Mike Markoe.  (Do Not Use)

Mike Markoe

Mike Markoe

The morning after the Frederick County school board emphasized to the community that it was powerless to remove a mask requirement in its schools, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called on the State Board of Education to do just that.

During public comment at its Wednesday night meeting, the Frederick County Board of Education heard from a handful of community members who railed against Frederick County Public Schools’ ongoing mask mandate. The issue has come up without fail at every meeting this school year, often featuring the same speakers.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

Education reporter

Jillian Atelsek covers education for The Frederick News-Post. She grew up near Woodsboro, attended Walkersville High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with degrees in journalism and history.

(83) comments

Greyfox

It's way past time to call this endemic and remove all restrictions.

DorianMode

I feel like my two cents won't make a dent in a world where folks are so dug in to their tribes and alternative truths. How do you function as a society when facts and truth are nebulous constructs filled with rancor? People are stating that wearing masks don't work. Of course they don't if you are wearing a one-layer gator around your chin. They are effective at preventing spread and lowering the viral load of the infection IF they are multilayer like N95, properly fitted and worn consistently. Are students wearing the masks properly or being provided with masks that are highly effective? No, but the measure still is just that, a measure to help get us through and keep schools open. People are saying vaccines don't work. Well, do they prevent all infection or disease, no. In the case of the RNA vaccines, they are effective at helping the body to know how to use our own immune systems to fight it off so that the virus does not further damage systems and cause serious illness. Which in turn makes it more likely that you do not end up taxing the heath care system with a serious case and keeps you on the planet a bit longer to enjoy life with the ones you love. Masks, for now, are still recommended by the CDC. The CDC, well, they have been somewhat of a public relations nightmare in my view. However, all their missteps have been understandable. If you seek to understand rather than condemn, spreading distrust, you will see that they had reasons or gaps of knowledge that lead them to the advise at each moment. We were learning and that is what we do when we face a new challenge. We don't get it all right no matter how hard we try. That is not a failing. That's just life and not a reason to mistrust. However, they could explain themselves much more effectively so that the mistrust isn't easily spread. It saddens me to see all the fighting on here. Are we all sick of this? Yes. But this test of our community, forbearance, patience, empathy, problem-solving, and fear mechanisms is one of the tests of this time. Should we wear masks? Yes. It would be better if all got the vaccine so even if you got it, the vaccine turns this into a much lesser disease and we could just go home, get better, and move on like many other viruses? Yes. That's how we live with it. If you were lucky enough to get a mild case, then your antibodies will protect you for a while, but the vaccine is still, by all accounts a longer lasting defense. I get the issue of seeing health measures as entering a world like China with the government probing and prodding your life and medical freedoms are all but gone, and choice is not allowed. We have to use discernment and diligence. But, we can't move forward with alternative truths. If we follow evidence and learn through reproducible results and solid evidence, we can start to see truths emerge. The problem is we have tainted truth and the pursuit of it with politics and made everything a "us against them" proposition full of trolling, posturing, baiting, attacks, and mistrust of any motives that seemingly don't line up with our echo chambers or our chosen media outlets. This is just sad. This is not wisdom, or cleverness, or the best version of America. Call me naive, but this is not about seeking truth, it's about winning an argument and appearing more clever than a person who doesn't see the world through your eyes. Ever been in a marriage? Does this kind of behavior damage that relationship or make it stronger? Do those who want masks gone wrong in wanting that? No. Is it time to get rid of the masks? No. Are we all tired of this? Yup. Is it impactful to have to wear a mask. Yes, but less impactful to life and living than disease. Do we have to find a way to live with this? Yes, we did. It's called a vaccine. Are most of the people getting sick unvaccinated? Yes. Does that tell us something? Depends on what you consider to be the truth according to your filters, beliefs, and echo chambers. Do alternative truths make this a much harder thing to deal with? Yes. Do we just exercise our freedoms and take of the masks against medical advise? Well, if it was only you that suffered the consequences of that choice, I'd say go for it. Fact is, the virus doesn't care about your freedoms, your choices, or your political leanings. Ask the many people who ended up dead because of their choice. I knew too many of them. Oh wait, can't ask them, right? Should your freedom be bought at the price of innocent lives? Tough questions. Let's please just discuss and not degrade. This is not clever, fun, or productive. Then again, who am I do say this. Am I speaking truth? Good questions. Peace and health to you all.

EAG

I agree the fighting and arguing is counterproductive, and at the end of the day we all want what’s best for our kids. We are told to follow the science, yet science is only reliable as long as it’s in line with our political beliefs? As a parent of elementary aged children, and with the majority of my own family in Sweden (including nieces and nephews) where masks were never required in schools, it’s hard for me to justify masking my own children for 8 hours a day. Especially when I see what condition the masks are in at the end of a school day 🤢

I’ve read studies that suggests masks offer some protection against the spread, I’ve read others that say it makes virtually no difference, some studies say wearing a mask will negatively affect Children’s social development, speech, and therefore reading abilities. Other studies say it does not in any way affect our children in a negative way. I remember reading a study from Finland a year or so ago saying the transmission among children is so incredibly low, schools should be kept open and operate as usual.

In my opinion, we have to keep an open mind, follow the actual science, not just the science that we agree with.

I believe parents need to be allowed to make the choices they consider best for their own children. Especially when something that’s never been done before is being mandated, and we have no idea how this may affect our children long term. I mean, there’s plenty of 4-year-olds who’s been wearing a mask daily for half of their short lives? If masking our children was truly necessary in stopping the spread, why is is not being enforced globally? If it was that “easy” why isn’t everyone, and all countries doing it? And why aren’t those countries who doesn’t worse off than us?

I’m so sick of hearing people say that if you don’t agree with masking up kids you don’t care about people dying, or you’re a trumpster, or… you name it.

We all want the same thing, we want people to be safe, and we want what’s best for our kids.

Boomer631B

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DorianMode

I hear you EAG! I'm not trying to label anyone, not that you were saying that. I, like you, just want to know what is best and for that I turn to those who know. Doctors, Virologists, credible sources... I want what's best for us all. If the best for us means some inconvenience, then we have to just learn to deal with it. However, how much is needed or necessary? How much is too much and how much is impacting lives in a way that infringes on privacy, medical choice, and invokes fear rather than reason? Where is the balance? I think you hit on it quite well. We want the same things and questions abound as we learn and move forward. I just hope we can share knowledge and truly listen to each other as we do it. The listening part is key. We have two ears and one mouth. Too many are using the wrong body part in the wrong measure and doing it with hurtful intent.

threecents

Sorry about the typos and the bad acronym

threecents

We are not quite in a safe range yet. We had four more Covid deaths in Frederick reported just yesterday, and we are still around 40 per day in the state. The positivity rate is still about twice as high in Frederick than in the state as a whole - and that is probably mostly due to RNWN (Republicans not not vaccinated or not wearing masks).

Boomer631B

Has nothing to do with the kids and mask mandate in schools - there will always be deaths attributed to Covid directly and indirectly so are you just going to hide with a mask on that we already know from the data doesn't help... but for those who want to wear them go ahead but no more need for mandates especially ones that were flawed from the beginning. Twice as high in Frederick than any where else in the state of MD... ponders the question are the books being cooked only time will tell when the data is public...

Awteam2021

Wasn’t it last week Frederick had the highest death toll from Covid?

At this point if someone feels so strongly that the safety protocols haven’t helped, question the statistics, are part of the Republican Trump cult or don’t want to follow the CDC recommended safety precautions and not willing to even protect themselves even if it’s voluntary because mask are more uncomfortable then the risk, like being ill or death, it’s a personal choice, not interested in safety precautions to lower the risk for their family or themselves , really? Who cares? I don’t.

Pro-Choice/Privileged W. Woman

Yeah me either at this point… I just don’t want them clogging up the healthcare system though…so I maybe care a tad, because if a vaccinated family member needs the Emergency Room, and they die because of some Covid idiot….I will not be happy

threecents

Boom, You don't like what the facts show, so you suggest the facts are wrong. OK, I'll move on then.

Boomer631B

You should move on you are wasting air...

EZRider

Bob Saget died from head trauma and the autopsy showed he had covid. What are the chances that somewhere it will be counted as a covid death?

Awteam2021

🥃 Did 900,000 Americans died from head trauma and not covid? Why did you get vaccinated and follow social protocols? You know you’ll eventually die, most likely from some other cause. Are you advocating wearing helmets to offset covid? I don’t get your point. Do you?

EZRider

Try to keep up, awt. The point is how many covid cases and deaths are truly due to covid and how many were simply with covid? There is a big financial and political incentive to code "cases" as covid when the person may have gone to the hospital for something totally unrelated and happen to test positive while there. Tell me it ain't so.

phydeaux994

Wear a mask, get vaccinated, the two best things to do to minimize COVID-19 as best we can. End of story. Everything else from the Trumpers is just Trolling. They couldn’t care less about people dying, much younger people at that, including children. Anybody that listens to how deep the corruption is from Trump and the COWARDS are still sucking up to him. Didn’t someone here mention yesterday that Trumpers have an ORANGE tinge to their lips? Pucker up BTT(BullyTagTeam).🥵🥵🥵

threecents

His death was attributed to head trauma, but Saget reportedly had Covid for about a month and had an enlarged heart; 95% blocked on one side. Then he died from falling down in his hotel room. Covid was not officially ruled as the cause of death.

MD1756

"so are you just going to hide with a mask on that we already know from the data doesn't help" You are so wrong it's ridiculous. see some of my links below including Harvard and the Mayo Clinic. How do you think deer are catching the Covid virus (including the omicron variant)? A hint, it's not from attending large stag parties in jam packed bars while not wearing masks. Mask do help and the data supports it.

Boomer631B

Nice try now move on biden lover

FcpsAdmin2

FCPS should be discussing why Mike Markoe -- one of the masterminds behind FCPS's program to abuse disabled kids and who was at the center of the effort to cover it up -- is still working there.

vodalone

The truth is 2022 mid terms are approaching fast and with spring and summer looming and declining Covid numbers the pressure will be on officials to lift mask mandates. If Omicron is the last dangerous variant we're going to see, then it's the right decision, but nobody knows. I could see us entering a cycle when masks go on Nov. 1 and come off March 1. You'll almost be able to synchronize it with daylight savings time hehe

EZRider

Notice how the coastal Democrat-run states are joining the Republican-run states to lift mask mandates? I heard one pundit say they are running to catch the parade and trying to make it look like they are leading it The empty suits failures on all fronts and the mid-terms are weighing heavily on them. So heavily that Hillary has emerged from the shadows with speculation that the Democrat power brokers want her to run in 2024 to keep Biden and President Harris off the ticket.

Time will tell

threecents

WT, You have any references for that, other than your usual fake news sources? That's all I saw when I googled it.

EZRider

Maybe your google needs a tune up. Here's a few for you.

https://news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-speak-ny-democratic-152428958.html

https://nypost.com/2022/02/10/hillary-clinton-to-speak-at-ny-dem-convention-as-speculation-grows-over-a-run-at-biden/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/hillary-clinton-expected-to-speak-at-new-york-democratic-convention/ar-AATHMO2?ocid=uxbndlbing

Boomer631B

news sources where have you been watching these liberal blue states open up and lifting mask mandates all of the sudden... they see the writing on the wall and the data even supports removing the mask mandates... they also don't want to deal with a trucker convoy protest either... heck California cannot even unload ships because of their stupid laws and failure to have people back at work... liberals will keep to this mantra because well biden is failing so badly no one wants to campaign with him either...

EZRider

Here's some more light reading for you, three.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/democrats-recent-rejection-of-covid-insanity-will-not-save-them-this-fall-opinion/ar-AATJzCW?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

threecents

WT, Nope, I read two of your references, and neither of them said "Democrat power brokers want her to run in 2024." Geesh again.

EZRider

Wait and see, three, wait and see shall we?

Awteam2021

Whiskey 🥃 , where do your Internet post say what you say? But only reinforces you don’t know what you’re talking about.

threecents

Wait and see? W-T-F. You posted your fake news as fact, then posted fake references, and then basically said it might be true. That is exactly what we mean by fake news. Like I heard someone say: you can't say it is 4:00, and wait for 4:00 to say, "See I told you it was 4:00."

Boomer631B

First Hogan can make his own executive order for removing mask mandate and then if State Board of Education wants to fight that or any county school system - there is the state courts and then eventually if required the federal court. Brad makes a point about the two students that spoke one for and one against - the thing is the one that has a compromised immune system probably has had that for some time now not just because of Covid; that child should be masking all the time for her safety. That does not mean everyone must wear a mask for her... sorry we have never done that in society and that is not how we live life in the USA. Feel terrible for her, but think about the 1Ks of students who are wearing masks that are also suffering in other ways and for the last year or so medical experts were reporting that kids were not at risk and masks were theater as we seen the last several days from liberal democrats who were with the precious children they preach to us about... teachers unions have these state boards of education wrapped around their fingers - they love that $$$$$ which gives them power. Enough already with this. If parents in Frederick County and for that matter the voters do not make changes to our board in the next several elections like VA is doing; we are making a big mistake for our precious children.

Awteam2021

Whiskey and Boo…b, have both been vaccinated and follow mandated social protocols. I guess they did it cause if it does work or not, they want to be on the side of being socially responsible. They reluctantly sacrifice their belief in personal freedom and science doubts for the better of all.

Boomer631B

I played the game knowing for the most part masking was not helpful and the vaccine was a preventive measure for lessening the effects of the virus not from getting it... I was against total shutdowns they destroyed our economy when we did not need to do that for a virus that killed less than 1% of our total population and most of our deaths were from bad decisions regarding nursing homes and hospitals as well as those with serious health conditions. I am sure when we actually see the data collected from the total deaths it will not be 900K deaths all directly tied to Covid... many died of other issues... funny thing is the Communist Chinese officials are laughing their butts off at us for a virus that was man-made in their lab... and now liberals are tuning in to the Olympics and praising the CCP...

EZRider

"Recommendations" on when to wear a mask from the CDC website:

.

*If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and are aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask indoors in public.

*In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. In areas of substantial or high transmission, people might choose to wear a mask outdoors when in sustained close contact with other people, particularly if they or someone they live with has a weakened immune system or is at increased risk for severe disease.

*They are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or live with someone who is not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

That's the medical science. The "political" science is another issue and the Mask Militants will be banging the drum for continued mask mandates for quite some time.

The "political" science shows how many coastal liberal states are cancelling or letting their mask mandates expire in the runup to the mid-terms.

Keep wearing your mask as long as you want, just don't expect the rest of us to do so.

phydeaux994

***To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can, that fits well and that you will wear consistently.***

EZRider

And you should wear your mask as long as you want, phydeaux. To provide even more protection for the rest of us, put a muzzle on it too. [lol][lol][lol]

phydeaux994

Feel better now?

EZRider

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DickD

Small pox vaccinations were required for about 80 years or longer. No one complained about them. Then along came Trump..........................

gramps

The small pox vaccine actually prevented you from getting the disease. The Covid “vaccine” does not prevent you from getting infected. So there’s that…

Boomer631B

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EZRider

gramps, I am shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that about the covid vaccine. The empty suit in the White House told us that if we get the vaccine we won't get covid. (sarcasm alert)

DickD

True, but if you don't want to die, you better get vaccinated and the booster shot too as those older than 65 are 50 times more likely to die if unvaccinated. How old are you, Gramps?

threecents

Gramps, the smallpox vaccine did not completely prevent infection either. Most vaccines do not provide "sterilizing immunity", and no vaccine is 100% effective. Smallpox was eradicated by a combination of near 100% vaccination and quarantining. It also helped that there were no animal reservoirs of smallpox.

Awteam2021

Actually “gramps”, the small pox vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus. The vaccine helps the body develop immunity to the virus by creating immunity antibodies against the germ. You don’t get it because over time donors have been eliminated squashing the spread. Your immune system recognizes the virus because you’ve been vaccinated. Look at it this way, if you’ve been vaccinated you have a ‘membership card’ you are in “good hands 🙌 “. But if you don’t have a smallpox member card you still have the potential to suffer severe consequences … Don’t feel bad. This is a common misunderstanding. Vaccines developed an immune response to pathogens that the bodies immunity system hadn’t previously recognized. If everyone would comply to COVID-19 vaccinations it would have similar results.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-difference-between-immunization-and-vaccination-4140251

Boomer631B

comparing small pox with Covid an engineered virus from the CCP....

threecents

Boom, Can you post a reference showing it is engineered? I looked at the sequences at the beginning of the pandemic and actually did see a suspicious deviation from a very similar bat virus, so I am curious.

doitforahobby

I am not a Trump fan and wish he would crawl under a rock, but can't you get over Trump yet? I did. I just get tired of hearing about it all the time. Get a LIFE!

jsklinelga

doit[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

phydeaux994

You’re still talking about him??

EZRider

It's called Long Trumpism. One of the symptoms is blindness to the mess that the empty suit and President Harris have managed to wreak upon us in only one year.

threecents

I'll get over Trump when you all guess his name.

phydeaux994

How this Country turned this mask thing into a Political War is not believable. Masks saved tens of thousands of lives with little inconvenience and hardship. They should still be worn in schools and around the elderly and sick because they are still saving lives in combination with vaccinations. Had masks been used early on by everyone this would be over now, the variants would have never had a chance to develop. Trump turned these anti-people into killers. Unbelievable!!

Aslan19

@phy, your claims are totally and completely unsuppirtable by any kind of rational science. If you want to wear a mask, I strongly suggest that you do. However, stop trying to force those who don't agree with you through the use of unelected "experts".

Boomer631B

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MD1756

Asian19, Here's what the "idiots" at Harvard (from 1/15/2022) have to say (See: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/masks-save-lives-heres-what-you-need-to-know-2020111921466) "...The bottom line. The best available evidence shows that mask-wearing can help reduce spread of COVID-19 infections, keep waves of serious illness from overburdening our hospitals, and save lives — possibly even yours." But of course, you know better than they do don't you?

If the Harvard article wasn't good enough for you, how about information from the Mayo Clinic and others?

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02801-8

MD1756

Also see: https://www.kxan.com/news/coronavirus/do-face-masks-work-here-are-49-scientific-studies-that-explain-why-they-do/

phydeaux994

How can I FORCE anybody to do anything? I just post what the CDC recommends because that is the Right thing to do. Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask is the Right thing to do and it costs nothing nor does it put any undo hardship on anyone. You just keep believing Trump though, he never lies.

EZRider

Still suffering from Long Trumpism, phydeaux? I wonder if anyone can explain why more Americans have died on Biden's watch when he had masks and vaccines than under Trump's watch when he didn't have the vaccine? Didn't one of the fake news sources, maybe CNN, claim that Trump had blood on his hands from the virus deaths? Looks like the empty suit in the White House has some on his hands too.

Awteam2021

Whiskey 🥃, you don’t believe, but you go along. 🤷‍♂️ You brag about getting all your vaccinations, wear a mask where mandated, and follow social distancing protocols.

There’s no mandate on what you believe. Has anyone said you have to believe? The point of mandates is for doubters, like you, once told what to do, will do. Your beliefs are irrelevant.

Maybe if Trump really paid attention to the pandemic rather than coming up with cockamamie remedies, rather than tearing up, eating and flushing official President documents down the toilet there wouldn’t be so many deaths now. A clear case of Trumpism. If you are into taking his advice - disinfectants or sticking ultraviolet probe up your butt please say so. Don’t be shy, share your experience.😳

threecents

Asian, stop pretending you know any science.

wran

Well, I remember well Pelosi, Schumer, et al calling Trump xenophobic when early on he banned travel from China. And then there was Pelosi parading around Chinatown saying this pandemic thing was a hoax and encouraging people to go out and patronize restaurants. Then, she personally violated guidelines by going to a closed saloon for a hairdo. Then there was the CA guv celebrating maskless and having pictures taken while he was holding his breath. AOC dining maskless in FL. So many hypcrites. The little people must follow all these rules we have established, but not us. We are better than they are.

threecents

Trump talked about banning travel from China, but he did not do it. He just wanted to continue his anti-China rants that helped him get elected in 2016. Every other word from Trump back then was anti-China, anti-Iran, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim, so yah, he certainly was xenophobic - except when it came to Putin, Hungary, North Korea,... As for Pelosi - she made a mistake early on before much evidence was available. And for AOC - yah, she is an idiot.

threecents

I don't know if masks would have prevented Omicron or not, but the experts say that if Trump supported masks, it would have saved over 100,000 lives.

Greyfox

Wow. Must be nice to live in your alternate reality... not! Trump wasn't perfect, but worlds better than broccoli brain, whining about gas prices when he caused them by banning fracking on federal lands and stopping the Keystone XL pipeline...

BornToHula2

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Earl Elliott

READ THE ROOM!!!!

Earl Elliott

END IT NOW!!!!!!!

Pro-Choice/Privileged W. Woman

Get vaccinated then

marinick1

Vaccination and masks are equally ineffective, especially with kids. Typical comment.

phydeaux994

Have you been looking at the school map the FNP publishes every week with the number of cases in each school increasing every week before it peaked. Hundreds of kids in Frederick County. Your entire comment is ignorant. Typical of you though.

Earl Elliott

I did! And boosted too!

public-redux

maranick seems to think you’re a fool.

Aslan19

@priv, how do you know that he/she is not? Vaccination for covid is not going to do ANYTHING other than reduce your chance of significant disease. It doesn't prevent infection, it doesn't prevent transmission, it doesn't prevent hospitalization, nothing.

Boomer631B

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phydeaux994

In the vast majority of people, 90% or more, it prevents all those things. In about 10% of vaccinated people it doesn’t. I like those odds.

Pro-Choice/Privileged W. Woman

Aslan19

Does it hurt to be this obtuse? Did you read the article, did you comprehend the article? If we want to end mask mandates, more of us need to be vaccinated…really simple, once more of us are vaccinated the mask mandates will ease up. Though since FCPS doesn’t track vaccination status of the employees or the students…?

Fair points about the vaccine Aslan, that goes for other vaccines as well that are required for school, so Covid should be a required vaccine! Just like all the other vaccines that are required for school admittance…you made a good argument as to why the Covid vaccine should be a mandated vaccine, when’s the last time you heard of someone with Polio, smallpox, etc?

threecents

Vaccination reduces viral load by preventing the virus from entering host cells and by helping the immune system to inactivate virus particles. Vaccination significantly reduces the likelihood of transmission and severe illness. Geesh.

threecents

How can you think that the vaccines don't prevent hospitalization, when a large majority of those hospitalized have been unvaccinated, while a large majority of the gen pop have been vaccinated? That is well documented in Frederick and around the country. Geesh.

Fredginrickey

Galt was based on Rand’s real life lover ,… a serial killer. Says a lot.

EZRider

[sleeping]

Boomer631B

[thumbup]

Greyfox

100% agree. Really tired of the control freaks trying to justify their choices... end the charade...

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