Immediate Action Required
The Covid Crisis Continues – Please Save a Life
by Barbara Weber-Chess MD & David Chess MD
Like all of you we are sick and disgusted with COIVD. We all have COVID burnout.
However, COVID is not done with us.
This month alone there have been over 9000 new Covid Infections in Connecticut with 55 vaccinated people dead.
The NY Times reports that yesterday in the United States there were 155,000 new cases (3 times as many people as reside in Stratford) reported and 1266 people died.
What do these numbers mean? This week 10 of our troops died in combat and this is a tragedy, we will mourn them as heroes.
The death of the 55 people this month in Connecticut is also a tragedy. These are avoidable deaths. This doesn’t have to happen. These are horrible losses for families. These people are young and old. Our Intensive care units are filling up again. Our Pediatric Intensive care units are filling up. Our children are at great risk.
Our 14 year old went to an introductory program for high school on Friday. She was incredibly excited and nervous. She very much wants to be back at school after more than a year of virtual classes. She truly missed the socialization. She wore her mask.
Let us share with you the activities (all well intentioned).
- She sat next to other students – right next to them, in the bleachers in the gym, where there was no distancing, social or otherwise.
- They had a series of “icebreaker” activities to encourage the kids to get to know each other.
- This included high 5s, fist bumps, telling each other their stories, group hugs to burst balloons, and giving each other a massage.
- Masks went up and down.
- Whenever people spoke, especially the teachers and their assistants, they would take their masks off
- About 20 to 30% of the students were wearing their masks below their chins.
- This was an indoor event.
This was a potential super spreader event.
There was no distancing. (Delta variant needs at least 6 feet of distancing).
There was physical contact.
Masks were inconsistently used.
As physicians and parents we are overwhelmed by the thoughtlessness of our schools at this truly dangerous time.
We know people are concerned about their child losing a year developmentally, educationally, socially. We are much more concerned about our daughter losing her life.
We can make up a year, we can’t make up a life. The Delta variant is spread extremely easily by vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. Each potentially exposed child in school can bring that virus home to innumerable family members and friends, many of whom are quite vulnerable to serious complications of COVID or death.
It is well past time for us to take this infection seriously again. It is time to offer a virtual option to those who are uncomfortable sending their children to school due to the inability of the school to protect their children from infection.
Many may say that the level of distancing is not practical when all of the children are attending classes, walk in the halls, etc. A virtual option means having smaller classes, making it safer for those who attend school in person, and will give comfort to those families that can support in the home schooling.
Stratford, like many communities, is again in a “red zone” even before the school year begins. There are children about to be placed at serious risk for long term and serious illness, as well are their at-risk family members at home..
Parents are given assurances, but those assurances are false in the case of COVID / Delta variant, with regard to the reality of distancing, consistency in masking and ventilation / barriers in the classroom. The measures being taken are demonstrably inadequate.
Call to Action. Please reach out and mobilize.
- We need to get our Board of Education to rethink their strategies.
- We need to reach out to our mayor and representatives.
- Reach out to the governor.
We need to demand a remote option. We need to act before there are more avoidable, preventable deaths. (Fairfield just created this remote option this week).
Please keep safe and demand our children’s safety!