To the Editor:
In a letter to the editor dated Oct. 13 and titled “A letter from parents,” the author begins making statements about researching “all of the science.” In a subsequent paragraph, the writer alleges that: “the pandemic with all this confusion and mandates that come and go have also brought an onslaught of increase depression, substance abuse and increased suicide rates for our society at large, including our children.”
The author offers no reference. No statistical information to support their assertion regarding the oft-quoted mental health ramifications of “the pandemic with all this confusion….”
The writer also claims that the current board is following the law. Where does the law state that your rights are more important than anyone else’s? When did we become so ridiculous and hypersensitive that a face covering is an obstruction of one’s liberty? What about the personal freedoms of the disabled, medically fragile or our elders? It is notable that the writer believes that the only rights that matter are those of healthy children and adults.
Science is an evolutionary process. It is not static. It does not stay the same. As we increase our understanding and use “all of the science,” we translate this new understanding into functional policy. We update those policies as new research is presented. If this parent truly values understanding and accounting for “all of the science,” why then do they lament the confusion that goes along with the scientific method and ultimately the learning process?
The mandates in place at this point in the pandemic are the result of research: collecting and examining new and existing data, making comparisons and drawing conclusions. The resulting guidance is about remediating risk. We have learned that there is no silver bullet when it comes to this pandemic; not at this stage. There is no cure or magic pill. There is no sure-fire remedy. And so, we use the tools available to reduce the risk of people we love and people in our community. Otherwise, they may lose hours at work due to quarantines, or from getting sick themselves. They could be hospitalized, potentially permanently disabled or could die. Just as we do not have a clear solution to fully prevent or cure Covid-19, there are a spectrum of issues that can result from contracting this disease.
Are we concerned about mental health? Depression, suicide, substance abuse? How does one exclude the impact of loss of security, be it food or shelter-based? How does one ignore the impact of losing a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or grandparent when making such arguments? To the writer’s credit, they do admit: “We have all been pulled in so many directions that we can’t even ascertain what is credible truth anymore.”
I praise their candor. This is exactly why it import to follow the guidance of the people who do know what is currently credible based on our most up to date knowledge: our medical professionals, scientists and the people who use their expertise to create good policy. We need to support candidates for the school board who are able to grow and adjust based on expert guidance and adhere the state’s recommendations and mandates.
Our students’ safety and our community’s future depends on it. Please vote John Johnson, E.K. Guyre, and write in Meg Rosenfeld on Nov. 2.