By DANIEL SMITH
Dear Anchorage School Board Members and Superintendent Bishop,
First let me thank you for the Sept. 15, 2021 recognition of your internal data that demonstrates very few positive Covid-19 cases relate to close contacts and the change in your protocol that would have previously quarantined close contacts. I’m glad to see ASD using good data and moving in the right direction, finally.
I am also in receipt of your Oct. 1, 2021 letter to all ASD families. In that letter you state “As we begin to wrap up the first quarter of the school year, our COVID mitigation protocols have proven to be effective.”
This is an unscientific declaration. You have no control group with which to compare your experiment, an experiment on our children.
In that same letter, you asked for parental support “to partner in bolstering our students’ growth and development behaviorally, emotionally, and of course, academically.”
These are typically parental responsibilities I agree. I propose that these responsibilities would be made easier if our children were allowed a normal educational experience without the false promise of a non-protective mask that does not stop aerosols and virus sized particles.
You are requiring children to suffer hour after hour, day after day in an oppressive and unhealthy mask that is nothing more than a virtue signaling device in relation to the virus.
Your letter states, “We see struggles manifesting in elementary schools with student outbursts, including tears and tantrums. In our middle and high schools, students are acting out at times with harsh language and disrespect to adults and each other. Staff also report more physical altercations among students. Please remind your students that violence in our schools will not be tolerated.” Well you might want to ask yourself what’s different about this year. Maybe breathingone’s own recirculated air for 8 hours a day in an oxygen deprived environment might be a contributing factor?
I read in your letter the following, “This pandemic has in many ways brought division to our nation, state, and municipality. ASD is a microcosm of our community; if prejudice and discrimination exist in our community, it most likely will rear its ugly head in our schools.”
While I believe this is more of a set up for the introduction of Critical Race Theory in our schools, I must correct your erroneous statement: It is not the pandemic that has divided anything. It is our response to the pandemic that has caused the division of our community. If you take walk through any store today you will see about a 50/50 split of people who choose to wear masks and those who do not. Everyone is content, no one is acting out and people are freely and calmly going about their business. Masks are optional right now, outside of school.
I don’t know how much longer this mandatory mask farce will be tolerated. What I do know is that you are telling 43,555 enrolled ASD students that they are disease-carrying incubators and that they should be afraid of all other people as they are dangerous and this could lead to their untimely demise by associating with others.
Reference the following National Covid Survival Rate from the CDC for the period Jan. 1, 2020 through Sept. 11, 2021.
Children do very well against this virus. They have strong healthy immune systems. I understand there have been no COVID deaths in Alaska for age group 0-19 years.
As a reminder, you the ASD school board and Superintendent are doing this to our children. Nobody else. This is all on you. You have been elected or hired to make good rational decisions that benefit the students enrolled here. I question your authority to make personal medical decisions for students and staff. You are not doctors. Your reliance on CDC guidance should be reconsidered.
We need you to use common sense and logic along with your ability to observe what is actually happening in our schools and going on around you. The kids will only be hurt with chronic mandated masking. It is not healthy to wear a mask for 8 hours a day.
I refer you to Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink’s position on mask problems when she summarized the ill effects of breathing through a warm moist mask for hours on end day after day, the bacteria they collect and that the wearer rebreathes.
Mandates transfer responsibility to you as they are your creation and you are responsible for any damage they bring.
The current situation is not tolerable. If this is such a deadly virus and masks worked, then why are celebrities and politicians immune from the same requirements you are imposing on our kids in Anchorage? I didn’t watch the Emmy awards or attend Barack Obama’s birthday party, but I saw pictures after the fact and there was not a mask to be found, except on the servants. This is a farce. You know it. I know it. We all know it. This is not a health mandate. It is political and medical tyranny for the purpose of power and control.
Children need to see each other children’s faces and their teacher’s faces in order to develop speech, expression and emotional connections. Teachers and students need to hear each other to communicate and learn. Masks inhibit communication. Wearing a mask day after day is very unhealthy both mentally and physically. We are at risk of raising a generation of kids who think this is normal. The mask policy is definitely not normal and very likely damaging to kids as well as adults. These masks are not meant to be worn all day, every day.
Following is from a 2020 article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology.
Long term mask wearing is attributed to slowing thinking and loss of concentration.
Healthy adults are able to safely raise their pulse and breathing for short periods to levels much higher than the increases seen with masks. Indeed, temporary pulse, breathing, and blood CO2 increases are healthy and beneficial effects of physical exercise.
The argument that masks are therefore safe for healthy adults, however, ignores health problems associated with long-term, chronic mask use. According to data reviewed by the German scientists, “[e]ven slightly but persistently increased heart rates encourage oxidative stress” and arteriosclerosis.
Even “slightly increased breathing rates over long periods,” the German scientists note, may cause “high blood pressure, cardiac dysfunction and damage to blood vessels supplying the brain.” Over extended periods of time, “small increases in carbon dioxide in the inhaled air” have been linked with asthma, high blood pressure, and neurological problems.
Other harmful effects of mask wearing show up much quicker. In 2020, Chinese scientists reported experimental results with human test subjects using multiple common mask types, including surgical masks and N95s. They
found significant impaired thinking or concentration after only 100 minutes of mask use, correlating significantly with reduced blood oxygen levels in the test subjects.
The 2020 article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology reported that 24 percent of 343 surveyed medical staff, who wore a mix of surgical and N95 masks while working their shifts, began to experience impaired cognition from one to four hours after starting their shifts. Readers of all professions who have been forced to mask up at work during the pandemic might sympathize with the article’s conclusion: “Wearing masks for a prolonged amount of time causes a host of physiologic and psychologic burdens and can decrease work efficiency.”
Please retract the mask mandate, resist the pressure to issue future such mandates and be the good example of wise and thoughtful leaders that we need you to be right now.
Masks are unnecessary and unhealthy. We need to immediately move to a voluntary mask policy.
Dan Smith is a lifelong Alaskan and Anchorage resident. The Anchorage School Board meets on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 6 pm. ASD staff and members of the public are required to wear a face covering while inside the ASD Education Center (5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd 99504). More information on how to attend, testify, or watch online is at this link.