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Mask mandates in Huntsville and elsewhere seem to be rather open-ended

With rising COVID-19 case numbers, Huntsville City Schools officials announced masks will be required for everyone two years old and older when students return to class on August 4.

Huntsville wasn’t the first school system in the state of Alabama to require masks to be worn by all students, teachers and employees in their school system, but when asked what the science was that led to this decision, the answer was less clear than many would want.

Yes, the Delta variant is spreading through the state at a fast rate, and this is concerning health officials and leadership in charge of responding to the information on the ground.

But, once again, the data available to parents and other stakeholders seem to be severely lacking, and that leads parents to question the necessity of the move, which will be copied around the state.

When Huntsville Board of Education member Elisa Ferrell appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” and was asked about how the school system made the decision to move forward with a district-wide mask order, she cited medical professionals wanting to move in this direction.

Ferrell also let it be known that this is essentially a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” moment for the schools, and they felt like they were trapped.

“Now that all these medical professionals across the state have told us we need to do it, if we don’t and someone gets sick, then it will be blamed on us not masking,” Ferrell advised.

She is 100% right. This decision is basically a politically motivated (CYA) exercise because the board members are caught “between a rock and a hard place.”

So, parents of kids that will be starting school in one week want to know how we get out of the masks. Ferrell’s fellow board member Carlos Matthews made it clear that there is no answer to that question.

Matthews told WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” that “there is no number that we can have that I know of by any medical standard that says we can get out of it.”

“And that’s sad, but that’s where we are,” he added. “That’s really going to be something that has to come from our medical experts to provide that.”

This entire conversation is just like the vaccine conversation.

“Take it and like it” won’t make people see your point of view. It will make people resist it.

People want to know what they need to do to get out of this. Tell them, and they are more likely to try to bite the bullet and do it.

At this point, governments at all levels and their media cohorts seem to be more interested in submission. You can submit willfully or be forced.

This only leads us towards more mistrust of government, and we have plenty of that on a national and state scale. This stuff will weaken the trust people have in their local governments as well.

Local officials must do better.


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 5-9AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.