Before Michigan extended and expanded its mask mandate, children under the age of five were exempt from having to wear a mask in public. Now, kids in daycare facilities or camps must wear a mask at all times, and children as young as two must wear a mask whenever they are outside their homes.
"A good faith effort is made to ensure that children aged two to four years wear a mask when participating in gatherings," wrote the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in its order. (Related: Michigan has now reached 36.5% of people vaccinated, yet the state STILL leads the nation in new COVID cases per capita.)
Children under the age of two are exempt from the mask mandate. The statewide order is set to expire on May 25 if Whitmer doesn't extend it any further.
Whitmer's order has come under intense scrutiny, especially from the medical community. Dr. Marc Siegel, an author and a professor of medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center spoke with Fox News to talk about how the order is not backed by medical science.
When the Fox anchor asked Siegel if there was any medical justification for forcing children as young as two to wear masks, Siegel responded: "Absolutely not."
"[There is] no advantage, no medical science behind it. Children as young as two years old are very unlikely to be carrying and spreading the virus," Siegel added. "First of all, they're not high-risk groups, they don't get very sick from it generally and then there's the issue of how you're going to [enforce] that."
Siegel talked about his recent visit to Michigan, and he described how most of the people he saw were not complying with the current mask order. People were either wearing the mask on their chin or under their nose or they weren't going out of their homes at all. He remarked that, wherever he went, including the state capital of Detroit, it was a "ghost town." He continued:
"The superimposition of [government] regulations just scares people, it frightens people. And what are you going to do to a two-year-old if they're not wearing their mask properly? You're going to haul them off to jail? What exactly are you going to do? This shows you how the government is sitting there on high and not in touch with what's happening with the people."
Dane and Tiffany Teal, two Michiganders and parents to Davis, a two-year-old boy, said they are worried by the state's new mask rules.
"Maybe a lot of people aren't very understanding of two-year-olds, and especially our two-year-old," said Dane. "He's a master negotiator. He's good at getting what he wants and if that's not wearing a mask, he'll act like a two-year-old."
"Very high chance they're going to take it off, drop it," said Tiffany. "It's going to get dirty, likely, if it lands on the floor and then they're supposed to put it back on their face."
Dane and Tiffany said they will do their best to be responsible citizens and Michiganders and abide by the expanded mask mandate, like many other parents they know. But like a lot of other people with children, they will have a lot of problems enforcing this especially if their son doesn't want to wear a mask.
"I don't expect him to keep it on all day," said Tiffany. "I'm not going to force it too much and make him upset."
Learn more about Michigan's mask mandate and the other statewide mask orders in the U.S. by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.