It’s an old unwritten rule in public relations. If you have to announce bad news, do it late on a Friday afternoon.
Late in the day on March 13, 2020 (a Friday) Gov. Tony Evers directed the state Department of Health Services to issue an order mandating statewide closure of all public and private schools because of the spreading COVID-19. The closure began the following Wednesday.
“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Evers in a news release.
In the order, DHS Secretary Andrea Palm said the closure of schools is a “reasonable and necessary step” to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, noting it doesn’t prevent schools from providing online instruction to students.
Eventually the rest of the school year was shut down.
Today’s read is from writer and author David Zweig who argues schools need to be re-opened first before workplaces (I support re-opening of America, period).
Zweig does make an interesting case, thus the title of this recurring blog, that when it comes to schools, what are we waiting for? (Granted, it looks like this school year is gone and not salvageable. But what about summer and the fall?).
But the safety of students is not threatened, on the whole, by Covid-19. Plainly, children do not contract this disease at scale; and when they do their symptoms are very likely to be mild or nonexistent. Further, any plan to reopen schools could include exemptions for children with underlying conditions who may be more vulnerable.
A more rational concern—also cited by these governors—addresses the possibility that asymptomatic schoolchildren could end up passing the virus to their teachers, parents, or other adults. But even here the balance of existing evidence suggests this worry is largely unfounded.
Does he have a case? He’s 100% correct in that no one is even addressing the reopening of schools, albeit the current school year is dead.