To the editor: I am a member of the global community, a citizen of the United States, a community member, a neighbor and, truth be told, a staff member at Morris Elementary School in Lenox.

I am writing as an individual. I do not represent the views of my colleagues or the Lenox Education Association.

I was surprised by the outcome of the mask debate at the Aug. 9 Lenox School Committee meeting ("To mask, or not to mask?: Question divides Lenox School Committee," Eagle Aug. 10). At the time of the meeting, and I believe still, Berkshire County has high transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our cases had increased 278 percent from the previous two weeks ("The Checkup for Aug. 10, 2021," Eagle), thereby signaling that, as recommended by the CDC, masks should be worn indoors.

One committee member felt that “COVID restrictions are inappropriate for our schools” and that “our children have borne an extraordinary cost over the past year for the worthy cause of protecting others.” Protecting others is not only a worthy cause, but a necessity. While protecting others, you are also protecting yourself. The pandemic is not over — not internationally, in the United States, Massachusetts or Berkshire County. Mask-wearing is still necessary, especially in schools. Students didn’t suffer by wearing masks. We were not torturing them. We were keeping them safe. Wearing masks in school protected all members of the school community, not just the adults. This year, with the delta variant running rampant we must continue to protect this community.

Children are not immune to COVID. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, since the pandemic started, children accounted for 14.3 percent of all COVID cases. From July 15 to 29, that statistic rose to 19 percent. In addition, a convergence of COVID and the flu is worrying many pediatricians. Last year, the AAP’s opinion on the importance of students being in school full-time was highly emphasized. The AAP’s recommendation on universal masking in schools this year seems to be absent from the debate. A major reason for this AAP recommendation is that COVID restrictions in schools, including mask-wearing, protect our entire community and ensure that schools are safe so that full-time, in-person learning can continue during the ongoing pandemic.

One thing is for sure: Come September, I will be wearing my mask when I teach.

Nancy Greenwald, Lenox