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Letter to the Editor: You Choose: Debate or Stop the Pandemic

Some people are making millions – some billions – from COVID-19-related sales. Others are losing homes, jobs, health and lives. Instead of unifying to stop the spread of the virus, people are lured into debates initiated by “Trump Republicans.” 

The distraction surrounding opening schools does nothing to stop the virus. Even though there’s a solution that has worked in other countries, Republicans in control offer no national plan. People who care about safely reviving the economy for everyone must unite and stop wasting time debating about which option is less bad. It’s care versus greed.

Teachers, support staff, children and their families worry about getting sick or dying when COVID-19 spreads after schools open. Children must not be exposed to the death of a favorite teacher or friend. Unless expensive equipment is installed, such as HVAC systems with frequently cleaned HEPA filters, COVID-19 circulates through ventilation systems. Is there time to install or upgrade systems before schools open? Who will pay for them? Will schools close when infected? Who will sub? 

People who care about health and safety must demand that the entire country close for the same five weeks. Schools and local groups must accept their responsibility to collaborate before closing to predict and resolve potential community concerns with financial support from local, state and national governments and groups. Absolutely essential workers such as hospital staff, children with special needs and those in abusive homes, and families without enough food and necessities will all need special accommodations.

Big Pharma may not make as many billions selling vaccines and tests, but the health and lives of children, teachers, families and friends will be protected. Schools and businesses will safely open sooner, and we can begin real economic recovery.

Public schooling through the internet for a few additional months can be exciting when using school/community investigation and problem resolving. The surface of these educational possibilities has barely been scratched. This effective teaching has been discovered by too few and holds a lot of promise, especially during these COVID-19 times.

Carole Vande Walle

Fish Creek, Wisconsin