The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast

The theme of Discussion

Mask mandate in K-12 schools. Sabrina Tavernise and Richard Fausset, the participants of the podcast, discuss what the new school year will probably be like in the times of the raging Delta variant.

Article/Video Title(s)

Back to School Amid the Delta Variant

Article/Video(s) Central Argument

The argument focuses on whether children should wear masks at school. People have different reactions to masking mandates for their children and are ready to argue about the authorities’ strategies regarding the spread of the virus.

Article/Video(s) Supporting Evidence/Examples

“The Delta variant is highly transmissible, more so than any other previous forms of this virus” (“Back to School”, 00:03:47-00:03:53). “My wife and I are not going to do the masks with the kids” (“Back to School”, 00:04:56-00:04:59). “I believe this mandate is appropriate and necessary” (“Back to School”, 00:07:58-00:08:01).

Three questions you have with respect to the article/video(s):

  1. What are the chances of increased spread of the virus if children do not wear masks?
  2. Do the children live with their grandparents, who could be more vulnerable to the virus?
  3. What do psychologists say about the effect of constantly wearing masks on children?

Narrative Response

These days, many people experience stress because of COVID-19. Various reasons cause the stress, some of them being restrictions and mandates, to which people have different reactions. The reactions become more intense when it comes to children. There are many disputes on whether the younger generation has to be restricted to minimize the spread of the virus or not so the children could have a regular childhood.

One of the main disputes regarding the restrictions for children revolves around masks. In the podcast “Back to School Amid the Delta Variant,” Sabrina Tavernise and Richard Fausset discuss the public’s opinion on the mask mandate for those who go to school, providing statements from people and the authorities. Richard says that his own kids stayed home during the last school year, and now all the kids “really need to be in school” (“Back to School”, 00:02:28-00:02:39).

However, coming back to school has become more complicated because of the Delta variant and more upcoming restrictions. While most states agree that children should return to school, there is no agreement in terms of whether they should return wearing masks (“Back to School”, 00:03:28-00:05:39). People want their kids to return to normal life, but some are afraid that the children’s return to normal life would cause the spread of the virus.

To better understand the matter, there is a need to look at the authorities and their decisions these days. Sabrina points out that there is a divide between “blue state liberal politicians” who promote mask mandates and “red state conservative politicians” who are against the mandates (“Back to School”, 00:05:54-00:06:07). Richard partially agrees and then gives an example of how a Republican governor Asa Hutchinson has been handling the situation. Hutchinson says that doctors ask people to do more, and he himself believes that the mandate is necessary, but this probably will not end in his favor (“Back to School”, 00:07:17-00:08:01).

There is also necessary to listen to what people, especially children, say regarding the mandate. As Hutchinson tries to promote wearing masks, the public does not agree with him, and Richard says that many people are “working off of misinformation” (“Back to School”, 00:14:34-00:15:54). It is obvious that some people do not want to wear masks, and most of them do not want their children wearing masks (“Back to School”, 00:19:50-00:20:30). In the podcast, there is also a child who expresses their opinion on the mandate. When a ten-year-old girl named Samantha says, “Masks are dumb,” the public applauses (“Back to School”, 00:20:55-00:21:03). The public’s statement in the podcast is that they are against mask mandates.

The podcast presents people’s and authorities’ opinions on mask mandates. While it is evident that the Delta variant is dangerous, it is also obvious that people are tired of restrictions and want at least their children to be freer. The podcast brings out important questions and makes people reflect on the situation from different viewpoints, which must be considered in times like these.

Work Cited

“Back to School Amid the Delta Variant.” Apple Podcasts, uploaded by The New York Times. 2021. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, October 28). The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast. Retrieved from


ChalkyPapers. (2022, October 28). The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast.

Work Cited

"The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast." ChalkyPapers, 28 Oct. 2022,


ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast'. 28 October.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast." October 28, 2022.

1. ChalkyPapers. "The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast." October 28, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "The Back to School Amid the Delta Variant Podcast." October 28, 2022.