We can all understand why dullards get thrown off flights or banned for refusing to wear a mask, but two-year-olds? Yet that’s what happened on a JetBlue flight when a little girl could not keep her mask on. How far is too far? Should JetBlue have removed a family of seven because a small child could not keep her mask on?
JetBlue Removed Family Of Seven After Two-Year-Old Refuses To Wear Mask
Chaya Bruck and her six children were forced off a JetBlue flight from Orlando to Newark this week after her two-year-old daughter could not keep a mask on. Now to be clear, Bruck did not want to her daughter to wear a mask. Furthermore, she was admonished on the Newark to Orlando flight that her daughter had to wear the mask, but was just given a warning. The same crew happened to be operating the return flight.
Bruck told ABC 7:
“Like what, am I going to tie her hands and feet? How am I going to get her to? I took out a mask and tried to put in on. She pulled it off.”
Now she is considering a lawsuit (which will fail…she has no case).
JetBlue issued a lengthy but impersonal statement:
“During these unprecedented times, our first priority is to keep crewmembers and customers safe, and we’ve quickly introduced new safety policies and procedures throughout the pandemic. Specifically, our face covering policy was updated most recently on August 10 to ensure everyone is wearing a face covering – adults and children alike – to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Children age 2 and over must wear a face covering, consistent with CDC guidelines, which say “Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2.”
“Customers receive an email before their flight outlining the latest safety protocols and face covering policies. Our crewmembers are ready to assist customers in the airport and onboard who might need support. We have a flexible rebooking policy for those who are unable to meet this requirement, and customers who refuse to follow these standards after requests from crewmembers will be reviewed for further travel eligibility on JetBlue.
JetBlue says its hands are tied because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends all people over two wear masks. Here’s what the CDC actually says:
- Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Well, Bruck admits that her daughter pulled the mask right off so that the “unable to remove the mask” exception doesn’t apply…
While Bruck’s behavior is suspect, can we discuss the concept of a two-year-old a wearing mask? To my readers who are parents of young children, are you as incredulous about this as I am?
Part of me thinks for every idiot there is an idiotic penchant to let rules overrule common sense. Shame on JetBlue for kicking off an entire family because a two-year-old child could not keep a mask on. But part of me also thinks Bruck was warned and JetBlue is certainly allowed to conduct business in this way.
I’m not an anti-mask zealot. Quite the contrary, I’ve scorned those who lie about medical conditions because they think their “freedoms” are being infringed upon. We wear a mask to show solidity with one another, noting that the inconvenience of wearing a mask is not outweighed by the protection such masks may provide in stopping the spread of virus.
And while we have to draw the line somewhere, I find myself drawing the same conclusion as I did when Southwest kicked off an autistic three-year-old last week:
I do not see why going from age two to three (or here, from age one to two) suddenly renders a child a public health threat and am much more comfortable with an exception for young children than adults.
Overall, I understand (having a three-year-old myself) that children do not like things over their face. Should this mean they cannot fly (and therefore families cannot fly) for the remainder of the pandemic? Should this mean, taken to its logical extension, that there should be no exceptions whatsoever so babies are banned because they cannot wear masks? After all, if the point of a mask is to prevent your germs from spreading, why do babies and toddlers get a free pass?
The ensuing discussion will be predictable. Most will say “no exceptions” because they do not have children or view unmasked children as an unacceptable risk. I’d simply posit that if families are forced to drive instead of fly, that carries inherent risks as well to themselves and others.
These masks stories are going to continue. We have to talk about them. We have to somehow deal with them because they are not going away. Maybe it’s just me, but if the line is arbitrary and must be drawn somewhere, I’d be far more comfortable drawing it at age four than age two.
How about you?