It doesn't matter that the vast majority of the country has ended mask mandates. It doesn't matter that most (all?) of California has ended mask mandates. No, the major Sacramento newspaper editorial board thinks California's students should continue to breathe their exhaled breath for months to come:
Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s insistence that “the latest data and science” continue to guide his COVID policy, his administration’s abandonment of school mask requirements this week amounted to a bare-faced concession to strident voices and shortsighted politics. In the name of defusing the governor’s loudest critics and appeasing those insisting on convenience over caution, the decision will leave teachers and schools vulnerable to the vagaries of the virus and students susceptible to still more educational deprivation...
Two weeks after the state’s broader indoor mask mandate expired, Newsom nevertheless announced this week that he would drop the requirement for schools and child care centers as of March 12. The administration’s position is a departure from that of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises Americans to wear masks in schools and other indoor locations in places with high coronavirus transmission, including a majority of California counties.
Despite the vocal minority disrupting school board meetings across the state, the administration is also at odds with most Californians. According to a recent poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, nearly two-thirds of the state’s voters support requiring masks in schools, with even greater support among Black and Latino Californians, who have been disproportionately sickened and killed by the virus.
Even the governor appeared to be having an argument with his own policy. Although the administration will no longer require masks in classrooms, it continues to “strongly recommend” them — a regrettable attempt to have it both ways and let others sort out the mess.
I can think of 3 times the governor has been known to flout his own mask mandates, the first being the French Laundry episode. He clearly doesn't fear the 'rona, and neither do I, and I resent having to wear a face diaper just so that he can demonstrate his authority and others can demonstrate their ideological purity.
Too many Americans have been misled into mistaking minor public health precautions for an affront to their liberty and misconstruing selfishness as a fight for freedom. Our leaders should resist the urge to pander to such impulses and summon the courage to stand up for the well-being of the public and particularly the most vulnerable among us.
When freedom is a problem, that is a problem. There are two types of people in the world: those who want to tell others what to do, and those of us who just want to be left alone to live our lives. We clearly see what type of people sit on this particular editorial board.