SAINT ANTHONY – As COVID-19 rises amid an ongoing mask mandate feud, parents and others share why they support or do not support masks in area schools.
School districts in San Antonio and surrounding counties have had meetings on mask mandates in recent weeks. During the public commentary, many of those opposed cite Pro-Choice. Others provide their own data and research.
According to local health professionals, those who oppose the masks’ mandates have three main arguments: the masks are not very effective, we should develop natural immunity, and there is a low risk to children.
Dr Ruth Berggren of the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and epidemiologist Dr Jason Bowling say these claims are misleading.
“Of course, they’re not 100% effective. You are going to do two things to maximize your safety in this car – you are going to wear a seat belt and you are going to watch out for the speed limit. And you know very well that doing those two things doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have an accident or that you won’t get hurt or that you won’t be killed. But, you know, these things work because they improve your odds and improve your safety. Well, we have things like seat belts and speed limits, and he wears that mask and he gets the shot, ”Dr Berggren said.
In terms of natural immunity, Dr Bowling said that antibodies to the previous strain of COVID-19 are simply not enough to offer protection against the delta variant.
“What we have learned over the past few months is that people who have already been infected with COVID-19 and who have developed natural immunity and antibodies from natural infection, unfortunately, are not protected against this new delta variant, ”said Dr Bowling. .
“People who had just recovered from COVID by relying on this natural immunity were twice as likely to contract COVID again than people who were fully vaccinated,” added Dr Berggren.
And, with children under 12 unable to get vaccinated, Dr Bowling said this delta strain is causing serious illness and hospitalizations among the younger population.
“Although children on the whole suffer from less serious illnesses than adults, if you have enough sick children, a percentage of them will still end up in the hospital. And unfortunately some die, ”said Dr Bowling.
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