Boston researchers: Masking children in schools can reduce effects of ‘structural racism’


Anchorage School Board President Margo Bellamy should take note: Masking of children in school may not do much to prevent an aggressive coronavirus like Covid-19 from spreading, and it may lead to suicide and poor educational outcomes. But one thing a universal mask mandate can do is reduce effects of racism in schools, according to leading researchers.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study laced with speculation and opinion in which the authors say universal masking policies in schools work, if ever so slightly, to contain the spread of Covid. At least that was what their 15-week study showed. Lifting mask mandates in schools led to an increase of 45 cases of Covid per 1,000 persons.

But wait, there’s more: “We believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities,” the researchers with doctorates said in the study summary.

“Districts that chose to sustain masking requirements longer tended to have school buildings that were older and in worse condition and to have more students per classroom than districts that chose to lift masking requirements earlier. In addition, these districts had higher percentages of low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who were English-language learners, as well as higher percentages of Black and Latinx students and staff. Our results support universal masking as an important strategy for reducing Covid-19 incidence in schools and loss of in-person school days. As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities,” the authors wrote.

“Among school districts in the greater Boston area, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded,” they continued. They wrote about historic oppression, structural racism, and settler colonialism, and that “Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children and adolescents are more likely to have had severe Covid-19, to have had a parent or caregiver die from Covid-19, and to be affected by worsening mental health and by educational disruptions than their White counterparts.”

The authors concluded that Covid-19 has helped lead to policies that will combat “structural racism codified in state-sanctioned historical and contemporary policies and practices (e.g., redlining, exclusionary zoning, disinvestment, and gentrification) eroded tax bases in some school districts and shaped the quality of public school infrastructure and associated environmental hazards. These processes left school districts differentially equipped to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and concentrated high-risk conditions, such as crowded classrooms and poor indoor air quality due to outdated or absent ventilation or filtration systems, in low-income and Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.”

The study was published in the Nov. 9 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication that is widely cited as a credible and accepted source for medical information that informs government policy.

“Understanding Covid-19 policy decisions requires attention to power and existing historical and sociopolitical contexts. Structural racism and racial capitalism operate through multiple pathways, including higher levels of household crowding and employment in essential industries and lower levels of access to testing, vaccines, and treatment; these structural forces differentially concentrate the risk of both SARS-CoV-2 exposure and severe Covid-19 in low-income and Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities,” the authors wrote.

The researchers are associated with Harvard and Boston University, as well as the Boston Public Health Commission, New York Public Health Department, and similar agencies: Tori L. Cowger, Ph.D., M.P.H., Eleanor J. Murray, Sc.D., M.P.H., Jaylen Clarke, M.Sc., Mary T. Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., Bisola O. Ojikutu, M.D., M.P.H., Sarimer M. Sánchez, M.D., M.P.H., Natalia Linos, Sc.D., and Kathryn T. Hall, Ph.D., M.P.H.


  1. It’s all about control–period. What’s difference between the mask and a muzzle. None at all…

    And the virus mitigation is a canard. The graphs of infections flowed like any virus–regardless of the muzzle–I mean ‘mask’…

  2. If you have an ‘ugly’ kid with: bad breath, crooked teeph, and a foul mouth … It’s much appreciated to keep the mask-n-muzzle affixed.

  3. High enough vitamin D has always been the key, BY FAR — for depression for students and teachers too!

    Many peer reviewed studies since spring of 2000 have proven high enough D solves Covid for most!

    Most Alaskans are below the beginning of normal range — and NO ONE is saying anything, still!!

    This is an easily solvable TRAGEDY!

    Big Pharma lies by commission and omission — “love of money” driven.

    • Jeff-I noticed all the virus deniers who Bronson brought to that church event were tied to money making strategies to sell products supporting anti-virus folks.

      But they didn’t tell you that. They lied by omission

      • Ha ha! “anti-virus”. Does that mean that you are PRO-virus? Actually, that would make sense… libs love control and that virus served them well.

        • I believe that the virus is real. And a million+ people died because of it.

          You know liberal means one can see from different view points.

          You here are the one who brought up control. YOU saw maska as control. I saw them as a tool to intervene in a public health emergency.

          • No Maureen. You find every way to bury your head in the sand and to point fingers at who disagree with you. You say follow the money and then turn a blind eye to what big pharma has been doing for decades only because they have been successful at fooling you and you don’t want to realize it. Good grief. Do you know what is way more effective than masks? Loads of things. Did you hear about them? No because masks became the line in the sand of either you agree with the left and the media or YOUR MURDERS!!! Your kind of stupefying arrogance I’m really losing my patience for.

            I don’t know if you have noticed, but unless you live under a rock, your point of view has been forcefully crammed down the throats of everyone without any tolerance and it has been proven to be reckless and divisive and destructive and ineffective, but you keep just plowing ahead because you no longer have any control of what your subconscious fears so much: being so wrong when acting so right. Guess what, the emperor is completely naked and you have been making a fool of yourself while condemning the people that have more wisdom than you. You will never admit it, but I see it clear as day and so does many many people.

            You aren’t liberal at all. You calling yourself a liberal is like a totalitarian regime calling the people that resist oppressors.

  4. This is the most moronic thing I’ve read in ages
    Is this a case of changing definitions? “Structural racism”?! What structural racism? No examples were pointed out here. The main ‘example’ used is of students in lower economic (poorer) districts. Ok, but that’s nothing remotely like structural racism. That would be rules or procedures in an organization put in place to slow or stop the progress of a group of people. Last I checked there are no rules preventing any ethnic group from pursuing ANYTHING whether rich or poor. There are no rules stopping a student from learning. No rules stopping a citizen from excelling at a job. Simply put, there is no ‘structural racism’ in America. Some of us may have an easier path in life due to economics or social status but that, in no way, defines us. My own life proves anyone can reach high goals. I should have been stuck on a midwest farm for my entire life. No money for schooling and limited skills. I took stock and decided to improve myself. With no money (and a wife and kid) the only way to pay for college was to join the military. That means hardships like low pay and separations from my family. Once out, I went to college while living as cheaply as possible to pay bills. The end result of these sacrifices and some plain hard work is that I was able to chose to live in Alaska and I now own a business. I’ll never be a millionaire but I certainly am living better now than I was ever expected to as a kid. According to the article above, I should have been limited to being stuck working on a farm for my entire life. Anyone in America knows that getting ahead requires lots of work and sometimes sacrificing fun/pleasure for the sake of advancing your life and career. And nowhere does racism figure into that idea. Just ask soldiers in a combat zone.

    • Amen. Well said and thank you. Both my husband and I came from financially struggling upbringings and all of our educational and career pursuits were by our own effort. Newlyweds in our early 20’s we lived in an apartment in Mt. View, drove a car that had the clutch wired together with a coat-hanger, and both worked and went to school at UAA. We never asked for, nor expected, nor received one penny of public assistance and neither of our families had the means to help us. The ‘experts’ touting such foolish findings are indeed educated idiots and those that thrive on such moronic proclamations need to grow up and take self responsibility. No one is keeping you from success except yourself.

    • So you used a government program to get ahead? Would you say you generally frown on people using government programs when stuck in life like you were?

      Paul, are you by coincidence caucasion? Education is NOT the main example of structural racism.

  5. What the holy h—??? Why not just put paper bags over children’s heads??? That way, they won’t have to put any effort into learning tolerance!!!

    • That question was clearly answered during Covid. And given an exclamation point in the recent elections.

      Most people are sheep. Proudly.

  6. Why not just gouge their eyes out? That will really reduce their ability to be racist.

    The degrees some left institutions go to justify their agendas is impressive. Vulgar, but impressive. Gotta abuse those kids. Especially white ones.

    Party of science my backside.

  7. Nothing but more stupidity they keep spewing. It just goes to show what is right vs. what is wrong. More propaganda is all this is. Keep showing how moronic the narrative they are touting is.

  8. Ridiculous conjecture put forth by folks who have too much time on their hands, and who have drunk too much liberal Kool-Aid. The majority of us on the Left don’t and won’t buy such wacky ideas.

    But, you know, it’s no wackier than any of the following widely-held beliefs:

    – Trump actually won the election.
    – Covid vaccines will hurt or kill you.
    – Masks don’t work.
    – Space lasers start forest fires.
    – Q Anon (no further detail necessary)
    – More guns make us all safer.
    – Antifa was behind January 6.

    • WoudbeTheSmog, the so-called Covid “vaccines” (sic), which are not actually vaccines, have been proven by all the evidence, and by innumerable scientific data, to in fact hurt and kill many who ignorantly took them — not all, but a VERY significant percentage, far higher than the percentage hurt or killed by any previous (and actual vaccine). Why don’t you “trust the science”, Whidbey?
      And for the record, public mask wearing is completely ineffectual in preventing disease transmission, and has been proven to be so by studies going back to at least the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919. But again, you radical leftists would rather engage in some weird cultist mass-virtue-signaling, and demand that everyone else conform to your insanity, than to “follow the science”.

  9. The idea behind the opinion is that people of color are poor and have no chance of equality. It’s we mask all then nobody will get a good education so all will be poor. Thus the socialist utopian goal of equity.

  10. Your body needs all the oxygen that air provides.
    Want to be sick, wear a mask for extended periods. Testing done under these masks shows that it provides a unsafe breathing space. If your afraid to be around children wear a fitted N95 mask, perhaps a double.
    I went to that church maurreen was referring to, didn’t feel I needed to buy anything? Learned a significant amount of useful information and had lunch. A donation was accepted but not required.

    • Look up the folks brought to that church Reed. They are all making buck from their appearances and additional products they promoted, whether you left a donation or not.

      • …and???
        Making a living is not illegal, in fact a great many liberals make considerable bank with speaking engagements (Bill and Hillary come to mind). So what’s your point? People can only support causes you approve off? The one power the people have left is to vote with their donations and purchases. Have you supported MRAK lately???

        • When folks make money floating unproven medical claims to unsuspecting folks, yeah it’s concerning.

          As for your jump to political figures-How much did coney-Barratt make at the Federalist Society-who were clearly behind her and a few others getting onto the Supreme Court? What did Jarrod do to get the billions fromthe Saudis he did on the way out of tfg’s administration? Or Sen Sullivan and his illegal foolery with his stock in the world’s largest Atlantic Salmon farm? Yes, ANY political figures breaking a law should be held accountable.

  11. What the F is “structural racism?”
    Surely in a country as completely racist and bigoted as the USA is, according to the “woke” people, there should be millions of examples of actual racism. You know real world examples of individuals being harassed, fired, or violently attacked because of the color of their skin. But, I do not see news articles about that.
    So, “structural racism” was created? Seriously, what is it?

    • They wouldn’t agree with calling it racism. I was told I couldn’t have a job I interned for, because I was” too white” the department chief would “only hire Asians” like himself

  12. They want to end “whiteness” at all costs. Just as Islam marginalizes women with face coverings, so they want to marginalize whites by shaming, covering, silencing…
    Sadly, many white (oh the shame) liberal parents will gladly comply and cover their children’s faces. But hey, at least they didn’t abort them.

  13. Maureen
    First off: why is my race a concern for you? Please explain. I care not what race you are or claim to be.
    Secondly: Are you claiming that since I went into the military that I availed myself of a ‘government program’?! Even you are not THAT ignorant!

    • Never underestimate how ignorant progressives can be.

      This is the same group that thinks a country can tax its way to prosperity, men can be women, and the mutilation of children is an act of love.

      And my personal favorite: denying history somehow changes it.

  14. Understanding our own biases is basic to understanding what racism is. Your comment said you have little belief in structural racism, but want more information. A belief held most commonly by isolated non-minority (caucasion/white) populations. You haven’t experienced it as youdid not mention you had, but still said it didn’t exist. Perhaps talk with folks who have experienced it. Or wonder-where is the 3.5% African American representation in local and state government. Why don’t we have 16% representation of Native Alaskans in those positions. If you are gonna say not enough qualify as candidates, ask yourself who makes the determination of candidacy quality and who does it benefit?

    It may help to understand better to ask yourself how come our governmental bodies are still mostly white guys? And why are guy politicians making laws about women’s bodies? I can’t believe you can’t see this.

    I paid for that military career of yours, that step up and off the farm you took. Happlily because the welfare of the people is enhanced by defense-which ultimately you did. I’m good doing what I can to help my neighbor get a step up.

    The military is pretty much the biggest program in the US, especially in benefitting poor individuals and families. I can’t believe you would have a military career and be that ignorant not to know that. Remember-you would be back on the farm if not for the US government.

    If you were drafted it’s different. I did not read in your comment.

    • “The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them.”

    • “Or wonder-where is the 3.5% African American representation in local and state government. Why don’t we have 16% representation of Native Alaskans in those positions. If you are gonna say not enough qualify as candidates, ask yourself who makes the determination of candidacy quality and who does it benefit?”
      Gee, I do not know Maureen. Where are they?
      Why are African Americans NOT running for office? Why are the Native Alaskans NOT running for office? I do not know whether or not they are qualified to hold the office until they run for the office. Stephanie Taylor ran for office, but was defeated by Forrest Dunbar. Curiously, Dunbar, a huge advocate of minority rights, did not drop out of the race in order to ensure a black woman won the seat. Talk about racism…
      If you are a minority or native, and you want to get a job the first step is to apply for the job. If the natives and minorities are not running for the office, they cannot be elected. This should not be a difficult concept for you to grasp. Mary Peltola ran for Congress, and got elected. Structural racism did not keep her out of office.
      Why are our governmental bodies still mostly white guys. Because they are the ones running for office. If you think there needs to be more representation by minorities, women, or whatever, start getting the run for office. Can’t be elected without being a candidate.
      Why are male politicians making laws about women’s bodies? Because women are not running for office in sufficient numbers to run the country. See, it is a simple question to answer, if you stop assuming there is some vast conspiracy to keep people down.
      Maury Suttman

    • Sorry I kind of glossed over this:
      “If you are gonna say not enough qualify as candidates, ask yourself who makes the determination of candidacy quality and who does it benefit?”
      I will not say not enough qualify as candidates. As I noted above, not enough run.
      But, I do know who determines qualifications. The voter. The process is simple: A person declares they want to run for office, and they file the correct paperwork. If needed, they gather signatures. The campaign, and if no one supports them, they drop out. If they get sufficient support, they end up on the ballot.
      The voters determine qualifications. I am not surprised you did not realize this, because you are so convinced that your numbers indicate racism, instead of minority disinterest in running for office.

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