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Masks, Restricted Mobility, and Children’s Health

The harm in masking children and restricting their mobility leads to more long term harm for them than COVID

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Much has been said or written about whether or not school children should be vaccinated, wear masks, and attend on-site classes. Many voices on the right say that children’s propensity for contracting the virus and having any lingering ill-effects is rather small.

Voices on the left, well, who can be sure what they’re saying? Some have health concerns, but most seem to favor anything that will disrupt the nation and potentially cause harm to conservative politicians.

Under-explored is the effect of children wearing masks, incurring a lack of physical activity, and staring at screens. What about the impact of children not being able to see full faces and the resulting damage to their social development and skills? Should that be a topic of interest in the national conversation? If not, why not? What about children who already are over-connected to the internet and unconnected from nature, and from each other?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: This is hilariously idiotic

Many Schools Have the Space

Since social distancing is the order of the day, why has little discussion taken place about the creative ways in which schools can uphold social distancing for mask-free children who should be attending them? Nearly every school, from elementary to high school, has a gymnasium, and much of the time there is room within the gymnasium for 20 or 30 students to sit spaced apart and receive instruction.

For many hours each day, school cafeterias are not widely used. Cafeterias include tables and chairs which can be arranged to practice social distancing while enabling mask-free children to learn first-hand from an on-site teacher.

Most schools across the nation have auditoriums or theaters, or rooms of some sort where performances, assemblies, speeches, and presentations take place. In such gathering halls, a mask-free class of 20 or 30 students could meet in one corner, another class in another corner, and so on, thereby maintaining distance. Also, in many parts of the country during late August, September, and October, the weather is palatable for holding classes outdoors.

The Fuzzy Future

Nearsightedness among all ages groups in society is on the rise: Since the 1970s, nearsightedness has increased nearly 70 percent. Whereas 35 years ago, roughly a quarter of the population between ages 12 and 54 required corrective lenses for nearsightedness, today that figure is above 50 percent.

Myopia is likely on the rise because of the increasing use of electronic devices, notably among young children, and starting at an early age. From age three on up, kids today stare at screens incessantly. Susan Vitale, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the Clinical Trials Branch, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, National Eye Institute, notes that our affinity for electronic devices, especially among young children, could explain the sudden jump in nearsightedness.

It appears that the time spent indoors, which has been on the rise since the computer revolution of the early 1980s, doesn’t help. Children spend more time indoors today than children of previous generations and, thus, the peril of myopia looms. For eye health, indoor lighting cannot compare with sunlight. When too little ambient light infiltrates their fields of vision, it sends a signal to each eye to stop growing. That can lead directly to myopia, and hence, a lifetime of trips to the optometrist.

Children are Vulnerable

Often, kids are allowed to stay connected to the Internet and electronic gadgetry, staring into screens for more hours each day than any futurist could have imagined, and all the while being subjected to the negative consequences of such actions.

Each of us, from childhood on, need to spend more time outdoors, at the least to enjoy nature’s bounty of vitamin D and for the stimulation of the pineal and other glands. Being outdoors also leads to more exercise. Yet, how many parents ensure that their children spend the requisite amount of time outdoors each day?

For children, the threat of spending too much time indoors is perilous for other reasons. More than ever, children today are subject to Type II diabetes and other afflictions normally associated with adults.

All the above points to the conclusion that the harm in masking children and restricting their mobility leads to more long term harm for them than COVID.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Business

Justice, not ‘Social’ Justice, Improves Society

If we ignore existing laws simply in favor of what we want, society will soon break down

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Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “The most sacred of the duties of government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” The hallowed duty to fulfill the promise of justice for all remains, or ideally should remain, as the guiding ideal for the people we elect to government.

A friend of mine recently commented that the ‘social’ justice movement in America is alive and well, and that great things have been happening. However, when you put any word in front of the word ‘justice,’ the true meaning of justice is altered. Social justice is some group’s attempt at righting what they consider to be wrong.

I asked my friend for an example of social justice and was told that power lines being installed near poor neighborhoods instead of wealthier neighborhoods was a prime example. I then explained that that was not an issue related to ‘social’ justice but to justice itself.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: This is hilariously idiotic

Express Lanes for Redress

This is not 1860, or 1960. Today, many avenues exist for illuminating any issue of merit. Locally, there are zoning boards in every municipality, city councils usually with members on the left and the right, town hall meetings, public forums, newspapers, local television stations – a variety of entities that can be brought to bear to examine an issue and to forge some type of equitable redress if needed.

To be sure, no form of political government is anywhere near perfect or even equitable, much of the time. Democracy is difficult, but all other forms of government are worse.

In a democracy, or representative republic, such as we have in the U.S., you can’t go off half-cocked and do exactly what you want because you think that a particular law is bad. You have to work to change the law, to change policies, to address inequities within the framework of democracy, and within the bound of the justice system.

A Sanctuary for Whom?

Consider the phenomenon of sanctuary cities. For a sanctuary city to exist, one has to have a mayor, an alderman, city council members,  and other committee members, including those whose were elected as well as as appointed, to believe that what they’re espousing is right, while ignoring what has been passed into law. This ruling class thus usurps that which a majority of citizens rely upon each day.

A sanctuary city, by definition, is a city that is breaking the law. The Left will rationalize that ‘social’ justice requires breaking the law and that not all laws are good laws. True: not all laws are good laws. Laws, nevertheless, were passed as a result of a process in place for tens if not hundreds of years.

If laws routinely discriminate against one segment of the population versus another, then by all means work to change the law. When you insert catchphrases into the mix, such as ‘social’ justice, what that actually means is that you have another viewpoint of an issue. Further, you deem that your view and your actions are more meritorious than whatever came before them.

Vigilantism isn’t Pretty

Years ago, by exhibiting such behavior, you would be called a vigilante. Vigilantes are a self-appointed group who engage in policy enforcement without having legal authority, usually because they deem the legal agencies to be inadequate.

We dwell in a society where the media is distinctly liberal, and even leftist – as we have witnessed with big tech, the big TV networks, nearly all newspapers, and, unfortunately, a variety of government agencies. Thus, those advocating for ‘social’ justice have the wind at their backs. Yet, they violate the rights, and votes, of half the population and perhaps much more.

Welcome to My Two Cents

Any one of us could offer a long list of social issues that we’d like to change. If we decide, willy-nilly, to start ignoring existing laws in favor of what we want, how long will it take before society breaks down completely? Taking the law into your own hands is the essence of what it means to be a vigilante. Vigilante-dominated societies are not healthy. Many of their residents live in constant fear.

Taking the law into your own hands is an ill-advised shortcut to seeking what you want without working through the system, however imperfect the system might be. This country, any country, does not need more vigilantism.

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Education

Texas School District Says Enough is Enough

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Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

BREAKING: The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in North Texas voted last night to:

1) Ban the teaching of critical race theory. 

2) Wait until students are in the fifth grade to teach them sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: This is hilariously idiotic

3) Ban boys from playing in girls’ sports.

4) Encourage the use of pronouns that align with student’s biological gender and require them to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological gender.

5) Require that library materials be posted online and readily available for review by parents.

6) Not teach The New York Times “1619 Project”.

7) Implement a strict process for reviewing library books, so as to allow To Kill A Mockingbird and disallow Daddy, Papa, and Me and others.

It seems nearly incomprehensible that a school district would have to vote on measures like these. In fact, to many thoughtful Americans, it seems utterly Orwellian. How can truths about gender and the proper use of pronouns suddenly seem controversial rather than commonsensical?

Why does it seem radical to return power to parents and reaffirm biological reality? Or to keep boys from dominating girls in sports? Or to let students read revisionist history and propaganda about their nation on their own time? Why teach something that cannot withstand even the lightest objective criticism? 

Perhaps the school district’s 4-3 vote is a sign that there’s hope, that the pendulum has reached its arc and is beginning to move back toward truth and reality. Maybe the radicals are on the run.

No matter what, kudos to North Texas educators for pushing back against the absurdity and reaffirming responsible education.

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