- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Once upon a coronavirus time, Americans were told to just follow the science — that the science was true and the science was pure and that it was the science and only the science that would lead to freedom and safety and security and ultimately, a nation of normalcy once again.

It was such a nice fantasy while it lasted, wasn’t it?

Now this: The American Academy of Pediatrics just said all children over the age of 2 years old should wear face masks in school this fall. Oh, and all school staffers, too, regardless of vaccination status. This is after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said just a few weeks ago that students who’ve been vaccinated don’t have to wear face masks in the classroom this year.

It’s like a take-off episode of the old game show “To Tell the Truth”: Will the real science please stand up?

“We need to prioritize getting children back into schools alongside their friends and their teachers — and we all play a role in making sure it happens safely,” said Dr. Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health. “Combining layers of protection that include vaccinations, masking and clean hands hygiene will make in-person learning safe and possible for everyone.”

Great. But which science is to be believed this time around? 

A year-plus into the coronavirus, and look what America has become: a nation-in-waiting. A nation of citizens waiting for doctors and health professionals and medical advisers and physician-tied-wonks to give us permission to get back to life. And guess what: They all have their own opinions. They all have their differing advisements. They all come with their own core competencies against which they hold up the coronavirus for comparative safety analysis.

Thing is, while they dicker, America waits.

While they debate and discuss and differ in opinion, Americans suffer loss of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. 

This is why doctors aren’t in charge of making individual decisions: They base everything on the principle of “what if.” But life is filled with “what ifs” — what if there’s a car wreck, what if there’s a fire, what if there’s a company lay-off, what if there’s a death in the family, what if there’s a fill-in-the-blank that leads to a sudden and uncontrollable and life-changing incident.

It’s called: Life.

Add power-hungry politicians to the mix and what results is a never-ending situation where doctors predict the worst-case “what if,” and then tyrants exploit these scenarios for control.

In the case of schools, the union leaders have done a remarkable job of exploiting the “what ifs.”

It’s the children who’ve suffered most. And as this brewing face-off of medical professionals is promising, it’s the children who will continue to suffer most. 

Too often — meaning all the time — those who hold leadership offices and other positions of power in this country have fallen on the side of caution with the coronavirus, science be danged. Americans have become conditioned to accept caution, more than science — and much, much more than common sense. Science has become a mockery — a real “if one mask is good, two masks are better” mockery. 

Rather than accepting this caution as common sense, or constitutional, for that matter, Americans need to rise up and say no more.

If life were a medical office, the nation’s health professionals and liberal-leaning political leaders would have us all in the waiting room, in perpetuity. At some point, Americans have to stop sitting out life and waiting for permission to do things that don’t — in this country — require permission, anyway.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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