It’s time to face off again!
For most students in the country’s largest school district, it will be the first time they have shown their faces fully in a classroom since early 2020, when many went virtual and then eventually masks became mandatory.
“We want to see our kids’ faces, we want to see their smiles,” Mayor Eric Adams said Friday of lifting the K-to-12 child requirement.
“We want to see how happy they are. We want to see when they’re sad so we can be there to comfort them.”
New York City School Chancellor David Banks previously emphasized that the decision on whether to wear a mask “is made by the parents and their families.”
“You don’t need an endorsement from me,” Banks said.
United Federation of Teachers chief Mike Mulgrew called Adams’ mask decision “responsible.”
“Our doctors agree with the city’s medical experts that this is the right time to safely transition from a mask-mandated to an optional mask system,” Mulgrew said.
Monday’s option to discard masks in class comes amid a raft of other mandates being relaxed, bringing the city back to normal as much as possible since the pandemic began spreading two years ago.
This includes eliminating the need to show proof of vaccination when entering Big Apple restaurants, gyms and indoor venues.
“People need to get out and enjoy our city again,” Adams said, promising to reinstate “every parade, every festival, every block party” to keep NYC from “getting so boring.”
However, masks are still required on public transport at Broadway shows.
And – most controversially – they are still required for early school learners aged 4 and under, the only group who cannot be vaccinated at this time.
The verdict is expected to spark protests at City Hall on Monday morning.
Adams had said he was retaining the already controversial mandate because he “would rather have people complaining against me than . . . losing my babies in our town.”
However, data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that only 0.1% to 1.5% of COVID cases in children resulted in hospitalization and 0.00% to 0.01% resulted in death.
“It’s a blatant lie that children under the age of 5 have higher hospitalization rates,” said parenting activist Daniel Jampel. “Anyone with a computer and the internet can go to the CDC website and see that hospitalization rates for adults over 50 are orders of magnitude higher than for children under 5.”
It’s not just the city making big changes, but counties in Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Albany are halting mask mandates following Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision Abolition of the national requirementciting a dramatic drop in COVID-19 infections and new federal guidelines.
New Jersey’s statewide school mask mandate is now also over, and
Neighbors of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont also relaxed mask rules for schools starting this week.
Even some of those who witnessed the full brutality The early destruction of COVID-19 in the city feel that the time is right.
“My experience was one of tragedy, depression and suffering,” said Tim Okamura, who saw refrigerated morgues on his Brooklyn street in March 2020 when he also fell ill.
But “I’m tired of going into stores and putting on a mask or forgetting my mask,” he said, noting the city now has the experience that would hopefully kick in during future surges.
“If anything else happens, well, we know the drill. We can always go back.”
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/nyc-lifts-school-mask-mandates-vaccine-requirements-today/ NYC lifts school mask mandates and immunization requirements today