One story, though, has a happy ending. On April 1 the Harvey family was flying from Denver to Austin on Southwest Airlines. They had practiced for days with their two year old wearing a mask. Boarding went fine, but once seated the child took the mask off and the family was booted from the flight.
Father Erik Harvey went to Facebook and posted an 18 minute discourse on the events. A pilot named James Peck saw the video. He offered to fly up to Denver and bring the family down to Austin in his plane.
The family accepted and got the experience of a lifetime, and an offer of a ride back to Denver to boot.
“I just was floored. I just said [to my husband], ‘You know what, babe? I’m nervous, but I feel like turning him down would be rude like this is an opportunity,” said Michelle.
Peck has even offered to take them back to Denver at the end of their trip.
“The miracles will come to you, things will show up, and that Good Samaritan will show up,” said Erik.
Mask wearing for all passengers two years old and above is a federal regulation but many of these incidents kicking two year olds off planes occurred when it was merely an airline rule. We’ve even seen one airline remove an 18 month old over failure to wear a mask.
While mask wearing does seem to provide some protection, and I have favored mask wearing since the beginning of the pandemic, its benefits are frequently exaggerated. And while studies of this issue continue, significant evidence suggests that very young children do not spread the virus nearly as often as older children or adults. When there’s enough vaccine so that anyone who wants a shot can get one, we should lift mask rules.