Mandatory masks in school are a ‘major threat’ to children’s development, doctors warn
Wednesday, 09 September 2020
The face mask requirement at school is bad for children’s general well-being and should be abolished, 70 doctors wrote in an open letter to Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts.
The doctors want Weyts to immediately reverse his approach: no face mask requirement at school, only protect the at-risk group and only advise people with a possible risk profile to consult their doctor.
“In recent months, the general well-being of children and young people has come under severe pressure,” the letter’s authors said. “We see in our practices an increasing number of children and young people with complaints due to the rules of conduct that have been imposed on them.”
The doctors mentioned anxiety and sleep problems as well as behavioural disorders and germaphobia, which is a pathological fear of germs. They are also seeing an increase in domestic violence, isolation and deprivation.
“Mandatory face masks in schools are a major threat to their development. It ignores the essential needs of the growing child. The well-being of children and young people is highly dependent on emotional attachment to others,” they wrote.
According to them, “the face mask requirement makes school a threatening and unsafe environment, where emotional closeness becomes difficult.”
Moreover, “there is no large-scale evidence that wearing face masks in a non-professional environment has any positive effect on the spread of viruses, let alone on general health. Nor is there any legal basis for implementing this requirement.”
“Meanwhile, it is clear that healthy children living through Covid-19 heal without complications as standard and that they subsequently contribute to the protection of their fellow human beings by increasing group immunity”.
“The only sensible measure to prevent serious illness and mortality caused by Covid-19 is to isolate individual teachers and individual children at increased risk,” they said.
“This risk assessment is not the task of the Ministry of Education,” the doctors underlined, “but the task of the treating physicians in consultation with their patients.”