Take off the mask.

Effective tomorrow, November 2, 2021, Miami-Dade County Public Middle School and High School students are no longer required to wear a mask.  Welcome back the art of facial expressions in the classroom. Hello smiles.  Hello smirks. Hello braces. Hello kissing.  (Wait.  No mask mandate or pandemic was ever going to stop that from happening.)

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Of course, wearing a mask is still optional.  If your child feels safer wearing a mask, they are more than welcome to do so.

We are encouraged by this move.  As we’ve reported over and over, children are the least likely to suffer severe complications from COVID-19.  Yes.  Children can spread it to those who are more vulnerable like seniors.  That’s why we’ve always said it’s important to protect seniors and those with pre-existing conditions.  Especially vulnerable are those with diabetes and obesity.

RISK FACTORS

The chart below couldn’t be more self evident.  The greatest risk factor for people who get COVID-19 is age.  The older you are, the more susceptible you are to a severe case or even death.  In Florida, the Case Fatality Rate for people 65 and older is nearly 10%.  That means, if you’re at a Senior Center with 10 seniors.  And let’s say all 10 caught COVID-19, statistically, one of them will not make it.  However, 9 of them will statistically survive.  Again, this is why it’s been important, since day one, to protect our seniors.  As you can see, we’ve had 471,087 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among seniors.  We’ve lost nearly 45,000 seniors to this pandemic.

On the opposite age bracket are kids under 16.  There have been even more cases of kids with COVID with 493,157 confirmed cases.  However, according to the Florida Department of Health, there have only been 29 deaths.  Each of those cases are extremely sad.  However, nearly every child who has died from COVID-19 also had another severe illness.  Furthermore, 29 child fatalities over a 17 month period is similar to the number of child fatalities from the regular flu.

In other words, if you have a healthy child, they’re going to be just fine.  That doesn’t mean they can’t still catch COVID.  They absolutely can and many will catch COVID.  However, the chances of them succumbing to the disease is extremely rare.  If you are a senior and have yet to get vaccinated, go and get vaccinated.  For your own health and for the people who love you.

As you can see below, women are the stronger sex.  Women have a 98.6% overall survival rate against COVID-19 compared to men who have a 98.0% survival rate.

I can’t explain this one, but Hispanics reportedly have a 98.8% survival rate against COVID.  Non-hispanics have a 97.8% survival rate.  Is Cuban Coffee a wonder drug or is it Abuela’s cooking.  I’ve got no answer for you on this one, but this does deserve a deep dive by a researcher.

Overall, we’re thrilled to see that middle schoolers and high schoolers no longer have to wear a mask in school.  We hope the school district will soon allow elementary children the same facial freedom.  Kids need to see other kids smiling at each other.

MIAMI SPRINGS SCHOOLS

The local Miami-Dade County Public Schools impacted by this change include Miami Springs Middle School, Miami Springs Senior High, and AIE Charter School’s Middle and High School classes.  Springview Elementary, Miami Springs Elmentary, and AIE Charter Elementary School students are still required to wear a mask.

 

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