Going Maskless

School Will Open In-Person Day One, No Masks Required

Dan Pennington
4 min read
Legacy Church Academy
That “DO NOT ENTER” sign has a whole new meaning now. (Clarke Condé)
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Our children are our future. It’s the phrase tossed around a lot, especially by older generations. Ironically, though, this country seems to be staunchly against protecting the future, especially lately. As if school shootings being such a frequent encounter that bulletproof backpacks became a thing wasn’t enough, now children are staring down the barrel of a new gun: high risk of COVID-19 infection.

There’s not a single person on this planet who believes children are going to be able to follow COVID guidelines for back to school. The idea of a 6-year-old not fidgeting with a mask, wiping their nose on everything and keeping a 6-foot distance from classmates is nearly comical, as we all have at least some experience around kids. The debate of reopening schools is one we dive into a little deeper in this issue between
Gwynne Anne Unruh’s article and Carolyn Carson’s, so I won’t go into the intricacies they cover, but I will talk about those going against the grain.

Legacy Church Academy, a private school centered around the namesake church, has announced that it will be doing in-person classes from day one of school reopening, and that it will not be enforcing masks. If this sounds like the perfect breeding ground for a COVID outbreak, well, that’s because it is. To expect a child to always sneeze into their arm, or to not touch every conceivable surface available in a room is either ignorance or naivety. Contrary to popular belief, children can contract the coronavirus just like the elderly. Though they may experience no symptoms at all, some can. With or without symptoms, however, they are still able to share the virus with others. Here’s the scene: Legacy Church Academy will be doing temperature checks and sending people home with visible symptoms. Someone is an asymptomatic carrier, comes to class and will almost definitely infect some, if not all, of the class—teacher and administrative staff included. With a two-week incubation period, this will potentially hit the entire school, including the parents of said children. Hopefully, none of those parents work in a physical building, where they will carry it to their co-workers. Hopefully, those kids won’t pass it to other family members that they might not be properly distancing from. Hopefully, this won’t be ground zero for an immense outbreak.

But this is 2020, the year “hopefully” died an aggressive and terrible death. We know that by the time school administrators realize an infected student was on-site, it will already be too late. According to privateschoolreview.com,
Legacy Church Academy has 215 students, but assuming most come from a standard nuclear family of four, plus an estimate of 25 staff members who we will assume are all single and live alone and practice perfect social distancing so as to not infect anyone else, we’ll reach an estimate of 885 people infected from one student.

That’s just students, their immediate family and school staff members. This doesn’t factor in the staff’s family, the parents co-workers, their extended family or anyone they might come into contact with in their normal day-to-day life. Using the very low 1 percent mortality rate, as reported by worldometers.com, that comes to around 9 people dying.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, and maybe there are some areas my math could be improved, but on the whole, everything here is very likely and as close as we can get to a solid estimate. What’s more worrying is that a school you’re trusting to teach your children is blatantly ignoring basic science to … prove a point? Earn a buck? It’s hard to say why, as when we reached out to them for comment, they sent us to voicemail. We had not received a reply at the time of publication. The point is they are refusing to believe widely agreed-upon science, or they don’t care about the safety of their kids. So maybe we could look at it from a different angle. Their average tuition is $5,540. If 9 children will potentially die from a single outbreak, the school would lose $49,860. After all, children are the future … of their financial support.
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