As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal. Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.

If it’s your own children being abused, then act accordingly. Let’s say your kids school emailed you and announced that every day after lunch, your sixth-grader was going to get punched in the face by a teacher. How would you respond to that? That’s precisely how you should respond when they tell you that your kids have to wear masks on the soccer field. That is unacceptable, it is dangerous, and we should act like it because it is. But too few of us have responded like that, we have been shamefully passive in the face of all of this.

The CDC recommends that children over two years old wear masks in public settings. That may change when the majority of Americans have been fully vaccinated or when a covid vaccine is approved for children. But until then, kids are going to wear masks outdoors, and it’s going to suck for them just like it sucks for us, and it’s going to be fine.

Carlson’s mask fatigue obviously isn’t an outlier. While some outdoor scenarios are riskier than others—the chances of getting covid-19 while hiking or lounging on the beach is lower than, say, hanging out in a crowded beer garden for several hours—you’re far more likely to contract covid-19 indoors than out, where viral particles disperse more readily. As summer approaches, an opportunity to forgo a sweaty N95 mask while I walk to the subway sounds positively blissful. But we can all hang tight until people who know a lot more about this shit than we do give us the okay. There’s no need to harass people who dare to wear a mask out in public or compare their adherence to CDC guidelines as child abuse.


But Fox viewers are highly impressionable. It’s only a matter of time before someone is filmed calling the police on some mom who dared to make sure her daughter wore her Disney princess face mask on the monkey bars, all because Tucker Carlson said so.