By Brad kava
One of the most important stories you’ll read in our Back to School issue is an interview with Faris Sabbah, the man in charge of keeping some 42,000 K-12 students safe.
The biggest news from him is that students will have to be masked until at least November when the state will decide if that’s still a requirement.
This should be a no-brainer. Medical experts see a second, more contagious wave of Covid sweeping the country and if students are going to be learning in person wearing a mask is a sensible precaution to keeping them and their families safe.
But some are challenging Sabbah and the district, claiming that the requirement violates childrens’ right to breathe. We have to hand it to him for keeping a level head while the squawking minority of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers belittle and challenge the ruling.
Look, we all hate masks. And the recent reprieve from them has been a breath of fresh air, literally. But we also realize that the common good supersedes personal comfort. Kids already can’t go to school without vaccines for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Parents can’t drive kids on a school trip without a tuberculosis test.
We give up certain freedoms for the greater good. Seatbelts are uncomfortable, but we are required to wear them. We can’t smoke in public buildings or outside them.
Why wearing a mask or getting a vaccine is any different for some people confounds us. We do know that in the last century science has proven correct on vaccines and we have eliminated terrible diseases and increased life expectancy by levels no one could have expected a century ago.
To suddenly make masks and vaccines a political issue—and really, that’s what’s happened and it would take more space than we have here to analyze why—is a huge step away from a healthy future and back toward the dark ages.
So, thanks Faris and all county and state administrators who are looking out for the safety of our children and ignoring the blathering of a loud, uneducated minority.
Some of our other greatest hits this issue: How do you pick your kids’ shoes and why do we know so little about them? We’ve got several moms who make a difference, including one who has invented a fast-growing health bar.
Did you know a very big new movie was written right here by a grandfather?
What was it like to grow up in Santa Cruz 90 years ago? Find out first hand. Is your kid anxious about returning to in-person school? We’ve got tips to help.
This is a big issue and an important time as kids head back to class during a pandemic we hoped was gone…but isn’t.
Let us know your thoughts at [email protected]
And thanks for reading.
Brad Kava, Jennifer Ford
and Steve Dinnen