Anti-mask protests are on the rise following statewide COVID-19 regulations

Anti-mask+protests+are+on+the+rise+following+statewide+COVID-19+regulations

Anti-mask protests are on the rise following statewide COVID-19 regulations

Anti-mask protests are on the rise following statewide COVID-19 regulations

Samuel Weinmann, Politics Editor

On Aug. 5, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order allowing municipalities the ability to implement mask requirements. On Aug. 17, Lamont ordered that all Kindergarten through 12th-grade students wear masks in school to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Since these orders went into effect, a flurry of anti-mask demonstrations appeared across Connecticut. According to CT Mirror, on Aug. 25, Lamont, among other state officials, was interrupted at a back-to-school roundtable by anti-mask protesters. The roundtable, which was hosted at Highland Elementary School in Cheshire, was designed to be a discussion about vaccination and testing requirements, as well as a general COVID-19 forum for panelists

Further on in the forum, protestors started to make an appearance, making remarks comparing mask mandates to living in Nazi Germany before screaming at Lamont as he left the school.

This is just one example of the rise in anti-mask protestors since the beginning of August.

On Aug. 28, more than 100 anti-mask protesters made an appearance at the Connecticut Capitol, responding to mask mandates in schools. At the event, “unmask our kids” was plastered across dozens of signs, as protestors lined the street near the Capitol.

Although these two events are the most prominent examples of recent anti-mask demonstrations, protestors have also taken to social media to amplify their anger and dismay at recent health measures.

One Facebook group titled “Unmask our Kids CT” hosts more than 4,000 supporters and acts as a rendezvous for dismayed parents and community members to discuss their concerns and organize anti-mask demonstrations. The group is hosting a weekly demonstration called “Early Dismissal School Walkout,” where parents pick up their children one hour early from school every Friday until mask mandates end.

These protests are widespread, despite overwhelming scientific evidence backing the importance of health measures like mask mandates. According to the University of California San Francisco, extensive scientific evidence has been published to back the use of masks, in addition to a general recommendation for masks from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

One of the studies shown is from the New England Journal of Medicine, which used high-speed video technology to capture the way that hundreds of droplets can be generated and shot from the mouth just by saying a short phrase. When the participants’ mouths were covered with a washcloth, however, nearly every droplet was contained.

Another study, from the British Medical Journal, shows that face masks were 79% effective in preventing COVID-19 transmission among their participants in Beijing.

Despite extensive evidence, groups such as Unmask Our Kids CT remain prominent. Additionally, demonstrations invariably surge throughout Connecticut and will continue to as COVID-19 policies and restrictions change.

Throughout these demonstrations and protests, it’s important to refer to trusted resources regarding COVID-19 information and policies.
For COVID-19 information and global updates from the CDC, visit their website.