Some of what Bette Grande wrote in her March 20 column, “Spring: A time of new beginnings,” is quite misleading. She referenced a German study on the effects of face masks on children.
Important to note is that this study is not yet peer reviewed. More troubling is the editorial note before the abstract: the survey was distributed preferentially in social media forums that, according to the authors, “criticize the government’s corona protection measures in principle.”
Grande suggests that of the 26,000 children, 60% reported irritability, 53% headaches, etc. That’s not quite true. The study clearly states that there were 20,353 people who responded about 25,930 children.
So what we really have from this study is that 60% of 20,000 parents, admittedly critical of their government’s face mask mandate, reported increased irritability in their children and that 53% of 20,000 parents, admittedly critical of their government’s face mask mandate, reported headaches, etc.
It is good to use research in forming opinions and it is good to show research to support an opinion in a newspaper column but 1) the research should be reviewed by other researchers and 2) results should be used accurately.
Allyne Holz lives in Moorhead.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.