With schools starting to go back all around the country, we here in the north east are still weeks away from our proposed start dates and we are seeing the impact of COVID on schools and (hopefully) learning from their experiences.

We hear all these negative effects of kids wearing masks. But we seem to be missing an opportunity to talk about the positives. The bottom line is masks give my child a better chance at staying alive. I think that’s a pretty important positive that outweighs any perceived social and emotional negatives to him wearing one.

You see, I watched one of my children die from something I had no power to protect her from – cancer. And for the things I did have the opportunity to protect her from, she – even at a year old – wore a mask.

1800 kids die of childhood cancer per year. That’s 0.00000548 percent. My living child has a 7300 times chance of dying from COVID – a completely preventable disease. I’m not going to take that chance.

There are plenty of things our kids do every day that they don’t like or want but that keeps them safe – seatbelts, bike helmets, not sticking their hand in the garbage disposal… but no matter if they fight us about it and complain, we make them do it anyway. Because it gives them a better chance at staying alive.

We hear all the time that life is what you make of it. That if you have a positive outlook on things, life will be less stressful, and you will be happier. And while I don’t think it’s realistic to use this adage for all situations in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, I think when it comes to kids (heck, all of us) wearing masks, we all need to focus on what matters.

For me – I’ll take my son being slightly inconvenienced for a better chance at him staying healthy and alive.

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