Just suck it up and follow the orders

And so we will start the new school term with traditional in-school class attendance with an abundance of social distancing, hand-cleaning and facemask wearing, along with remote learning over the Internet at home.

Our school administrators, teachers and staff are doing their best to get everything ready and everyone comfortable for the start of the new school term, but there looks to be a never-ending list of things to do and a myriad of new health safety protocols to put in place.

There has never been a more challenging time to be teachers and students. And when we say good luck to all the teachers and students this year in the “Back To Education’’ special section that accompanies this edition, we really mean it.

It looks like the schools are doing a good job of separating politics from science in their reopening planning regarding COVID-19.

It’s OK for community members to disagree on what to do about COVID-19 because we all have different priorities and different risk tolerances, but when it comes to schools decisions have to be based on the best information available.

Dr. Jeff Dorsett of Osawatomie, a member of the Osawatomie school board and a personal friend, recently made some comments about COVID-19 at one of his recent board meetings as he and his fellow board members were developing reopening plans for the Osawatomie district.

Among Dr. Dorsett’s comments were the following:

*All areas are increasing in cases and are projected to continue to increase unless there is a change in public health habits, voluntary or by policy mandate.

*The death rate for COVID-19 is 2.7 deaths for every 1,000 cases.

*If Miami County did nothing, you could presume that about 70 percent of the people would get the virus over the next two years, Dorsett said. It’s a new virus. It’s very contagious.

*The virus is so contagious that every person who gets it could spread it to 2.5 other people on average.

*One way to slow the virus is to wear a mask, and it can be any type of mask, Dorsett said.

*Children don’t get as ill because their immune systems are different, he said. Every infection is new to a kid whereas adults respond to an antibody, Dorsett said. Unfortunately, since this is a new virus, nobody started out this year with any antibody against COVID-19. Evidence shows asymptomatic children can carry and spread the virus.

*Deaths due to COVID-19 are not being overstated. In the summer, about 7,500 Americans die per day and in the winter about 8,000 Americans die per day, so it’s very predictable from year to year, Dorsett said. Since COVID-19, about 10,000 people are dying per day, so 2,000 to 2,500 per day probably can be attributed to COVID-19.

*People don’t like being told what to do but they do it all the time anyway, such as when you put on your seatbelt when you get into a vehicle.

*Dorsett suggested people do all the things that health experts are saying to do. He added that getting a flu shot this fall is also a good idea to boost your general immune system.

*The pandemic sucks. So we should all take a deep breath, outside preferably. Give others some grace, especially a friend who disagrees with us. And suck it up, Dorsett said.

It was interesting to read about my doctor friend’s comments, so there you go. Suck it up.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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