Masks protect schoolchildren

I am writing because of a letter to the editor I saw (“The madness of masks,” MyVillager Inbox, September 29). I disagree in every possible way. Even though we have to wear masks, we are still very friendly to each other and have lots of emotions (we are not turning into robots). I get to see my teacher smile every day at recess. The mask protects us from most viruses, including COVID-19. On my volleyball team, we have so much fun even though we have to wear masks. And since I’m 10, I’ll be getting my vaccination soon. The masks are actually protecting us and not hurting us.

Esme Murray, Grade 5

Plea from a retired surgeon

To the letter writer who claims that a school probably didn’t prevent the spread of the coronavirus by limiting spectators at a sports event and the letter writer who claims that non-medical masks have almost zero effect in halting the transmission of the virus (MyVillager Inbox, September 29): Where have you been living for the last year and a half?

Minnesota has had more than 700,000 cases of COVID-19 and 8,100 deaths due to COVID. Nearly 800 Minnesotans are hospitalized with COVID today. Any literature search shows that masks work well to keep respiratory virus from spreading. And although their death rate is far lower than the older population, 26 percent of the infections since late June have been in people younger than 19 years of age.

As for the letter writer who praises the unvaccinated for keeping our economy afloat and mocks us health professionals for our burnout and supposed lack of sympathy at the preventable loss of life, perhaps he’d like to work a shift or two in a COVID ICU and try to keep up with the work load. Watching previously healthy people die despite heroic care and notifying their families via phone or iPad is awful. We all thought that this tragedy would ease with the vaccine. Of course we saw self-inflicted disease and suffering in the past. That’s why we promote healthy diets, smoking cessation, daily exercise, routine medical care, dental health, etc. That’s why we promote the vaccine.

A plea to my neighbors from this retired surgeon: Get your information from actual medical and scientific sources, not social media. The novel coronavirus has killed millions of people. The delta variant is far more transmissible than the virus we first encountered in March 2020. COVID vaccines are free, safe and incredibly protective against serious illness and death. We share less air outdoors, so events are safer outdoors than indoors, especially for longer periods of time.

Kids are resilient and can wear masks while learning and playing. They can play sports and compete perfectly well without parents screaming in the stands. Adults should model the same intelligence and pluck, keeping their families safe while this pandemic works its way among us.


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Stop fighting the health professionals, agencies and schools that are doing everything they can to keep us safe while we all try to get back to a more normal social life. The sooner we embrace the solution, the sooner the masks can come off.

Dr. Cheryl Bailey
Merriam Park

Masks do work

Ms. Fuller makes several unsupported claims in her letter, “The Madness of Masks” (MyVillager Inbox, September 29). As a recently retired health care provider, I have spent 40-plus years providing science-based care to my patients. Masks clearly decrease transmission. We need everyone to wear one when it is proven to slow the spread. That is backed up by the science and public health experts. The delta variant of COVID-19 continues to cut swathes through the U.S. population. If we are to get back to a new normal, the science needs to be respected and followed.

James Levi 

The insanity of a moratorium

The article on those vying for Saint Paul School Board (MyVillager, September 29) was illuminating in at least one respect: whether the candidate opposes charter schools. It was nearly comical but actually sad to read the reasons given by those who oppose charters. My goodness, mom should be able to send her child to the school of her choice? When will the insanity end?

T.J. Sexton
Highland Park

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