Sisolak’s Nevada: fans without masks, children in masks | VICTOR JOECKS
Exposed adults sitting side by side and screaming for hours. Masked school children struggle to learn to pronounce letter sounds. Welcome to Governor Steve Sisolak’s Nevada.
Over the past week, Southern Nevada has hosted the NHL All-Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl. The events brought a swarm of tourists to Las Vegas. Sisolak took the opportunity to brag about the growth of the sport here.
“We know that over 50% of our visitors will add or extend a trip due to sporting events, or around 23 million people,” he wrote in an editorial.
Normally there would be nothing wrong with that. Tourists who come to Southern Nevada fuel the economy. It is in everyone’s interest.
Many of those sports fans, however, did something that Sisolak prohibits everyday Nevadans, including school children, from doing. They were inside without wearing a mask. Just look at the photos.
There was no “tsk-tsking” from the Governor, however. This is because one of his royal edicts created an exception to the mask mandate. Large events and conventions may waive the mask mandate if they require vaccinations. It was the rule that allowed the Raiders to avoid the mask requirement for home games.
It has long been apparent that mask mandates are not particularly effective. Just look at how Nevada’s cases spiked in the winter of 2020 and 2021 despite a mask mandate.
But if you think face coverings are helpful, Sisolak’s policy is a big contradiction. You are much more likely to be around someone with coronavirus at an event with 15,000 people than at a gathering of 150. Why not allow smaller venues to remove masks if they needed to vaccines? It is suspected that political realities, such as Sisolak’s need for a recovering economy, figure heavily into this discrepancy.
The most outrageous part of this, however, is how it affects children. Sisolak is requiring Clark County students to wear masks in schools. Wearing a mask is extremely harmful to children, especially young children. A study conducted during COVID found that “word identification is significantly compromised when produced with a surgical face mask.” young children frequently stare at their teachers’ mouths learn where to place your tongue or how to move your lips. You cannot do this when the instructor is wearing a mask.
Then there are the non-verbal facial cues that help children form friendships and navigate relationships. It’s impossible to know how much damage is being done, but it’s obvious that the masks set children back.
Children also have a lower risk of death than vaccinated adults. In Clark County, more than 350 vaccinated people have died from a breakthrough case of the coronavirus. More than 1.2 million people in Clark County have completed their vaccines. It is a formidable protection against death.
But those under 19, vaccinated or not, are even better protected just by being young. There are over 830,000 Nevadans under the age of 20. Since the start of the pandemic, only 13 people in this age group have died from COVID.
Democratic governors are starting to roll back their masking requirements. Sisolak may not follow the science, but he should at least follow the herd. If sports fans can do without masks, so can children.