The COVID-19 virus has caused schools throughout the country to prohibit live schooling. The Verona Area School District is one of them.

I hope this decision does not come back to haunt us in the potential damage it may cause.

Our young people need school for learning, for mental well-being, and often times, just to get a good meal. To not even consider live schooling when deaths from COVID are cratering is based on emotion, not medical and statistical facts.

What if I said more children have died from the flu than COVID-19 -as of July 11, 2020: Flu (101) and COVID-19 (31)? Much of what is happening today is caused by fear. Our leaders are making decisions based on “what ifs” and not considering all risks involved. There are no guarantees on anything.

When school districts get flu outbreaks, they often close for a while until things settle. Why is COVID different? The decisions made are often done by those fortunate enough to work from home. Meanwhile, the parents of children not allowed to go to school often have to decide on whether they can work their job or have to quit to stay home with their children. It’s elitist to do this.

As the parent of a public school teacher, I understand the concern for contacting the virus from a student. I get that. But I also understand that we expect our grocery stores to be open with “essential workers” manning the front lines. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs are all essential. Why are they expendable?

I am a strong proponent of public schools. They have given me a great education and a good life. By closing Verona schools, I feel that there will be many people that will abandon public schools altogether. I personally know of people that are applying to private schools because their kids want to be in school.

You want to kill public education? This is how you do it.

As a pharmacist , I’ve tried to look at this pandemic from a medical viewpoint. Keeping a strong immune system is how we live through this — most people (99 plus percent) live if they get COVID. Our public schools need help — closing them from in person education based on fear is not the smart thing to do.

Tim Melin

City of Verona