ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
It’s been nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and one thing seems certain: We have collectively handled this crisis very poorly. Much of the problem is that we have turned a health issue into a political issue.
The crisis has found its way to Martin schools most recently, after a lengthy visit to Hopkins around Thanksgiving and Wayland High School in the past week. Interestingly, Martin last year limped through the pandemic without going to all virtual instruction and Hopkins had in-house classroom instruction four days per week.
Yet here we are, back to enduring on-line classes in Martin and Wayland. The reasons are fairly simple — the newest variant is incredibly contagious and we’ve haven’t taken issues previously presented to us seriously enough to do the right thing.
Mistrust of government and public health authorities has fed the trouble. Indeed, when the pandemic first struck, too many in charge didn’t know how to properly handle it.
Mistrust reared its head Monday night at the school board meeting in Martin when Superintendent Brooke Ballee-Stone asked for permission to implement health department protocols if they are issued on an emergency basis and it’s cumbersome to contact all seven board members. Some board members rejected the request and some among the public have suggested she is trying to be a dictator. These same people rarely have a problem when and mayor governor proclaim a curfew during a riot.
Martin, Hopkins and Wayland schools have been unable to escape the political pitfalls that have accompanied the Coronavirus. I see school officials, teachers, doctors and nurses scrambling for too long to save us from ourselves. There have been consequences, and as many in the audience said last night, Covid just might be with us for the rest of our days.
We could have done a much better job.
When I was a child, I don’t remember any political hoopla that surrounded the jabs youngsters got during the polio crisis. I and many of my comrades didn’t like the shots at all, but we lined up and took them in the same room.
And voila! Polio not long afterward ceased to exist in a meaningful way in society. The same was true after applications of vaccinations for measles and smallpox.
Most of the focus on parents’ protests at the board meeting Monday night was on athletes having to wear masks at basketball games and wrestling meets, two indoor sports that include significant amounts of close contact. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has strongly recommended masking up for such occasions in the interests of public health.
But apparently many of us choose eliminating the inconvenience rather than protecting our children’s health.
Just like so many others, I am tired of dealing Covid. Some people now are suggesting hospitals lower the priority of treating unvaccinated patients for Covid because they willfully made a foolish choice.
I have a close friend who told me over the phone just recently that when he encounters a maskless unvaccinated person in enclosed quarters, he says to himself, “Good thing I don’t have a gun.”