Forcing pupils to wear facemasks in the classroom is dystopian and critics should not be smeared as Covid-deniers, children’s author Julia Donaldson has said. The Times has the story.
The creator of The Gruffalo said that she feared the use of face coverings in schools was becoming normalised and that children’s education should not be “sacrificed” to protect the NHS.
Donaldson, 73, has written around 200 books, many of which have been adapted for television and stage. The Gruffalo has sold more than 13 million copies and been translated into more than 100 languages.
The former secondary school English teacher and former children’s laureate said: “Even if the current proposals are only for three weeks, this could be repeated and become something considered normal whenever there is infection, whereas in fact it should not be considered normal, it is alien – even dystopian.
“Children are children for such a short time, I don’t think they should be sacrificed like this.”
“They’re seen as a gesture that isn’t costing the government any money and as something that is not doing any harm. Because of the climate of fear, people have readily accepted something I regard as unacceptable, and that I fear may now be seen as a normal part of life.”
She told the Times that it was vital for teachers to be able to read pupils’ facial expressions during lessons and that many people were too scared to speak out against face masks in case of a social media backlash.
“There is too much polarity. It’s unfortunate that the start of Covid coincided with the US election,” she said. “People were equating any arguments against lockdown or masks with being a Republican or Trumpian.”
Donaldson, who has been left with a long-term Covid symptom called parosmia, which makes smells seem overpowering and food taste disgusting, said: “I’m very pro-vaccination. I’ve been triple-jabbed. I’ve had Covid. I’m not a denier.
“You don’t have to be right-wing [to oppose masks in schools]. I know a lot of people who are passionately anti-lockdown because they’re very sympathetic to the plight of lonely and vulnerable people or those with mental illness.”
The article notes that “a study used to justify the introduction of masks in English schools implied they had at best a marginal effect” and quotes the pro-lockdown scientist Dr Simon Clarke saying: “As the report points out, face coverings can become contaminated quickly, so repeated putting them on and taking them off, and touching them, could present an opportunity for viral transmission. Expecting children to wear them properly all day and to keep them clean is somewhat optimistic. An unwashed face covering worn daily will quickly become akin to wearing a dirty handkerchief across your face.”
When even the Times and lockdown fanatics are speaking out against an intervention, you know there’s something in the air.
Worth reading in full.
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