We know that the numbers in Essex County are a challenge. Today’s total was 127 new cases. Fingers are pointed at farms, essential workers that work in Michigan (estimated at 6000 daily) and localized breakouts. The breakout at Frank Begley Public School made provincial news. Daily, we hear of local schools where cases have been identified.

I’ll be honest; I thought that the trustee’s motion was genius and was something that everyone could get their head around. You know, doing good by being good.

Then, this:


The motion was withdrawn before trustees had the opportunity to weigh in.

At this point, there are no further details about this that I can find.

With the high numbers reported today, the fear around here is that the area may get bumped higher in the provincial lockdown scheme. If it gets announced Friday as per usual with this government with a starting date of Monday, there will be a rush on Christmas shopping. That’s the last thing we need.

The original plans for reopening in the province had all kinds of loopholes, exceptions, and new definitions of what “essential” is. I saw an extension of masks on the bus to masks all day as a natural and logical move.

It turns out that I was wrong.

6 thoughts on “Masking

  1. Doug, I’m sorry to hear this! Our Board has mandatory masks for JK-12, with the possibility of a mask exemption (no medical note required) if necessary. Almost everyone at school wears masks all day. Kids don’t need to wear masks outside, but since 2 m is a challenge, we encourage it when this distance is harder. The funny part is almost all of our kids stay masked anyway, and are great at wearing it all day long. We have to remind some children about covering their nose, but most know. In fact, more adults complain about the length of masking than kids. Teachers can work in mask breaks outside if needed, but I do wonder if this is a case where our assumptions around how kids will feel is different than the reality. Curious to hear if others find the same.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Kudos to your school district, Aviva. I understand that there was a great deal of unknowns in the very beginning but our understanding has evolved and matured since then. To steal a quote – that’s why they put erasers on pencils. I’m hoping that Trustee Burgess will be allowed to bring the motion back in January and that there is not spread until then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning Doug! Good morning Aviva!
    Well, yesterday (and the day before) I had the wonderful pleasure of spending most of the day engaging with a remarkable discipline called Science. Science, as you may know, is a formalized process which has existed for approximately 400 years, and informally for way longer than that. I remember as a kid enjoying the daily four-panel comic “BC,” and marvelling at how Thor managed to get that stone wheel moving without putting his feet to the ground the way Fred Flintstone had to with HIS Stone Age car.
    So. Science has been with us for a while…
    But I digress.
    I imagine you have seen how successfully SpaceX has been sticking the landings with their Falcon Nine booster rockets in recent years? It’s beauty in motion to watch a pair of Falcon Nine‘s landing safely back on earth simultaneously, near minutes after they launched upwards. Watching the third booster land out on the drone ship in the ocean moments later is just icing on the cake. Ever since I became aware of the fact that our generation benefitted from the huge push in the 60s to modernize science education (in response to Sputnik), I’ve been a convert. Science rocks! It’s a shame there are folks who don’t get it, or don’t subscribe to it, or simply want to ignore it.
    I’m not going to waste your time calling out Flat-Earthers, Anti-VAXer‘s, or Anti-Mask folks. I’m just going to redirect your attention back to yesterday’s Science.
    If you skip ahead in the SpaceX video to about the 1hr 48min mark, you can watch the launch, the flight to the intended 12,500m apogee, the engine shut-off, the beautifully controlled bellyflop glide back to the launch site, the incredible re-lighting of the raptor engines and pivoting of the bottom back underneath – – and the spectacular contact with the landing pad. Given that everything that happened above the 150m mark was a first, yesterday Science is profoundly impressive.


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