Masks Not Needed for Pubs Full of Strangers But Still in Place for School Bubbles. - Tóibín
In advance of the Government Review of existing Covid Restrictions on February 28th, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government to give parents and pupils a choice on whether or not to wear masks in schools and other settings, which have impacted their educational and social development.
An Teachta Tóibín: “Covid-19 has been massively disruptive to the education our children have received. Ireland was an outlier in terms of the length of the restrictions and their severity. The human cost of those restrictions are just starting to emerge in terms of poor mental health, delayed diagnosis and delayed treatment of a whole swathe of sicknesses. We saw 70,000 children, more than ever before being referred to Tusla and we saw an increase in Domestic Violence. Children with special needs were especially hard hit by many of the restrictions. The Children’s Ombudsman stated that the children have had a very difficult and stressful 2 years. There is no doubt that there were times when the health service was inundated that restrictions were needed but that’s not the case now. Covid hospitalisations and ICU occupation is falling every week. Omicron, thankfully is not as damaging as Alpha or Delta”.
“The mandate for face masks significantly inhibit social interaction. Communication skills are the most important skills we will ever learn. In-person teaching has been greatly disrupted, and many losing out due to the inconsistency and unsuitability of remote working. The imposition of masks for young schoolchildren without parent consultation or consent, was yet another restriction on educational development. It is time to return our schools to normal, and that means allowing parents and children decide whether or not to use masks in classrooms.”
“It is incredible that an adult, who is in far greater risk of an adverse reaction to Covid than a child, can walk into a pub full of strangers and freely move around and yet a 10 year old child, with a very low risk to Covid, who is in a bubble with the same children every day is being told to wear a mask by the Government”.