Like many other students around the world who have been impacted by the pandemic, I dread wearing a mask to school. Despite not being able to see everyone’s faces, I still firmly believe that public health should always be prioritized.

Especially in elementary schools, where many students are not eligible for the vaccine, it is imperative that we invoke a mask mandate to keep students, teachers and their family members safe. Rising COVID cases in elementary schools are preventable through safety measures. Therefore, the stricter we are about enforcing masks, the faster we will be able to combat the pandemic, repeal mask mandates and see each other’s smiling faces at school again.

Jasmine Fan

Palo Alto

Recommended for you

(19) comments

Dirk van Ulden

I believe the underlying issue is that we appreciate Ms Fan's concerns but we do not need to hear it from a HS student. After all, where does she get her knowledge from? Since when do we take advice from our dependent children? she ought to be talking about issues that are a concern for her peers and ask those of us in the know if we can provide solutions. Of course, I am just an old non-birthing parent .

Tommy Tee

Dirk--you sound like Mr. Wilson from Dennis The Menace.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Ms. Fan,

I applaud your making the time to express your opinion. I make no judgement about it. That said, let me ask, if the government prints money for everything under the sun for things it deems in the public interest, why does it not pay for and distribute effective masks?

Tommy Tee

Good letter, Ms. Fan. I do my part to keep myself and people around me safe.

Tommy Tee

p.s. I think we can all agree that it's great to live in the bay area!


Terence Y

Ms. Fan, so what exactly will you do when anyone needs to take a sip of water or eat? Does this mean if a mask is hanging off an ear, or a wrist, that they’re still complying with this so-called mask mandate? I mean, they’re wearing a mask. During the recent spate of fires or if you hang out at smoking areas with your mask on, did you smell the smoke? Because if you did, COVID particles are much smaller than smoke particles so they won’t have any problems getting through. Quick research on pore and particle sizes will shed further information. BTW, you should be asking why effective COVID treatments are being demonized or withheld from folks suffering from COVID. Do the same people pushing for masks not want effective treatments after people have contracted COVID?


Nothing like attacking a youngster over details that even a youngster could figure out, Terence. Good job...not.

Terence Y

Mr. Olbert – thank you so much for providing details in answering some of my questions…not. Anyone who submits a letter, however young they are, should receive the same consideration as any other letter writer. We wouldn’t want to exhibit ageism, would we? BTW, at least I didn’t ask about the eschewing of masks by Biden, Newsom, Pelosi, and earlier this week, Breed from SF. After all, if they don’t believe in masks even though they’re pushing for everyone to wear masks, why should we? Your body, your choice.


Ms. Fan,

It is obvious from your sensible letter that you have common sense and understand the situation concerning the COVID virus. I just want to warn you that the members of society that feel their rights and freedoms are more important than the well being of the community, the anti-mask, the anti-science and anti-vaccine crowd will be quick to deride you. Smile behind your mask and ignore them and remember the quote attributed to Mark Twain. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to there level and then beat you with experience.”

Ray Fowler

Good morning, Tafhdyd... you're up early.

You and I are both mask wearers and vax supporters. However, I'm not so sure we can label anti-vaxxers as anti-science. The science has not always been confidence inspiring and maybe even appears contradictory to some holdouts. I stated in the comments section earlier that education is the key. Looks like we're headed in that direction.

As an aside... you don't know how many times I have wanted to use Twain's quote in response to something posted by one of the leftist DJ readers... but... then I say to myself, let's try to keep the focus on positions not personalities.

See you in the funny papers...


Good morning Ray,

I was up early to put out some more recyclables before the trash pick-up.

We all know that vaccines are not 100% perfect and the science that goes with them can also be off on occasion. When people won't get vaccinated because they don't trust the science or the vaccine, but they trust an item on the internet from someone they have never heard of touting fish fungus medicine or horse parasite pills and they run out to buy it??? Where is the cutoff point for stupid? About a week ago I saw an article that in Ohio they had approximately 21,000 hospitalizations for Covid and about 500 of them were people that had been vaccinated and over 20,000 were those that were unvaccinated. That may not be a scientific study but it is as plain as the nose on your face, vaccinations work.

As for quotes and staying on topics, I guess you have a higher ethical standard than I do. I think that also but every now and then I have to throw one in. Besides, the people it is aimed at usually don't understand the topic anyway.

Ray Fowler

Hey, buddy

The trend described in the article you mentioned has been validated. If you're not vaccinated, your risk of serious illness or death from COVID is higher.

Hah! I would not say that I have higher ethical standards than you. I had a disagreement with someone a while ago, and I let fly with something that was... well, I'll just say it was something that was not very kind. I instantly regretted it, and apologized (more than once), but the genie was out of the bottle. Live and learn.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Good morning Tafhdyd,

I have never heard that quote. I enjoyed a good chuckle with it. My version of it follows. "If you are smart enough to truly believe what you say, then I am not smart enough to change your mind.

I wear a mask and get my vaccines because it is the right thing to do. And because my doctor gave me good medical advice. Not because I have faith in the news media, bureaucrats or politicians. After all, I am not a scientist, able to validate what we are told by people with selfish agendas.



Good morning, good to hear from you. First things first. I want anyone reading this to know that I misspelled "their" in the Mark Twain quote above in my first comment. One of our daily readers likes to call me on little things like that because he doesn't have anything good to say about anything or anyone.

There is another saying that you probably have heard that goes along with yours. "It is easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled."

Wilfred Fernandez Jr


About grammatical errors, I think from time to time we all make them. You are correct about my having heard this second quote.

Ray Fowler

Hey, Wilfredo... you're up pretty early for someone in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone.

I think the Three Musketeers are in agreement re: masks and vaxxing. There are those who still need convincing, and I'm guessing at the the end of the day there will be a small percentage that will not get vaccinated no matter what.

Setting aside the folks who may have a medical reason to skip the vaccine, a lot of those who need more information are not necessarily anti-science... they could be confused about the science. The CDC reports that 98.2% of COVID patients survive. Now, factors like age and other medical conditions have a impact on the survival rate, but up to 99% of those who do not survive were not vaccinated. So... anti-vaxxer... yes, if you are healthy, you will likely survive COVID infection. However, for those who reject the vaccine, the important question may be... how many other people might be exposed to serious illness, hospitalization or worse due to an anti-vaxxer skipping the vaccine?

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Hello Mr. Fowler,

My two year old granddaughter sleeps across the hall from my wife and me. She is my new alarm clock. I awake to her exclamation, "SLEEP ALL DONE!". And I love it.

My doctor said that while COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent catching or spreading it, he believes they can prevent death and hospitalization. When I read what the E.P.A. and C.D.C. put online about masks, I was left with the impression that many factors determine the effectiveness. Most importantly to me was their recommendation that the most effective masks should be reserved for medical personnel. When I combine this message, along with Fauci's early waffling on the matter, I am left to wonder. Push come to shove, I suspect our "betters" are only worried about protecting hospitals.

Ray Fowler

Ah, Wilfredo... you're blessed to have such an alarm clock.

The part about wearing masks that grates my sensibilities is the politicization of mask wearing... the "what is good for thee is not good for me" behaviors of elites. Here's the bottom line... masks in combination with hand washing, distancing, and vaccinations will slow the spread of COVID. However. elites prancing around without a mask at galas for the super rich as the persons serving the elites are required to be masked certainly sends the wrong message...

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Mr. Fowler,

Indeed, my wife and I are blessed. Although we have enjoyed our last 16 years alone, being of service to our youngest daughter, three granddaughters and a grandson is rewarding. God is great.

You do not miss the mark with your observations about elites. In addition to sharing those thoughts, I take their behavior as an indication they know something we don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading. To continue, please log in, or sign up for a new account.

We offer one free story view per month. If you register for an account, you will get two additional story views. After those three total views, we ask that you support us with a subscription.

A subscription to our digital content is so much more than just access to our valuable content. It means you’re helping to support a local community institution that has, from its very start, supported the betterment of our society. Thank you very much!