The Religious Opt Out for Masks (Homeschool Co-op Edition)

I’m not sure you are following what the experts were actually saying.

For example, the original Andersen paper in Nature was trying to look at deliberate human engineering vs. naturally evolving. The evidence favored (and still does) the latter.

Here’s a recent summary in Science:

However, a lab leak is not out of the question. But that is a separate question from whether or not the virus naturally evolved or was deliberately engineered. It very well could have evolved naturally and escaped from a lab that was studying it by accident. Yet all of this is irrelevant for how we should presently deal with the virus.

Yes but that’s not a great example since we knew that number was high… because of scientific experts. Not some random person at the NYT who called the out. The CDC definitely had more issues last year for a variety of reasons but that isn’t an example of “experts getting it wrong.”

Okay, but you just are blazing right by your information we tried to tell you was wrong then (herd immunity claims) and handwaving it away saying “eh, the experts were wrong a lot too.” You haven’t provided many good examples and the people who were crazy about herd immunity last August were wrong in a very big and dangerous way. That misinformation likely led to many more infections and deaths than it needed to. Definitely a lot different than the CDC overstating a number, erring on the side of caution until they were able to review more data.


Yes, it was

We disagree on whether it is a good example. I think it is. The New York Times compared it to saying “there are fewer than 10,000 (I think that was the number) shark attacks each year.” The numbers were both true and extremely misleading. There are far fewer shark attacks than that, just as the “less than 10%) used a number that was a gross exaggeration.

That is not what I wrote. My point was that some parents will weigh all the negative impacts of masks against the low risk of COVID to children and decide the problems with masks outweigh the benefits. And the parents know their own children’s situation better than others do.

People weigh risk everyday. For example, 638 children (12 and under) died in car accidents in 2018, yet people still take children in cars.

So, the document you posted may have been influenced by people weighing the low risk to children against other factors.

They always use seatbelts as a law, which is perhaps a closer analogy. Going to school in a pandemic would be a closer one to compare to riding in a car, I think. What do you think? Thanks.


I think wearing masks for many hours over the face is much more difficult and disruptive than seat belts.

This is especially true for children.

Surgeons wear masks all day. Ask yours not to, for his own wellbeing, since you would be putting his welfare above your own, as you should.

Citation please. Children are more resilient than adults, and if wearing a mask when we go out among others is just something we do, well-parented children would be fine with it. Schoolchildren in other cultures can do it, no huge deal.

You are in effect showing callous disregard for frontline healthcare workers in ICUs and ERs, speaking of putting others before yourself, because they are stretched to the limit and beyond – fatigued, burned out, distressed, leaving the profession, depressed and suicidal, because of antimaskers’ and antivaxxers’ poor thinking.

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Neither of our opinions need citations.

And “freedumb?”

You were stating it as fact.

A fact. :slightly_smiling_face: I’ll edit it, however. Better now?

You don’t seem to have any real counterarguments.

Please read the first two words of my post again, these two: “I think…”

It is a fact that I think all day masking is especially hard on kids. Not all kids, but especially the children already challenged in school.

Why did you put it in a new paragraph? Yes, I agree – it is indeed your opinion. Special education needs special accommodation – that would be a given, I believe.

Do you have any real counterarguments?

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I have been encouraged not to repeat things that I have already clearly posted numerous times.

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I wonder if you have any advice for those of us who know people who won’t get vaccinated or mask? Everyone is wrong about things from time to time. To err is to be human, but to admit it for the common good is humane.

Rarely has there been so much misinformation and so much strident political support for a mistake as we’ve seen toward these important steps for ending the pandemic. So how can we help others to let go of their support for this popular mistake? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


I encourage people to get vaccinated, but I can’t force them.

I encourage the unvaccinated to wear masks, but I can’t force them.

My Aunt Jo passed away two days ago. She was unvaccinated. She was 85. She died from COVID. No one could force her to be vaccinated.

So I don’t have much advice.


I am so sorry to hear that. You know the sadness more than many of us do.



She had not been to the doctor in 60 years. She did not take any medication. She was quite healthy until 3-4 weeks ago.


I have a similar tale about my father in law who passed at 96 or 97. He had no trouble following medical advice and had regular physicals. But he took no routine medications until he was in his early 90’s. For a guy who is maxed out on prostate medications and takes something for cholesterol, I find that amazing. Lifestyle might have contributed as he cleared fallen trees off their private road and rented a splitter to provide him with firewood and kept up a productive vegetable garden the whole time he lived there. Early on in his retirement he had a Monterey fishing boat with which he caught salmon, crab and whatever was in season. He was a tough act to follow - my wife remembers him heating stones to warm their sleeping bags as a kid. I still miss his smoked salmon which became less sweet and salty every year and he’d never use farm raised. He’d been a machinist but functioned as a materials engineer back when vacuum tubes were big.


Thanks for sharing!

He sounds great.


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A brief update on this particular co-op. They made it two weeks before needing to shut down for the week. Kind of vague on details but it seems some parents sent their kids symptomatic with COVID-19 and one of the teachers (no vax or mask) taught multiple classes infectious. This kind of highlights why I personally don’t think giving parents and people personal choice here makes much sense. Since their “personal choices” negativity impact everyone. It’s kind of like the difference between drinking heavily in ones house vs. drinking heavily and going to drive.

Funny enough the scenario the CDC described happened:


My aunt used to say nothing bad can happen to you unless it is your time. That was before it became so easy to transmit deadly diseases to others, thereby losing your opportunity for live instruction.

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