Some D.C. parents say they and their unvaccinated children weren’t taken into account when Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted the city’s inner mask mandate.
To celebrate her 6-year-old son being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, DC mum Layla Monie Joseph planned what she described as “Ferris Bueller’s Day OffToday’s type.
He wants to go to a grocery store, shoe store, toy store and then eat out at a restaurant. She said Mona Joseph plans to meet those requests, but that all businesses they would stop at would be in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Although the couple will be fully vaccinated, Moni Joseph, who is pregnant with a 3-year-old, feels unimmunized, More comfortable knowing masks are required indoors in Montgomery County.
Seven days in a row what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers community transmission ‘big’ to push boycott To restore the inner mask state.
Meanwhile, in the capital, masks are no longer required in enclosed spaces.
“Especially with the holiday season approaching, and our ability to go shopping or take our kids for any of the holiday activities happening in different places around town, [removing the indoor mask mandate] Mony Joseph, a resident of Suite 4 said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser The decision not to require masks in most indoor spaces, with exceptions for places such as schools, public transportation and healthcare settings, some parents in the metropolitan area were left anxious as the holidays approached.
In email and phone conversations, eight parents from the capital told WTOP that the move to move away from masks inside the home is premature and fails to consider families whose children under the age of 5 are not yet eligible for vaccination.
Children under five make up about 6.4% of the capital’s population, according to US Census data.
Bowser’s office had not responded to WTOP’s request for comment on some of the community’s criticism by the time this story was published.
earlier this month, Boozer said The change in mask guidelines “doesn’t mean that … everyone needs to stop wearing their masks, but it does mean we are changing the government’s response to provide you with this risk-based information and recommend layering strategies as the best way to protect yourself and the community.”
Health officials maintain that the best way to protect young children is to surround them with fully vaccinated people, and that few children get very sick from the coronavirus. However, parents are still worried.
The capital is experiencing “substantial” community transmission, according to the CDC, which advises people to wear indoor masks in areas of “large” or “high” community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
Bowser’s decision He was criticized by many metropolitan council members, who sent her a letter last week asking her to reconsider, Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said last week. NPR’s “Morning Edition” notes that removing the mask requirement adds an element of risk.
at recent days , The Capital State Board of Education issued a statement criticizing the decision“It is the end of the mandate in many public areas, but keeping it in schools and childcare settings does not provide adequate protection for children,” he said.
Board Chairman Zachary Parker, who is also running for a Ward 5 DC council seat, told WTOP that parents across the city’s eight wards have expressed frustration with the decision and would prefer the indoor mask mandate to be removed either after winter or when vaccinations are available to all children.
“Parents of young children under the age of five have shared how terrified they are about what this means, and how this is likely to limit their ability to engage as a family and benefit from resources across town, knowing that this potentially provides freebies,” Parker said. rein in people and is likely to further spread the virus.”
That’s the fear of Alexandra Simbana, the mother of Ward 4, who contracted coronavirus in May 2020, was hospitalized for nine days and still has some remaining symptoms.
Originally optimistic that she and her children will be able to hold more social gatherings this winter, Simbana now has other ideas, due to the change in city mask requirements.
“When Dr. Fauci doesn’t think it’s a good idea, you have to know that what you’re doing is irresponsible,” Simbana said.
Instead, this administration’s tactic is just to research and try to change reality. The fact of the matter is that every family searches for this information religiously. We all make our own judgments.”
Ward 1 mother Becky Rina, whose children ages 8 to 10 received their first vaccine doses, said Bowser’s decision does not provide enough time for children to be fully vaccinated. Center for Disease Control People say they are fully immune two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series.
She said that with so many newly eligible children, there was not enough time allotted.
“Any exposures you get outside of school, COVID can make its way into schools,” Rina said. “Parents have abandoned a lot under this pandemic, they have abandoned a lot of children. It feels like a huge blow to bring down the mask mandate right now.”
some capital The companies said they plan to continue requiring customers to wear masks, And Bowser advised last week that it’s not the time to get rid of masks completely. But for some parents like Moni Joseph, there is a lot of uncertainty.
“Children are home at night and on weekends with their parents, and not everyone is in a position to choose not to take their children with them when they need to go to the grocery store,” said Mony Joseph.
“When you remove these public health measures, and really leave it up to individuals, you’re putting the blame on parents, who have already gone through the most difficult 18 months.”