To the editor:

“It’s one of the many risks we face, but what makes the virus different is that we don’t want to give the disease to people who are more vulnerable than we are.” – Faye Flam, Bloomberg News

That, of course, is the challenge the country (and the entire world) faces regarding COVID. Based on presentations by public speakers at School District 206’s board meeting Monday night, however, that apparently should be a matter of little consequence in our schools. Most presenters claimed their children shouldn’t have to wear masks in school and doing so is actually harmful to their health. There appeared to be little or no concern for a disease that has killed 700,000 people in this country and has infected one in 9 of the total population. In other words, what pandemic?

There were claims that the microscopic size of the virus makes masking irrelevant. But it’s not the size of the virus that’s determinative of effective masking, it’s the size of air particles (usually water) that carry the virus from one individual to another (from breathing and talking).

There were claims kids are unlikely to ever catch the disease, let alone die from it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children now make up 26.7% of all new cases. This explains why it’s hard, if not possible, to find substitute teachers and bus drivers.

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If we want to be free from this pandemic, it can only be done by the entire population following health protocols. Trend lines indicate that people will have to be masked and/or vaccinated to get jobs, board airplanes or cruise ships, enter sports or entertainment venues, enter restaurants and other commercial businesses, or enroll in college.

I commend the school board for their actions in keeping our children healthy.

Tom Obert

Alexandria, MN