Stop Mandating Masks for Children and our Youth

Stop Mandating Masks for Children and our Youth

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Sarah Atlasman started this petition to Governor Steve Sisolak

Masks should not be mandated for children and our youth. They depend on us for their safety, health, and well-being. Instead, we are causing immeasurable and detrimental emotional and psychological damage. We have seen an upsurge in devastating attempted suicides, especially among the youth, since the pandemic. Children are at low risk of infection, and there is no scientific data to prove that they are superspreaders of this virus. Our children are not a threat to society, and should not be treated as one. Please stop mandating masks for children and our youth.

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"The recent mask mandates have already begun to show psychological repercussions for children and adults, children being the highest concern. There is extensive scientific evidence supporting the idea that facemasks are mentally and physically harmful, showing that persistent use of face masks harms the cognitive development of children. It not only severely limits the expression of social cues, but more importantly, the regular use of masks causes adverse mental trauma by deindividualization, fear, and anxiety which disrupt the structure and development of the brain.

The repercussions have already become evident in schools, where teachers and caregivers have been instructed to wear clear face masks in order to prevent the emotional trauma and limited cognitive development from worsening in young children. The fact that this has been implemented shows that professionals are aware of the psychological harm which they are inflicting on children by wearing masks. Developmental psychologists state that “masks could delay learning,” and that this crucial reliance on faces and mouths for language development is “a learning tool in the same way that books are”. Removing the ability for children to process faces hinders their development of social cues which is verifiably harmful to them.

The effects of the persistent use of face coverings on human psychology has been studied for decades and has been shown to result in adverse mental trauma. American psychologist, Philip Zimbardo (1969) found evidence of deindividualization as a result of wearing face coverings. His studies showed “a reduced concern with social evaluation,” and a reduction of a person’s “threshold for expressing inhibited behaviors,” thus affecting their expression of “output behaviors.” Some observations included “possible memory impairments,” and even distortions of perception [7]. If face coverings cause adverse mental trauma in adults, then it is evidently detrimental to the psyche of children as well, not only because of the lack of individual identity which children need to flourish, but also in the sense of recurrent fear responses associated with the constant daily reminder that their friends and family are walking disease factories. Children need to sit and play with other children, and when they are not able to do so because of the fear adults have this poses a risk to children that is far more serious than catching a virus.

There is fluent data regarding the development of a deeper understanding of conditioned fear responses in humans of all ages; however, children are most susceptible to drastic cognitive decline as a result of consistently being in a state of fear and anxiety. The inhibition of proper social interaction and facial recognition has been shown to propitiate fear and anxiety amongst babies and children. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “babies experience stranger anxiety, clinging to parents when confronted by people they don’t recognize,” so subjecting babies to view parents and other adults with face masks on prevents the babies from recognizing the faces of the people around them which inherently causes the babies stress [14]. This is supported by other research and has been studied and documented for decades. According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, “science shows that exposure to circumstances that produce persistent fear and chronic anxiety can have lifelong consequences by disrupting the developing architecture of the brain” [22]. The cognitive development of children affects them for their entire lives, so even though society will heal from this pandemic, children may never heal. This pandemic of fear reaches far beyond conditioned fear responses. A few psychologists advise parents on how to safely break this news to children in a way that is less traumatizing; however, the fact that such drastic measures must be taken in order to coax children into wearing face masks should be evidence enough that the practice is harmful to them.

At the beginning of July, child psychologist Dr. Joe Ackerson told MSNBC’s WVTM13 News that parents should start gradually adjusting their children to the idea of wearing masks by making it “fun” and by putting the masks on teddy bears and toys. He also says that parents are called by their “faith, values, and beliefs” to have these difficult conversations with their children so that they become comfortable with the idea of wearing a face mask every day “for the betterment of other people.” This ideology is dangerous because it gets children used to the idea that they must be uncomfortable for the betterment of other people. The perspective that this mandate has to do with faith and values is accurate; however, the installment of mandatory masks rests on the blind faith that the government can make accurate assumptions without scientific evidence supporting it and faith that the government is advocating for the health and well-being of We The People. The reason Bill of Rights and the Constitution exist is because it is historically evident that governments rarely work for the best interests of the people, so the American Founding Fathers formulated a way for We The People to keep the government in check. By blatantly disregarding these documents, governors and legislators have directly impeded the liberties of autonomous individuals by mandating masks and have effectively implemented a psychologically damaging requirement. It has become apparent that the recent mask mandates are rooted not in science, but rather in what Kurt Riezler from the American Journal of Sociology calls “collective insecurity.” He explains that this as “the nightmare of modern industrial society,” that it “is a psychological phenomenon of some complexity. It is not merely the economic insecurity caused by mass unemployment.” This could easily be described as a condition eerily similar to what Americans are currently witnessing and experiencing. The palpable disregard for the development of children, in addition to the infringement of Americans’ God-given liberties, mask mandates can only be explained as an excuse to openly oppress individuals within this free society.

Consequently, the effect these unscientific mandates are proposing for children is immeasurable. There is more evidence supporting the short- and long-term risks of regular face mask use for children and for adults, so why are these guidelines still in place nearly 6 months into a pandemic. Getting children used to the idea of having to cover their faces is not normal and the children know it, so portraying it as the “new normal” is emotionally, mentally, and physically harming to children everywhere. It seems as though the real pandemic is fear, and it has proven to be more destructive than any illness. Today it is clearer than ever that the government has never and will never be on the side of We The People, so it is up to everyday citizens to protect the children within their communities from the tyranny which seeks to limit, plunder, and degrade what God has given each individual.'

Article: "Masks And Child Psychology" by Maria Buenano
https://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/masks-and-child-psychology/

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