Irish Examiner view: Will schoolchildren need masks?

Irish Examiner view: Will schoolchildren need masks?
Face masks are being made compulsory on public transport.  Picture: Brian Lawless

The WHO yesterday reported a Covid-19 surge since lockdown disciplines were relaxed. 

“Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” said the agency. 

Thirty countries have more new cumulative cases over the past two weeks. In 11, accelerated transmission led to a significant resurgence that may again stretch health systems.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee yesterday Professor Paddy Mallon warned that it is “inevitable” Ireland will see a resurgence. 

He warned it was a matter of when, not if, there are more cases. In that context, yesterday’s welcome, from the National Bus and Railworkers’ Union (NBRU), Dermot O’Leary that Government “is doing the right thing” by making face masks compulsory on public transport is reassuring. 

It recognises our new, unavoidable reality.

Might that new reality make face masks mandatory in our schools and colleges when they reopen? 

It might be wise to use the interim to get schoolchildren, especially younger ones, used to the idea of wearing a mask properly and for extended periods before they return to busy classrooms.

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