As Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) continues to issue seemingly endless decrees for mask mandates, it is long past time to ask them for “more” – more accountability and more leadership. Anyone who has travelled beyond the borders of Dane County has seen how most of the state and country has already moved beyond mandates. PHMDC needs to back off mandates and instead better provide us with complete, unbiased, and non-partisan information so that every individual in Dane County can make informed health decisions for themselves and their families.
Ongoing mandates, whether they are local or from the President on high, are not the solution – not for masks, vaccinations, or lock downs. Just as with the seasonal flu, risk should be decided by individuals based on their health history, family considerations, and other personal situations. Like flu vaccines, vaccines for Covid-19 have been readily available for months, thanks to Operation Warp Speed and President Trump, for anyone who wants one. In fact, Dane County has an exceptionally high vaccination rate.
Blanket mask mandates ignore the fact that effectiveness depends on the kind of mask and materials. Vaccine mandates over-emphasize vaccination over natural immunity. When, and if, absolutely necessary, proof of immunity should include both vaccinations and natural immunity. Furthermore, as mandates continue to be pushed on us and our children, we should consider both the widespread availability of vaccines for school staff and the long-term impact of pushing emergency use, still for their age group, vaccines on our children.
It’s far past time to move our lives forward and leave partisan fear mongering behind. As with the seasonal flu, adults and parents can make informed decisions about the risk to their health and their families’ health. Likewise, responsible institutions will weigh these risks for their employees and, in the case of schools, their students too.