I am a teacher, a history teacher, but today we are going to look at science. My parents are both in the hospital with COVID-19. My mom is in ICU. In lieu of the school restart and my personal circumstance, I want to do a lesson with you using the scientific method to further your understanding of what is about to occur.
Step 1 of the scientific method is to ask a question. Here is ours: Is reopening school safe? Step 2 is background research. There has been a very limited amount of studies done in this realm. There has never been a reopening of schools with the virus levels that currently exist in the United States. Some of the research suggests younger children may be less likely to spread the infection, though the risk is not zero. Children older than 10 spread at the same rate as adults.
The bulk of evidence does show us that creating social distancing along with masking can greatly reduce the spread of the virus. Currently many districts in southern Ohio have a five-day-a-week option. This greatly lessens the ability to social distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the federal level lessened restrictions even though the rates of infections and hospitalizations are higher than they were when schools were closed in March.
Step 3 is generating a hypothesis. The state of Ohio has issued local control to our health departments, and you are at the mercy as to what the higher-ups believe. Here is our hypothesis: Going back to school will not cause an increase in infection.
The fourth and fifth steps are to make a prediction and to test that prediction. This is where our children, teachers and faculty become human lab rats. They are hoping to prove their hypothesis to be true, but what if this is a science experiment gone awry?
The last steps of this experiment will be the conclusion and results. Will you allow your child to be subjected to this clinical trial? The result of this experiment could be the death of loved ones, as many children currently reside in homes with older family members, especially in Appalachia.
Both of my parents have COVID-19, as I stated earlier. My mom came down with symptoms on July 16. She thought she possibly had an inner ear infection. When she went to the doctor, they did a COVID test just as a precaution. They gave her a Z-pac and sent her home.
It took 10 days for her test to come back positive. Ten days in the United States of America is unacceptable. During that ten-day period she returned to the doctor multiple times.
Finally she was admitted and was already in liver failure. She could not take the drug Remdesiver because her liver had been attacked by the COVID. She is currently on a heparin drip to prevent blood clots and 14 liters of oxygen. She has pneumonia in both lungs. My mom had no underlying health issues.
My dad then went and was tested at a hospital, and his results came back in less than 24 hours. He was positive and at first just felt like he had the flu. He, too, progressively got worse until he was admitted in the ER where he lay for 19 hours on a cot because the hospital did not have a COVID room ready. He also has pneumonia due to the COVID and is on oxygen, steroids, and antibiotics.
The only place my parents go is the grocery store and church.
To those of you who believe COVID is a hoax or a political sham, I assure you it is not.
We needed a national response to COVID. A true leader would have given us federal guidance that all 50 states would have followed, including a testing strategy. There would not be 158,000 people dead or the suffering my family has endured.
Brea McClung is a resident of Proctorville, Ohio.