The Wilkes County Board of Education let us down by not making masks mandatory. I know there are many who won't agree with me, but regardless of your politics, masks do work. You don't want to trust Fauci, fine. You don't want to trust Governor Cooper, fine.

Do we trust the Duke Medical Research Center? Go to https://today.duke.edu/2021/06/research-finds-masks-can-prevent-covid-19-transmission-schools
. How about the real time issues happening in Florida right now? They have opened schools with masks optional and saw an immediate spike in COVID-19 cases, along with an immediate spike in hospitalizations of children. Go to   https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/08/12/south-florida-doctors-children-admitted-for-covid-19-sicker-than-weve-seen-before/

My request is a simple one coming from my heart, hoping that our kids can have a semi-normal school year and actually survive it. Please mask your child. I know it's uncomfortable. I know it's not ideal but it is actually effective in keeping everyone safe. If the school system will not look our for our children, then we must. Please, talk with your doctor and educate yourself. If your reaction to this plea is anger, please know that all I am seeking is the health and safety of all of our children.

CHARITY O’CONNELL,

North Wilkesboro, N.C.

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