For the first time in two years: a school without masks

Second graders in the education system can be proud of a rather strange achievement – they never went to school without a mask. Now, following the announcement by the Prime Minister and Minister of Health, students are expected to return to school on Sunday with a flawless face. Or at least without a mask on the chin. Teachers, who for two years have been required to require students to wear masks, will see their faces during lessons.

Michal, a teacher from Modi’in, says she used the Easter break to spend a vacation abroad and discovered there that it was possible to live without a mask. “After two weeks in Romania, the language is back in 2019, really cool. And blessed we have to get rid of him. Salvation with the troll. Finally a normal life. He should live by his side and if anyone is afraid he can always wear a mask. Like in China before the Corona days ” .

“There are only students left with the mask, it’s ridiculous, it’s really a joke,” says Sivan of Ashdod, a mother of two. “They are hallucinatory, strange and indistinct, as if they were the last to take care of them.”

“Finally removing the masks will allow for better communication,” Raanana told me. “Masks have contributed to social anxiety and general anxiety in general. So it’s good to be able to breathe again.”

However, besides the joy of many students and parents, there are quite a few parents who fear a new wave of infection will break out after the removal of public masks, especially in schools. Nirit, a veteran literature teacher from Rishon LeZion, says the decision can be both dangerous and fateful. “Complete nonsense. A sure recipe for the outbreak of Corona again in closed spaces and in schools in particular.”

“The safe recipe for corona eruption again” | Photo: Chen Leopold, Flash / 90

“Even without the decision, people let themselves go without a mask, even a central mask. So decisions probably come according to the behavior of citizens. In any case, I will continue to adhere to masks to prevent sick,” says Rothie, a sports teacher in the center of the country.

In addition, there are those who mentioned the effect of the mask on adolescents. Noa Levi, a resident of Holon, is happy with the decision, but she wonders if the masks didn’t help the teens dodge the imaginary audience that always judges them. “Many teens won’t take off their masks,” notes Sarah, an Ariel teacher. “

Negative effect on face recognition

It’s hard to argue with the statement that masks have succeeded in preventing infection in quite a few students, and certainly in an education system that continues to insist on cramming as many students as possible into the classroom, but the psychological impact has not been small. For example, a new study examining dozens of children from Israel and Canada between the ages of 6 and 14 shows that children have difficulty recognizing and processing faces wearing masks, which may affect social interactions with peers and teachers and the ability to form meaningful relationships.

Research shows that children’s facial perception abilities are not only profoundly affected when they look at the face with a mask, but that this impairment is more pronounced than that experienced by adults. The harm to facial recognition using a mask among children is 20% compared to about 15% for adults.

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