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The document, entitled “Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19,” has no force as law. However, it creates a standard that protects camps nervous about being sued should anyone connected with the camp end up getting COVID. That means that camps will rely on the guidelines.
Before I get to the guidelines, think about summer camps. Camps have a harried, minimum-wage staff that usually consists of college and high school students, who are responsible for as many kids as possible. Otherwise, camps would be prohibitively expensive for most parents.
Unless you live in the fog belt of San Francisco, the fact that summer camps are held during the summer means it’s hot and humid. Kids, being kids, still manage to run around like crazy in that weather. Camp counselors put a lot of energy into keeping kids hydrated and protecting them from sunstroke.
Also, camps are all about group activities. Sing-alongs. Play-alongs. Run-alongs. Everything is done alongside everyone else. That’s part of the fun.
I’d also like to remind you, again, that young people aren’t part of the whole COVID ecosystem. They don’t get it, and they don’t give it. Airlines and governors who impose masks on little children are sick sadists, punishing both the children and their parents. In New Jersey, Erin Pein, a school nurse, was so outraged that she stood up to her school, which suspended her when she pointed out the abuse:
‘I’ve seen kids come in with all kinds of dirty masks, the same masks for weeks, surgical masks that have food and dirt on them,’ she said, recounting how one student had been ‘shockingly’ wearing a bandana as a mask for two weeks straight.
Pein said the student told her he could not take his mask off, and she thought, ‘How could this be? This kid sleeping and showering in this mask for two weeks.’
The child was unable to get the mask off, she said, ‘so we actually had to cut it off and throw it away.’
In another instance, Pein said, a young girl came to the nurse’s office crying.
‘She had vomited in class,’ Pein said. ‘I pulled her mask off, it was full of vomit.’
Pein told Singh that she felt sad that the child had to wear the vomit-filled mask down the hallway as she walked to the nurse’s office.
The guidelines are long, but a few things stand out. The CDC encourages “Engaging in outdoor activities whenever possible.” That’s what kids want and what parents want, so it’s a good idea — but keep in mind my point about heat and humidity. You see, another guideline is that “All people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times with exceptions for certain people, or for certain settings or activities, such as while eating and drinking or swimming.”
Moreover, these can’t be skimpy, pro forma masks. They must be “well-fitting cloth masks with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric or disposable masks.” In other words, the kind of mask that caused a runner to faint in relatively cool Bend, Oregon.
The CDC also wants camps to be divided into “cohorts” — that is, pods of the same people all day long. Campers must keep three feet of distance within the cohort and six feet of distance with anyone outside their cohort. There go all the “along” things in camp. That’s also not how children play. They’re close contact animals. And of course, there’s the fact that there’s no basis whatsoever for this ridiculous requirement, especially outdoors.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past five years, it’s that our government institutions are corrupt, ineffective, and tyrannical. This bit of nonsense made even Fauci balk. The CDC’s consistently wrong, and always harmful, guidance in the past year is an excellent argument for radically slimming down this agency.