Letter: Fear- Mongering Clouds School Reopening Decision

To the Editor:

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”—Franklin D. Roosevelt

Upon watching and participating in the Haverhill School Committee Meeting on Aug. 6, 2020 regarding options for schools, it’s clear as a parent of an HHS Student that the Haverhill Education Association has no intent on letting kids back into the schools until it is “safe.” I quote the word “safe” because that is always the buzzword of authoritarians: “Safety & Security.” In this case, it’s being presented by Marxist members of a union that falls under the auspices of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA), who clearly do not want children returning to school unless their “demands” are met.

We heard from quite a few residents and teachers, many reading from scripted narratives, including one that had to pull over their car in order to read their response. Others, just read straight from pre-scripted responses in their robotic monotones. How quaint and original. We even heard from an economist, who claimed that there isn’t enough data. Of course, for anyone actually interested in data, the Massachusetts COVID-19 website provides all the “raw data” any economist would want. Or, simply go to The CDC Website and parse the data as one pleases.

Here’s the problem: FEAR. Fear has taken over, along with partisan politics, to the point where “the data” simply doesn’t matter. Why bother looking at the data when anyone can tell you that you should be afraid that C19 is going to kill you, your child, or a loved one? If anyone wants to look at the publicly available data, one can, through basic algebra, formulate hypotheses and come to their own conclusions. But no. That’s not allowed, thinking for one’s self. In fact, based on math scores in this country, many probably can’t do it anyway, so that ignorance is preyed upon, in particular all things C19.

“The data” says your chances, even if you test positive for C19, an adverse outcome is remote. Specifically, based on today’s raw data tables released by ma.gov the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in Massachusetts for those over 70 years of age, is 29%. For those under 70, the CFR it’s 1.4%. Increasing positive cases isn’t bad, it’s GREAT! Why? Because the increase in younger people testing positive are more resilient and driving down CFR’s. It is not a death sentence, and we’re not factoring in comorbidities. Is it worrisome? Of course. However, we have the data today to know who is at risk. We know how to protect (as best we can) those at risk. Know who is not at risk? The children. The children The HEA leadership (and MTA) supposedly claim they serve. Are they carriers? Maybe? Probably? Sure? Again, even if they carry the virus, we know the demographics to protect.

The fear-mongering continues in light of hard data publicly available which makes this political. This isn’t about “the children” and their education. This is a shakedown of the worst kind when parents of the City of Haverhill are at their most vulnerable. I would say the leadership of HEA should be ashamed, along with the MTA, but they don’t know what that means. Chances are they will ultimately win, strike or no strike, because shaking-down people is an art-form, and Marxists know art. You children will now suffer a lesser education because of it. Which now begs the question: If remote learning is so good, why do we need the schools anymore?

Duncan Burns
Bradford

Although many news outlets take sides, WHAV does not. Views and comments expressed are those of the writer and are not intended to reflect the views of Public Media of New England Inc. d/b/a WHAV, its staff, underwriters or affiliates. Letters are published on a space and time availability basis and may be edited for clarity, legal issues, length and related reasons at the editor’s discretion. WHAV also reserves the right to refuse to publish submitted letters for the same reasons. All letters must be signed.

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