The topic of Covid-19 is so complex, and so controversial… that brevity becomes difficult when discussing it. However, I will keep this as brief as possible.
As an educator in our community, I have a unique perspective when it comes to the current situation with Covid-19. I visit with my colleagues and friends that are teachers and administrators, and it becomes so very clear how much EVERYONE wants to keep our kids in school all day, every day.
However, we feel like we are bailing water out of the Titanic with 5-gallon buckets, so to speak. Cases across the country but especially in rural areas are spiking, and Fort Scott is no different. And we are only beginning the most brutal part of the year in terms of illness. Any given year we have a lot of kids and staff out with illness over the winter… so common sense suggests that the worst is yet to come.
Why do I bring these things up? I am humbly asking for your help. I love our small town and the people in it. That is why Nikki and I have chosen to raise our family here. The folks in this community are honest, loyal, and generous. We all have it in us because of the way we were raised. It is time to draw upon those values.
WE NEED YOUR HELP in keeping our schools open. It is true that, thank God, children are not affected as severely by Covid-19 as are older people. That bodes well for our students, BUT NOT OUR TEACHERS.
We have to have our teachers healthy in order to keep our schools open. When teachers are ill, or in quarantine, the burden falls to substitutes, and we simply do not have enough. If schools are forced to go hybrid or remote, it will be because we cannot staff classrooms due to teacher/substitute shortages.
What does this have to do with you? The medical community is telling us that mitigating actions such as social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting the size of gatherings works when it comes to preventing the spread of Covid-19. These are the people on the front lines!
My friends, I share skepticism with many of you when it comes to what the media is telling us about this virus. I believe the commerce of fear is completely out of line and, quite frankly, evil.
Our theme for the school year at St. Mary’s Catholic School is BE NOT AFRAID. We are not scared of this virus or anything else, and we move forward exercising the virtue of FORTITUDE in the way we live our lives. But along with fortitude comes PRUDENCE.
God gave us intelligent minds to look after ourselves and others. As St. Augustine said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Regardless of how deadly you think this virus is, the bottom line is that if enough school staff become ill or are in quarantine, your children are going to be attending school remotely and that causes incredible challenges for modern families with both parents working, myself included.
PLEASE find it in your hearts to use prudence in your behavior and help us quell the spread of Covid-19.
Wear a mask in public (we all hate it, but it’s such a small sacrifice to make for others!). Use social distancing. Use good common sense. Lets all band together, work together, for the good of our kids, our families, and our community!
Thank you for hearing me out. May God bless our community and our families.
Peace Be With You,