Your letters for Aug. 24

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Ron Esch, Calgary

Masking can have side effects

Calgary public and Catholic school boards are going against recommendations made by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer and requiring mask use in schools by children from kindergarten to Grade 3. This decision makes one wonder whether these school boards have considered potential harms from masking in young children and whose interests they have at heart.

Every medical intervention has side effects. Masks are no different. Headache, breathing difficulties and worsening skin conditions are reported with mask use. But for young children learning to speak, read and socialize, it can also interfere with their language and social development. Young children are also less able to use masks safely and may contaminate themselves or others.

Requiring masks for children from kindergarten to Grade 3 may be an effective treatment for the anxiety teachers and parents experience about school re-entry, but may not serve the best interests of young children. Risks and benefits are carefully weighed by public health officials making back-to-school recommendations and their advice is worth heeding.

Dr. Vamini Selvanandan, Banff

Teachers who don’t want to work should be replaced

Teachers absolutely amaze me, they have had months that they sat at home collecting a full paycheck. Now with two weeks before school is to start, “won’t someone think of the children?” Wow, are these the same teachers that rely on calling the police, fire department, ambulance, etc.? The same teachers that when require doctors or emergency care, they expect service? The same teachers that take their children to the hospital expect nurses, doctors, technicians to be there for them? The same teachers that expect grocery workers, store workers, gas station workers to be there for them? I could go on and on about what they expect, but now it is too dangerous for them to go to work, even though they have been putting a lot of other people in danger. If a teacher does not want to do their job, let them sit at home without pay and replace them with people who want to think of the children.

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