Masking Children is an Ineffective Policy and Not Supported by Research or Data

The intrepid @Robber_Baron_ (formally @OBusyBody) updates their masterful litany of studies showing masking kids is... dumb.

h/t @Robber_Baron_ (original Twitter thread)
cross-posted at RationalGround.com

18 months into the pandemic and it is still clear that masking children is an ineffective policy not supported by research or data. I’ve provided 2 sources for each claim below. I’ve also addressed the Delta variant and the more recent studies which have come to light.

  1. “Our data indicate that children are at far greater risk of critical illness from influenza than from COVID-19.” Source (JAMA Network)

  2. “Children and young people remain at low risk from COVID-19 mortality.” Source (OSF PrePrint)

  3. “…children are not the main drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.” Source (CMAJ Group)

  4. Children rarely transmit infection to others and more frequently have an asymptomatic or mild course compared to adults. Source (Journal of Medical Virology)

  5. Asymptomatic spread in long-exposure, household settings was less than 1%. Source (JAMANetwork)

  6. “…could not provide evidence for a relevant asymptomatic spread… in childcare facilities… in a low nor a high prevalence setting.” Source (MedRxIV)

  7. “For adults living with children there is no evidence of an increased risk of severe COVID outcomes” Source (MedRxIV)

  8. Increased household exposure to kids was associated w/ a smaller risk of testing positive or hospitalization w/ Covid Source (MedRxIV)

  9. “…we did not note any association between mask use and risk…” Source (The Lancet)

  10. “Evidence regarding the effectiveness of non-medical face masks for the prevention of COVID-19 is scarce.” Source (ECDC)

  11. “…people must not touch their masks, must change their single-use masks frequently or wash them regularly…” Source (BMJ)

  12. The effectiveness of high-grade masks for flue was linked to correct usage. Source (NIH)

  13. Children have a lower tolerance to wearing masks and may fail to use them properly. Source (ECDC)

  14. “…household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease.” Source (EID)

  15. “…it’s difficult for some autistic people to wear masks because of sensitivity issues,” Source (OAR)

  16. Deaf and Disabled children can feel isolated from other children and adults who are wearing masks. Source (The Guardian)

  17. “Extended mask-wearing by the general population could lead to relevant effects and consequences in many medical fields.” Source (MDPI)

  18. “Psychosocial, biological, and immunological risks for children and pupils…” Source (BMJ)

  19. School masks: face coverings could damage children’s speech development, warn scientists. Source (The Telegraph)

  20. “…wearing masks throughout the day can hinder language and socio-emotional development, particularly for younger children.” Source (AAP)

  21. A database tracking mask mandates has seen no clear benefit to masking children Source (Qualtrics Dashboard)

  22. “…the data shows that districts’ face covering policies do not impact the spread of the virus,” Source (FL Education Board)

  23. Delta does not seem to change the game No difference in risk of hospitalisation between Delta variant and Alpha Source (MedRxIV)

  24. The viral dynamics of the Delta variant are similar to those of Alpha. Source (MedRxIV)

  25. Studies in favor of school masking have been extremely flawed North Carolina study without a control group.Source (WSJ)

  26. CDC (MMWR) studies have numerous flaws. Source (Thread)