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The carers

I am not usually one for issuing trigger warnings, but this video of an unhappy two year old child is genuinely disturbing:

New York, where two-year-olds are forced to wear masks all day in nursery.

I have a single memory – a three second “video clip” of my brother’s fourth birthday – that I can confidently date as having happened before I was three. Humans do not seem to lay down recoverable memories of most of what happens to them before the age of four or so. Yet a child’s experiences in those early years have a profound effect on their later personality. That little boy will probably never remember that he tried again and again to push away the damp thing that made it hard to breathe but that his carers, with pitiless good cheer, always forced it back on. But he will have learned the lesson of the powerless. You are weak, they are strong. Crying and protesting do not help.

I am told that in Muslim societies where women must go fully veiled it is difficult to get the little girls into their coverings at first. But even they wait until the girls are at least five.

25 comments to The carers

  • Louie Louie

    The cries of Yea Mason Yea! are particularly off-putting. In CS Lewis’ words, those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

  • Jon Eds

    I don’t know how many people feel like I do, but the powers that be have crossed a line. What happens next I don’t know. Hopefully the Ecksian purge is nigh.

  • Fraser Orr

    So I hate to be contrarian, but TBH I didn’t find anything disturbing about this video. Anyone who has dealt with two year old kids is completely familiar with this. It is no different than when they don’t want their diaper changed, or don’t want to give up a toy, or don’t want to leave at the end of the day with mom because they are having fun. I see no reason to believe the child is in pain or even discomfort. He is just pissed that they are not getting their way. If one had spent an hour or so in daycare back in the olden days (like 2019) you’d have seen this behavior many times about many petty squabbles.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is utterly stupid masking two year old kids. But to the comment: “If you’re OK with this level of child abuse, there is something deeply wrong with you.”, I can only assume that there must be something wrong with me. I see no child abuse. Although I do see incompetent, bureaucratic, maybe even tyrannical nonsense.

  • bobby b

    While I understand and agree with Ms. Solent’s underlying point, (and applaud her empathy), I have to also agree with Fraser Orr. When my kids were that age, they’d react like that to being fed, being changed, being carried, being put down, being dressed . . .

    One of my kids once had to wear a nebulizer mask for a week at about that same age. I seriously considered taping it on him. (And he says he still likes me.)

  • Shlomo Maistre

    TBH I didn’t find anything disturbing about this video […] I can only assume that there must be something wrong with me.

    There are so many ways in which your perspective is flawed, I am not even sure where to begin.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    bobby b,

    I have to also agree with Fraser Orr

    If the video in question had been filmed in 2017 or in 2002 or in 1980, your reaction would be the same?

    If not, why not?

    This is not a rhetorical question, but a genuine question.

    Because you apparently have no fucking idea just how harmless COVID is to children and you evidently have no idea how harmful masks are to children.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I for one wholeheartedly agree with Natalie’s characterization of the video as disturbing. It is disturbing. Very disturbing.

    If it had been filmed 20 years ago or 50 years ago it would be equally as disturbing.

  • bobby b

    SM, I think you misunderstand my point.

    No, I don’t think the kid should be masked. It’s stupid and Karenish and maybe even harmful.

    But, as a separate point, the kid’s reaction in that video isn’t any different from how kids react to anything they don’t want. This is not a tearjerker vid of some poor little wretch being tortured. This is a normal kid reacting normally to less-than-full pleasure and satisfaction.

    “If the video in question had been filmed in 2017 or in 2002 or in 1980, your reaction would be the same?”

    I HAVE videos like this, from the 90’s mostly, of my own kids reacting to . . . anything they don’t like. It’s just normal. No, don’t take your diaper off. No, don’t bite your sister. No, don’t poke the dog’s eye. No, put that dog poop DOWN! And then they cry and whine, just like this kid.

    I don’t want to be intrusive, but, have you raised any kids?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Fraser Orr, it is true that there are regular occasions when the most loving of parents does things that they know will make their toddler cry, and I’m not just talking about obvious cases like taking your kid for routine vaccinations. You mention that children sometimes “don’t want to leave [daycare] at the end of the day with mom because they are having fun”, but worse happens in the mornings when the mother leaves a crying child in the day nursery, guiltily wondering if the assurances from the staff that the kids soon cheer up once mum/dad is out of sight are actually true. But people have a living to earn, and the kid has to learn to live in society somehow, so they do it.

    Most of the causes of tears you mention are momentary. If I knew or saw that something done to my child made them cry and struggle over an extended period, then I would urgently reconsider what I was doing. It might be worthwhile to do it even so. Life and childrearing often involve hard choices. But tragedies have arisen because parents disregarded what later turned out to be signs of serious distress.

    I take issue with “I see no reason to believe the child is in pain or even discomfort.” I see a strong reason to believe it: the fact that masks cause me discomfort. I have worn them whenever requested, and continue to do so in venues that request mask-wearing now, and it’s usually OK for the first hour or so but then it begins to feel almost stifling. And I am an adult, buttressed by my rational knowledge that this horrible feeling is not likely to harm me, and buttressed by my power to cut short my shop and leave if it becomes too much to bear.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    This is a normal kid reacting normally to less-than-full pleasure and satisfaction.

    “Less than full pleasure and satisfaction”? Is that what we are calling the USE OF FORCE to repeatedly place masks over the faces of weaker humans who don’t know what’s good for them?

    I think that if someone who weighed eight times more than me repeatedly placed a mask over my face using their superior strength despite my sincere protestations, I might react with considerably more violence than the toddler did in the video.

    As Natalie says in her comment “tragedies have arisen because parents disregarded what later turned out to be signs of serious distress.”

  • Shlomo Maistre

    And how long does the toddler have to wear the mask on his face for? One hour? three hours? Five hours? All day long until his Mom picks him up?

    I know the mask will not hurt me permanently (well, this is debatable) and even still, I can last only about an hour wearing a mask and then I need to take it off and breath normally for a good long while before putting it back on again. And I’m 30 years old!

    These toddlers are courageous for the torture – physical and psychological – they have to put up with at the hands of these LibTards.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The psychological torture being inflicted upon this innocent toddler is beyond reprehensible – I experienced distress watching the video and could not watch the whole thing. He does not know when he will be allowed to breath free of this face covering.

    Not to mention the psychological harm of not seeing human faces, which is especially damaging to the mental well-being and psyche of children who are being routinely deprived not only of learning non-verbal cues, proper enunciation, and facial expressions, but also being denied the human right to see faces – literally the exact thing we have evolved over millennia to look at to assign identity to other human beings. In every movie about good and evil the bad side is wearing masks. In everything from Star Wars to Scream, the masks are on the side of the bad people.

    For kids going to school today, everyone is “bad” – the teachers, the other school children, the older kids, the younger kids, the girls, the boys. Everyone is a stranger.

    The extent of this psychological harm is massive and will be studied for centuries into the future.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Natalie Solent (Essex)
    Most of the causes of tears you mention are momentary. If I knew or saw that something done to my child made them cry and struggle over an extended period, then I would urgently reconsider what I was doing

    So what I hear you saying Natalie is that your beef is not what is in the video, which is the sort of thing that you see every day in daycare for miscellaneous perfunctory reasons. Rather your concern is what you imagine comes after the video, namely an extended bout of mask wearing. TBH I find that a bit more of a credible claim, but not much. My guess is that the little guy got used to it and focused more on arguing over who gets to play with the truck. That is the way it is with a lot of mask wearing kids. But I could be wrong. I guess some people are more sensitive to masks than others and perhaps young Mason was one of those unfortunate souls. Some of the software I write is used in operating rooms by surgeons, so I know quite a few of them. These guys wear masks pretty much all day long. As your recent experience shows they can do so without any impact on their performance, and their bronchial system isn’t much different than Mason’s.

    As I said, I think mandating masks for two year old kids is really stupid, and probably damaging in some ways (for example, I think there was a study recently that indicated that the inability to see facial expressions impacted their language learning skills.) It is merely being done for stupid political reasons, and the big old cult we all seemed to get caught up in. As I have said here before, masks are very much akin to a magic talisman. But the linked video? I didn’t see any abuse or anything terrible. Maybe it implied something bad afterward, but again, “child abuse” as the Twitter person said, seems a bit of an overstatement.

    And may I add the the other commenters in the other threads my best wishes for whatever ails you. I hope your medical visit was a success and that you have many healthy happy years of Samizdataing ahead of your.

  • Louie Louie nails it with his comment. This isn’t about how the child behaves, it’s about how the adults behave…

  • Ferox

    They aren’t wearing gloves, no hairnets, they are close inside his personal space (no 6ft rule here) … there is no possible anti-viral purpose to all of this. A simpleton could see that it has nothing at all to do with medical safety.

    It wasn’t even about the kid and his mask or lack of it. It was entirely about the teachers signaling their virtue to their friends by bullying a toddler. If you don’t think so – how did the video get shared around in the first place? These monstrous bitches actually thought they were doing something commendable.

    The shooting war can’t come soon enough.

  • I do not wish to be harsh on Fraser Orr (September 19, 2021 at 10:19 pm) or bobby b (September 19, 2021 at 10:28 pm), nor wish others to be. However I think they are mistaken. I too saw that the clip had points of similarity to common two-year-old behaviours. Just as I saw it had points of similarity to water-boarding. Just as the recently-charged Detroit doctor’s FGM operations had points of similarity to lawful operations she performed in her hospital. Just as amputations in the era before anaesthetics had points of similarity to torture chambers.

    One of my kids once had to wear a nebulizer mask for a week … he says he still likes me (bobby b, September 19, 2021 at 10:28 pm)

    I’m guessing he accepts you did due diligence in reaching that medical decision. If you and he both knew you had fallen, through conformist virtue-signalling lack of due diligence, for a hoax that gave him a vile week, then he might still like you nevertheless – but it would surely be nevertheless.

    “… Those who torment us for our own good …” (C.S.Lewis quote in Louie Louie (September 19, 2021 at 8:02 pm)

    Here, there is not even the pretence that it is for the 2-year-old’s own good. Neil Oliver refuses to get his children vaxxed

    because I, their father, am here to protect them, not the other way around.

    If you could tear the masks off these gloveless un-hair-netted staff and make them discuss their actions, they would soon enough be involved in due-diligence-lacking statistical falsities as they tried to justify it as being for anyone’s good, but sooner than that they would admit it was not for the infant’s own good.

    Fraser Orr speculates the kid may not truly mind the mask that much – that if the clip were longer we’d see him settling down to it. You have only to study shoppers to see that some people don’t mind the mask much – and that many others loathe it on a much shorter timescale than Natalie’s hour (Natalie Solent (Essex), September 19, 2021 at 11:30 pm).

    So I’m with Natalie when she says that she

    would urgently reconsider what I was doing.

    It’s this lack of reconsideration, of due diligence, of the scientific method that demands we not ban reconsideration, in which I find evidence of evil. Ego is what bans people from reconsidering what they are doing in situations like this.

  • APL

    bobby b: “One of my kids once had to wear a nebulizer mask for a week … he says he still likes me”

    Imagine you told your child that (s)he needed to use a nebulizer, then, further imagine the child was already in distress through difficulty breathing, and could identify an immediate benefit through the use of the nebulizer. That, it seems to me, to an entirely different scenario.

    The particular child, the subject of this video ( which I have chosen not to view, I’ve already seen another dreadful distressing instance where a child was forcibly separated from its parent by ( I assume ) Australian Police ( vidwo mysteriously disappeared now )), could not see any benefit from wearing a mask, found it uncomfortable and without any benefit, whatsoever.

    I was not a touchy feelie parent, and probably some of the ‘issues’ my adult offspring now experience, are down to poor parenting. By the way, my children claim they still like me.

    Despite their assurances, in hindsight, I am pretty sure, my conduct as a parent could have been significantly improved, to thier benefit.

  • bobby b

    “I’m guessing he accepts you did due diligence in reaching that medical decision. If you and he both knew you had fallen, through conformist virtue-signalling lack of due diligence, for a hoax that gave him a vile week, then he might still like you nevertheless – but it would surely be nevertheless.”

    He was one year old. Judging conformist virtue-signalling lack of due diligence was not really within his wheelhouse. 😉

    Look, there are two separate arguments going on here. Is making a 2-year-old wear a mask dumb, scientifically illiterate, and possibly harmful? Yes. I agree completely. Does this video show a child in extremis due to some awful abuse? No, it shows a typical child reaction to not getting his way. With that, I’ll bow out.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Niall Kilmartin
    I too saw that the clip had points of similarity to common two-year-old behaviours. Just as I saw it had points of similarity to water-boarding.

    You are a super smart guy, you can’t seriously be comparing this to waterboarding. I understand the point you are making but your use of such a provocative comparison seems rather more rhetorical than informative.

    It’s this lack of reconsideration, of due diligence, of the scientific method that demands we not ban reconsideration, in which I find evidence of evil. Ego is what bans people from reconsidering what they are doing in situations like this.

    I think your expectations are unreasonable here. The people putting the mask on Mason are daycare workers. No doubt nice people, but most likely utterly unequipped to do what you are expecting of them here. A guy from the government with lots of letters after his name says that this is best for the child’s health. Everything they are told and hear agrees with this. It is a lot to expect these workers to challenge that. Which isn’t to say they can’t, but to call them evil for not doing so is not at all fair. They are told by people with lots of letters after their name that reading books to children is very beneficial, or punishing children’s misdeeds with timeout rather than a beating is better. Are they to also do an in depth literature search on those topics too?

    Bobby’s summary is concise, and one which represents my position too. To be clear, I think doing what they are doing is preposterous, and perhaps a little harmful, but to call what we saw in the video “child abuse” is at best a gross hyperbole.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Over the weekend my wife and I went to a gala awards event in Liverpool, and spent time walking around the city, enjoying its magnificent 19th century architecture and marveling at the wonders of the “Scouse” accent. One fact: no-one was wearing masks in shops, pubs (there are many), hotel reception areas, taxis, trains, etc. Not. One.

    Say what you like about Liverpool – it is a city full of “character” – but the locals have an almost joyous “damn the torpedoes” attitude towards the plague.

  • Fraser Orr (September 20, 2021 at 4:11 pm):

    * You – perhaps influenced by your own psychological reaction to prolonged mask wearing – are choosing to imagine the situation as resolving itself soon after the clip ends, with the infant getting used to the mask or at least not getting seriously more disturbed by it.

    * Natalie, explicitly influenced by her psychological reaction to prolonged mask wearing, has a quite different view of how (for a good many infants if not all) the situation can be expected to develop after the clip ends.

    Obviously, I do not think surgeons in the old days were the same as torturers, nor routine hospital operations the same as genital mutilation, nor those staffers the same as water-boarders. Equally, Natalie and I don’t think they are the same as staffers reasonably assuring the reluctantly departing parent that their child’s cries of ‘Mummy, no go!’ at the door will soon change to ‘Me go next?’ at the slide.

    No-one is broken by one minute of water boarding. Like Stalin’s conveyer, it is unrelieved application of the method over a prolonged period of time that takes it from being trivial to being horrible. The analogy of thinking about how easily you could keep a secret during ten minutes of water-boarding and how less easily during ten hours of it was an attempt to awaken the imagination as to why, for many infants, the distress will not be so short. I know enough adults who (as one remarked to me on a walk yesterday) loathe the mask” to guestimate how many children do.

  • Paul Marks

    Progressivism is CHILD ABUSE.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Progressivism is CHILD ABUSE.

    Correct

  • The Wobbly Guy

    My two year old boy had to wear the mask in his childcare, not just because of the covid, but because he was being a tiny terror and biting other kids in his class. Thankfully, he went along with the mask wearing and the biting subsided, whew.

    In Singapore, we seem generally okay with not seeing faces. I joked in Singapore, because almost everybody goes around with annoyed, stressed out, pensive, or angry expressions most of the time, masks are actually an improvement!

    It’s an East Asian thing.

  • Tim Cole

    If you tolerate this,then your children will be next.

    Seemed prophetic at the time, now we realise that people are weaker than we thought.

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