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Boston College won't require masks in classrooms; 300 professors ask school to reconsider

The Heights reports BC has decided that a high vaccination rate among both students and faculty and a desire to return to "a normal teaching environment," but that some 300 professors signed a letter respectfully suggesting that's dumb. Masks are required in other indoor spaces on campus.

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Per NBC10:

Breakthrough infections again accounted for about 40% of all cases reported in Massachusetts last week.

The number of new breakthrough cases announced each Tuesday has climbed each week since DPH announced the initial batch of 7,737 breakthrough infections on July 31.

High vaccination rates are cool and all, but pairing the vaccine with masks is like pairing the seatbelt with the airbag.

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/heres-how-many-fully-vaccinated-mas...

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Mathematically, it should be expected that a large and growing portion of the cases will be breakthrough given the efficacy of the vaccines.

A higher percentage of cases would be breakthrough in states with high vaccination levels.

While the total number of cases is not unimportant, the hospitalization levels and deaths from those who are vaccinated (and kids) is what I watch more closely. Thankfully it remains true that if you're vaccinated it's pretty unlikely (not impossible) that you'll need professional care.

I still wear a mask in many places but I won't do so forever. BC's foolish move is at least is going to makes it a interesting comparison with other nearby colleges with masking requirements.

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Mathematically, it should be expected that a large and growing portion of the cases will be breakthrough given the efficacy of the vaccines.

You clarified this in the rest of your comment, but just to be extra clear: a large proportion of covid cases should be expected to be breakthrough cases in areas with a very high percentage of vaccinated individuals. The efficacy of the vaccines wouldn't affect this except if the efficacy was low.

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because using an airbag *without* a seatbelt increases certain types of risk (e.g. cervical spine fracture) when compared to not using either. Airbags are built with the assumption that you're already doing the bare minimum and wearing a seatbelt.

In comparison, masks and vaccines both decrease risk, and can be used independently.

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...you always root for BU over BC at beanpot.

(In all seriousness, across the river in the district of the ivory towers, we have a group of parents trying to file child abuse charges against teachers and the schools for requiring masks. Nevermind we have colleagues in Texas and Florida dying because of anti-mask mandates.)

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End up as parents, and then you ask, "What the actual (expletive) is Texas trying to pull?"

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Masks for 2-4 year old can be child abuse, but they will probably be ok.

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Child abuse? Gt a grip. That diminishes actual abuse you turd.

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Masks for 2-4 year old can be child abuse

"can be" is doing a lot of work here. I have a friend who took her 2 year old granddaughter to a children's museum last week, kid wore a mask for 3 hours straight without complaint.

Some adults love to use kids as their casus belli, but kids are a lot more adaptable than these adults pretend they are. If kids can be taught "we all hold this string while we're walking down the street so we don't get hit by cars", they can be taught to wear masks.

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Kids are designed to adapt.

I do wonder about children under a certain age though who at this point have only memories of a pandemic world. If we ever get to a point where masks are not really as needed will they be the generation that always has one on them anyway? If this goes on for a while this could be their normal. I prefer it over the alternative normal though, where many more of their loved ones and teachers up and die that should have lived much longer. Looking back at my life, if my wearing a mask during Preschool and Kindergarden meant keeping my loved ones and teachers longer I would gladly make the trade to keep them.

I am more concerned about kids witnessing crazy adults punching teachers in the face over this issue.

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True. Some will not even think about it, but others can be very resistant to them.

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True. Some will not even think about it, but others can be very resistant to them.

Sure. Non-neurotypical kids in particular may have issues with masks, and there's not much you can do, because it's not a simple case of "kid don't want to". We are, however, talking about Boston College, not a preschool.

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Boston College students should definitely be required to wear masks indoors.

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Id take that as a criterion: if they can follow directions and put a mask on themselves, then they are not being abused.

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So clothing is abuse.
And diapers are abuse.
And mittens and snowsuits are abuse.
And anything other than running around naked is abuse,

Okay.

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No. But blindfolding would be. Covid spreads through eyes too, doesn't't it.

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But do try harder to keep up with the literature.

Any pathogen can irritate eyes, but you might want to learn some physiology if you seriously think anything without flagellum can travel upstream to the lung from the eyes.

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Or at least stop identifying as a preschooler.

My neighbor's kids are this young. Know what they think of masks? "I'm wearing SPIDERMAN today!"

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The article you linked states "faculty", not "professors." It's misleading to state that it's strictly professors signing this petition.

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No, hear me out though; I'm not making some dumb anti-mask comment. But they're right that it would be "back to a normal teaching environment" to do some dumb shit that is fine for many folks but a disaster for people with disabilities. That's pretty usual in educational settings, alas.

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One of the most important lessons of this pandemic is to question "normal", and exactly how functional it was, and who it served.

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Just make it part of the dress code.

Anyone who whines needs to also wear an undersized bra for a week.

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Restaurants and nightclubs can have dress codes, and require that you wear a tie, a jacket, no athletic footwear, or a grass skirt and coconut bra if they wanted to. I'm always surprised that this point doesn't get made more often.

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