Kelly Adams: Adhering to terrible Covid guidance is long past being morally defensible

This commentary is by Kelly Adams of Essex Junction; it was sent as a letter April 13 to the Essex Westford School District superintendent, the principals of Essex High School and Albert D. Lawton Middle School, and the school board.

I am writing because I am in shock about the continuation of a completely untenable level of Covid exposure in our schools at this time.

The premises of removing the mask requirement are that spread is low and that the personal decision to continue to mask will provide adequate protection from exposure levels. Neither of those premises is remotely true at this time.

In my own family, my husband (an Essex Westford School District employee) had significant exposure on March 31 in close quarters with an unmasked colleague who tested positive hours later. Through the process of testing following that exposure, we learned that our high schooler — an incredibly diligent masker — was Covid-positive. She was home for over a week and returned to school yesterday.

Just when we thought we might get to take a breath, our middle schooler learned yesterday that three of her closest friends had tested positive on the same day — including someone she had lunch with yesterday.

At this time, we know that 10% to 30% of people who get Covid, regardless of how mild their case seems at the time of their initial illness, go on to experience long Covid issues, which can include diabetes, dementia-like illness , and significant cardiac and vascular issues. We have absolutely zero information about what Covid may do to the human body beyond two years’ time because it is a novel virus.

When we think of the effects of polio, for example, what we are actually describing is the effects of long polio, which were not known at the outset.

At the moment, schools in Essex are super-spreader events. No matter how much we throw the words “uptick” and “few” around, it is completely clear from having open eyes and ears that there is an unacceptable amount of spread going on in our schools.

The notion of personal choice is erased when there is no feasible protection against exposure to this illness. Adhering to the terrible guidance of Education Secretary French is long past being a morally defensible position because harm is happening day after day. The notion that the goals of education are being achieved with this many staff and students absent is folly.

Yes, I am incredibly angry. One of my children has already been harmed and now we wait day by day to find out about our other child.

This is not OK, and it has not been OK for quite a while.

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Tags: Covid in schools, Education Secretary French, essex westford school district, Kelly Adams, no feasible protection

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