An open letter to Public Health: We should have taken a preventive pause

To the Editor:

I am writing this as an ex-fan:

Dear Public Health,

I write this as a nurse, parent, and public-health professional. What gives? Why the confusing guidance? Why the mixed messages?

You said this variant spreads more easily. Yet you’re also saying positive folks can go back to work and school in five days, if they wear a mask. So, health professionals can go back to providing direct patient care, but students can’t participate in extracurricular activities, with the same people they’ve been in school with all day — masked? 

You also want to “keep kids in school because it’s what’s best for them.” Yet kick them out of said school they’ve been in all day — when the bell rings?  

Then there’s the test-to-stay program — where we’re excluding vaccinated students from an opportunity to be back in the classroom if they are awaiting test results, but letting unvaccinated kids rapid test so they can stay in the classroom?

So, thanks for keeping schools open when we should have taken a preventive pause. Thanks for putting positive teachers and students back into the same buildings in the middle of a surge. Thanks for giving parents little options.

Thanks for a program that makes our lives harder. Thanks for guidance that relies on testing that is fallible. 

Someday I may forgive you for having frontline workers reuse surgical masks. I have almost forgiven you for the “just wash your hands” guidance at the beginning of this virus. But, we’re in year 2-plus now. Please get your act together. 

Blanca Gonzalez-Parker


Editor’s note: Blanca Gonzalez-Parker is a member of the Guilderland School Board.

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