Your Name, Address, Contact
To Whom this Must Concern:/or/specific name
A group of SF parents have determined that our children need to be wearing their well-fitted and high-quality masks, while indoors, at all times.
This “all times” refers to all times, with no exception.
We, as parents, are ready and willing to support creative options for how our children will eat their snacks and lunch during school hours. We hope you would allow us to work with you, (principal, superintendent, cabinet secretary, etc- >choose one), and speedily, to solve the problem of great risk that eating indoors poses to our children and family.
We have been listening to experts and science and have seen no evidence in the slightest that respiratory droplets and aerosols would stop exiting an infected person’s mouth while they eat. Nor, would those aerosols floating in the air with virus particles stop entering a person’s mouth while eating. If you have any evidence of this protection that the act of eating gives a person, please do inform us of a specific study that has shown such.
Meanwhile, what we know is public and evidenced by now: the SARS-CoV-2 virus does travel from one’s mouth/nose out into the air in respiratory droplets and aerosols and can linger in the air (not fall, because it is not weighty enough) for many hours; they will travel around the airspace too.
One expert we can site is Dr. Jefferey Goldhagen MD MPH, University of Florida, who was interviewed both on MSNBC in early August and then in a follow-up interview with our own local, Keren Abrams, for her “In Community” series of the Santa Fe Mediation Center’s programs. He is alerting that crisis times require the most innovative solutions.
Additionally, Dr. Donald K. Milton at the University of Maryland has been leading extensive research into aerosol transmission of this specific virus and has been an expert in the field of aerosols and infectious disease for decades. The product of his team’s extensive research with clear and explicit conclusions can be seen here>
We parents see that sensible options for eating during school hours, particular to Santa Fe climate, could be as follows:
Outdoor picnic-style eating, with blankets/sheets, in pairs or very small groups.
would require temperate days, and good layers for chilly/windy mid-season
donations of old but intact blankets/sheets
choosing pairs/small groups according to kin, cousins, or friends we often meet with outside of school
Outdoor Sheltered eating
would require fund-raising. Stable party-tents, 10×20, cost approx.. $200-400
would require a weekend-work day or evening with volunteers to build
Tables or picnic-style
choosing pairs/small groups according to kin, cousins, or friends we meet with outside of school too
3 sides closed with one open, children wearing outdoor gear, would provide nearly every day through winter, enough wind, precipitation and cold protection.
On extreme weather days, parents could opt to keep children home
Eating outdoors could be one option and a parent could inform the school with a simple permission slip as to what they choose. Some might choose their children to continue eating indoors.
We parents would like to be helpful to create the best option at our specific school.
However, this letter is clearly informing that our specific children are not permitted to remove their masks indoors for any reason, with no exceptions.
We are ready and eager to discuss and implement solutions.
Please contact us/me at by phone/email/ etc to move forward. If we do not hear back by xxxx date, we will be calling you regularly to move this solution forward ASAP.
Thank you for your concern for our children’s health and wellbeing.
Get in the know and help educate your school community. Not any mask is protective in either direction. FIT matters! (so does filtration level but we can start with fit:-)
see sample letter in PDF below –
Scientists who work within well-established, respected Institutions in public health and epidemiology as well as in aerosol science are pleading with us to hear the evidence and promulgating information via major publications and video recorded medical conferences. I urge that anyone who leads a community right now should listen directly to the scientists and use-evidence base that they and their community can know and understand, both, when forming policy.
It is abundantly evident that any governmental organization has numerous varied motives that drive their covid safety guidance to us. Sadly, only a fraction of those motives are to protect public health and far less of their motives are for protecting an individual’s health. Like mine. Or my children’s.
Anyone who leads any community at any level of leadership has the responsibility to protect their constituents, as well as educate them accurately. We entrust our local leaders of schools, work and community centers to think thoroughly, and with discernment to synthesize information when they make policy that our health depends on.
A prime example: we have known since the early days of being directed by scientists that “Your mask protects the others more than it protects you.” This fact we heard repeatedly and it has only been more backed-up by scientists and never disputed by any study with any evidence.
Thus, very obviously, leaders who lead with integrity cannot about-face to allowing individuals to choose their PPE “by their individual risk-assessment.” This idea is plainly absurd when considered with the scientific facts regarding PPE.
Guidance that we now act on the basis of our “individual risk tolerance”, streaming currently from governmental organizations we could only logically see as suspect in terms of motivation to message this way.
The fact was and continues that with a virus filling rooms in aerosols, your mask protects the others around you, more so than it protects you. So, obviously –
your individual choice regarding PPE, effects the others around you primarily.
We do now have N95 level respirators available to the public. Let’s consider that fact further. N95 respirators are NOT available to children, of any age. Respirators are NOT synonymous with masks. They do NOT always fit every adult without leaks. Adults are NOT commonly testing their fit with any means at all, but no one in the public domain has the option to check their N95 respirator fit with precise means as they do in hospital settings.
Very simply and obviously, universal masking in indoor public spaces is the only way to protect each individual in those spaces from being exposed to and maybe infected by the COVID-19 virus.
Now people ask: why do we want to be protected from this virus since we have vaccines now?
The reasons are numerous and serious to consider:
1. The demand for the available pharmaceutical therapeutics far out-weighs the supply at current
2. At any moment a new variant can appear that evades the vaccine. No one is doing active and wide scale surveillance; therefore, a new variant will circulate widely before it is detected by public health experts
3. Long Covid Disease is a massive concern in the Medical field right now. Anywhere between 10-30% of ALL infections (asymptomatic or otherwise) have folks with symptomology that is long-term, still inexplicable, effecting any organ system, and frequently debilitating …with no cures even on the horizon. The studies reporting on these facts and the medical conferences to consider them are extensive by now. Data about if and how much the vaccine protects from long-covid is still sketchy.
Any leader in any community can indeed, even in these unprecedented times, show themselves to be a true leader rather than an incognito follower. Following the masses’ “general opinion,” including soliciting opinions by superficial surveying, or blindly following the governmental bodies at federal, state and local levels are now no-less-than reckless behavior. We have at our fingertips scientific evidence to show us what are prudent, socially responsible policies. Those promulgating their evidence are working hard to let us know.
I beg every leader, at all levels, to be wise, socially conscious and evidence-based in all prevention policies.
And, more importantly, I wish to inspire each leader, to ignite your intrinsic motivations to lead, particularly in communities of children. Your motivations to choose this position in your community must have been born from a rich desire to do good. Any level leaders have that opportunity to rise and do right in these wild times, despite the mountain that might need to be climbed. Their courageous leadership will surely save both lives and livelihoods.
Dr. Michael Osterholm of The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Prevention is a place to start, very accessible and obviously fully reputable.
I have clips from him and others, excerpts of larger interviews, available at this playlist on Youtube.
I have extensive files with links to written and recorded scientific research on all of the above facts ready to share onward, as well.
Thanks for your attention!