I agree totally with the letter to the editor in the Sept. 4 Roanoke Times titled "Mask and vax your children." When I began kindergarten, it was mandatory that every student receive the smallpox vaccine prior to being allowed to be enrolled in kindergarten in Roanoke City Public Schools.
As a 5-year-old child, I did not understand why I needed to get a smallpox vaccine. I did it because my parents told me it was required before I could be enrolled in school. Prior to enrollment and before children already enrolled in school continue attending school, these children need to be required to be vaccinated (when a vaccine becomes available for children under 12 years of age) except for religious reasons.
Until the vaccine is available for children 12 years and younger and even after vaccination, those same children should be required to wear a mask, unless they have a signed doctor's note as to why they cannot wear a mask. Everyone needs to understand that COVID-19 is a virus and will continue to mutate. When wearing a mask and/or being vaccinated, children are not only protecting themselves but also protecting other children.
The heated arguments by parents at local school board meetings about wearing masks I read about or watch on local television news stations only adds to the anxiety our children are already experiencing due to COVID-19 and its mutations. For now, why can't we all agree on at least the mask issue if only for our children's sake?
Tina Hendrick, Roanoke