Masks needed in school

I would like to commend new Superintendent Justin Irish for his clear and thorough response to parents regarding Washington’s recent mask mandate for all students attending school this fall.

The state Department of Health has ordered that all students wear masks indoors. Gov. Jay Inslee supports this mandate. The law provides emergency powers to the governor. His decisions are founded on the most recent science, studies and data impacting emergency health care precautions for our state.

The COVID Delta variant is at least two times more contagious than other variants have been. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Hospitalizations and child admissions have risen sharply. Those unvaccinated (and some vaccinated) have been shown to carry and spread the virus without symptoms. Breakthrough cases are on the rise, which results in production of more variants, according to multiple health officials.

Unvaccinated, asymptomatic children can carry and spread this virus. Maskless students could spread this virus to vulnerable children and teachers with underlying health issues. Children were 22.4% of the nation’s weekly reported cases for the week ending Aug. 19. (American Academy of Pediatrics)

I personally lost one family member to this virus in 2020. My husband is a critical care nurse and knows first-hand the risks involved for patients, children and healthcare workers.

I can remember hearing complaints about laws requiring seat belts. Would a parent insist their child buckle up, yet not wear a mask in school? Wearing a mask may be a minor inconvenience, but it is a worthy one.

Those who continue to support their children wearing masks in school and who routinely update themselves on state and federal health precautions and guidance have not only protected themselves and others but have likely saved lives by donning a mask.

Those who want children to physically attend school, businesses to remain open, healthcare systems to recover, lives to be improved and possibly saved, should get vaccinated if eligible and wear a mask whenever indoors with others or in large group settings.

We all want this pandemic to end, the economy to recover … and lives to be protected.

Micael Raphael




for the music

Kudos to the Port of Anacortes for all they do for our community, but particularly their free concert series at Seafarers’ Memorial Park.

My wife and I have rediscovered the joy of live music Friday evenings here in town, without the hassle or expense of purchasing tickets. How is that even possible!? These are top-notch bands who put on a fun, lively show every time.

Way to go Executive Director Dan Worra and crew. This is just another little gem in our awesome little community that helps keep it awesome.

Tim Garrison


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