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Journalist Megyn Kelly reported in anger on Saturday that her 10-year-old daughter’s school in Westchester, New York, was requiring players on its soccer team to wear masks for an upcoming outdoor game Sunday.
According to AccuWeather, temperatures were poised to hit 91 degrees Fahrenheit that afternoon.
In a tweet posted Saturday morning, Kelly described the requirement as “madness” and noted that there was “zero chance” she and her husband would allow their daughter to play.
Tomorrow our 10-yr-old has a soccer game in Westchester NY. The host school is mandating that the kids wear masks OUTDOORS in 90 deg heat. We don’t want to pull her-it’s her last game & she wants to play. But there is zero chance we’re doing this. It’s dangerous. This is madness.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 5, 2021
As of Sunday morning, Kelly had not yet provided an update on the situation. Nor was it clear which school exactly her daughter attends.
The majority of Twitter users — some of them doctors and nurses — who replied to Kelly’s tweet shared her outrage.
Absolute madness. It’s time to recognize people are living in a distorted state of fear when in reality, the risk is negligible outdoors (indoors too). Take the masks off our children – they are doing more harm than good at this point.
— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) June 5, 2021
As an ER nurse complete madness 👎🏻
— lisa marie ( Astrid)💕🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@meyerlisa1983) June 6, 2021
Keep us posted. As an RN I find this lack of following science appalling. Kids should not be wearing masks outside in any kind of weather. I don’t believe they should be wearing them at all.
— Sharon Williams (@dimpledoo1) June 5, 2021
As a Critical care Doc, I agree with Kelly. Very little out door spread in 90deg in children. More prob from Cardi pulmonary tan being sans mask. It’s their kid and decision.
— Larry Mattingly (@Asthmadoc1) June 5, 2021
Yes, it is very dangerous. Strenuous exercise with a mask over a child’s face can put them in a very dangerous situation when they won’t be able to get enough oxygen. My son plays hockey and we had a similar issue back this winter with kids fainting. The heat makes it much worse.
— katiabee (@katiabee3) June 5, 2021
Masking up outdoors can indeed be extremely dangerous — especially in hot weather.
Two months ago in Oregon, when the highs were still in the 60s and 70s, a female high school junior collapsed right after winning a 800-meter race in 2:08:45 (minutes/seconds/milliseconds) allegedly because of her mask.
“I felt like I just wasn’t being able to get a full breath. Multiple times of that happening, not being able to get enough air — I just felt super-dizzy, and then eventually passed out,” the student said to local station KTVZ at the time.
She blamed what happened on the the mask she’d been required to wear by the Oregon Health Authority.
“In the past, this has never happened. Then this race that I was wearing a mask, it did happen, which I don’t think is a coincidence,” she said.
Her coach, Dave Turnbull, agreed.
“She just ran a 2:11 in Arizona without a mask on. Three seconds faster from my experience isn’t going to cause a kid to hit the track. When you’re in a mask, it certainly does. It was a different response than I’ve seen for kids that have collapsed to the track just because they were exhausted. She wasn’t sure where she was,” he told KTVZ.
In response to what happened, OHA revised its mask mandate by adding an exception for athletes “competing in non-contact sports outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others.”
Two months later, strict mask policies still remain active in some schools and school groups throughout the nation despite 51 percent of Americans having received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC, and children being “at low risk of COVID-19 mortality,” according to a study in The Lancet.
These policies have provoked a torrent of backlash — sometimes enough to spur extraordinarily late but meaningful change.
I’m camping with my daughter this weekend through the Girl Scouts and masks are mandated everywhere for everyone except eating and swimming.
— Courtney D (@DonMessMamaBear) June 5, 2021
“After a growing chorus of complaints from parents, players and coaches, the State of Rhode Island on Tuesday said it is dropping its requirement that young people wear masks while playing all outdoor sports,” The Providence Journal reported last week.
“Children attending summer camps will also be able to ditch their masks outdoors. It also means schoolchildren can take their masks off at recess. The new rules take effect Wednesday.”
In New York, currently, outdoor masking is only recommended for “higher-risk circumstances,” according to station WNBC, and even indoor masking is on the way out.
“New York plans to eliminate its indoor mask requirement for students and adults in schools and camps statewide starting Monday barring any objection from the CDC, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday,” the station reported Friday.
However, individual schools have the option of not following state-level recommendations, though they should expect ferocious backlash if they do.
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