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Keeping mask requirements in schools is smart policy


I am frustrated by the controversy about mask mandates in our schools. I know we all care about our kids. I know, likewise, that among parents there are different points of view on what they prefer to handle COVID in our schools.

The boards of education, however, have a duty to make policy based on what is in the best interest of all kids when it comes to providing a safe and healthy school environment. That is why keeping mask requirements in place is sound policy.

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The question of personal choice should not enter into the decision, since not wearing a mask could affect other kids if someone has COVID and is asymptomatic. We know COVID is contagious. We know it is airborne. We know the current Omicron strain has been shown to be extremely contagious.

This is not a situation in which the failure to wear a mask only affects the person without one. We know some people get very sick from COVID, and some have mild or no symptoms. Masks are not a guarantee that someone will not become infected or transmit COVID, but masks have been shown to reduce the likelihood of getting or transmitting the disease.

The only sound policy is to keep mask requirements in place while COVID is still prevalent.

To those who question the policy, erring on the side of mitigation is sound and clearly a better path than allowing an option that could have an adverse impact on others.

The health of all kids and others in our schools is clearly more important than changing a policy to accommodate some who don’t like it.

Elliott Hartstein, Northbrook

For-profit Postal Service is a selfish idea

Thanks for publishing U.S. Rep. Sean Casten’s op-ed demanding the Senate do its job and approve the appointees to the Postal Services’ Board of Governors. It is also important to address the fallacious assertion by Republicans that the U.S. Postal Service should be run like a private, for-profit business.

The Postal Service is a service of the government. It should be well-run, as should all taxpayer-funded civil services. To claim it should make a profit is another cynical attempt to undermine our democratic institutions, leaving only the wealthy who can “pay to play” in the private sector — for deliveries, for education, for insurance, for legal representation, for retirement, for transportation, etc.

Call it what it is. Pure selfishness.

Barbara Koenen, Hyde Park



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