Dropping ball before goal line

The Daily News on Saturday published a Their View column urging reopening of Pullman schools. It was signed by nine highly respected residents, most of whom are well known. I personally know several, and am well informed on the public stature of all but one of the others.They all are people whose opinions warrant public attention and consideration.

However — disappointingly — the column was basically an emotional appeal unsupported by any data relevant to getting students back in classrooms, and I note that none of the signatories, with the possible exception of one, is an epidemiologist.

As the father of six children, grandparent of 20, and husband of a wonderful woman who operated a daycare for decades in Pullman, I’m not without understanding and concern for the extreme difficulties that children, parents and teachers are experiencing.

With COVID-19 cases and deaths at their highest points during this 10-month-long pandemic, it seems more than a little like an odd time to urge reopening schools.

The quickest and safest way to get students back in classrooms is to mask up, social distance and stay the course.

Surely, all concerned must be frustrated by the lack of current, reliable data relative to the question in hand. Certainly I am, and I’ve made an effort.

Early (old) data on the subject is unreliable because the science is fast evolving and doesn’t clearly point in the same direction. And it isn’t as simple as the question of whether the classroom is or isn’t a COVID-19-spreading hot zone, as some would like to think.

I believe Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest stance aims at a February reopening. Let’s not be like the NFL runner who accidentally dropped the football just before he crossed the goal line untouched.

Terence L. Day


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