The new culture that is Virginia public high school

“I see these people just not wearing a mask, or wearing one pulled down, like, under their chin,” said Swan, “and my brain just immediately goes, ‘That person does not share the same ideals as me. We won’t get along.’ ” She added: “They may not be a bad person. They may just be thinking the same things as their parents.”

…School now feels, Swan said, “like a war zone”: a raging partisan battle that no one can opt out of, because every single student arrives with evidence of their politics — those without masks typically lean right, she said — written across their faces. Swan said she has stopped speaking with students who go maskless because they are dismissive of the decision to mask and unwilling to hear a different opinion.

Here is the full story, which is interesting throughout.  Perhaps the French solution would be to ban masks!  In the meantime, how about a policy of mandated no-masks for the teachers and administrators, unless they have health exemptions, and mask choice for each student? Or how else might we limit social strife over masking decisions? How can we move closer to the no-school masking equilibria of much of Europe>

As a side note, I believe masks have some effectiveness, but not total effectiveness, and so it is striking to me how much those in real danger think the masked environment is somehow acceptable.  Some amount of risk is totally, absolutely fine, as they are not home schooling (which still would involve risk, I might add).  But risk beyond that level is somehow a complete no-no — is it that they all have so accurately done the cost-benefit calculations using expected utility theory?  Keep in mind that along a great number of the equilibrium paths, masks delay but do not prevent infection.


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