By the press time of this Op Ed, our county’s schoolboards will have voted on their plans to reopen schools. At my wife Sally’s encouragement, I had attended the Gettysburg Area School District schoolboard meeting on July 13 to share my opinion as a family physician of 35 years as well as an avid reader of the news and the medical literature regarding COVID-19. (Sally was a schoolboard director for 8 years.) I was disheartened by some of the opinions shared by others at the schoolboard meeting, as well as the disregard for our governor’s mandate to wear facemasks correctly when we are in public inside space. My concern for our community and the horrible impact that COVID-19 has had on our country has led me to spend much of my free time trying to understand what we honestly and currently know about COVID-19.
Michael T. Osterholm, MPH (Master of Public Health) and PhD, of the University of Minnesota is a national thought leader in infectious disease and most recently, COVID-19. He is the lead expert of CIDRAP, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. I have gained great respect for his evolving advice on all issues COVID-19, including his apolitical views on the reopening of our schools. As I listened to his latest podcast, “Reopening Schools, Part 2,” released on July 22, I contemplated this timely and controversial topic.