To the Editor:

After reading the article about reopening schools (Gov. Kristi Noem’s press conference published July 29 in the Mitchell Republic), I was amazed that someone could make such a prediction. Do I get the message that she is mixing politics and science into her career?

My children have finished high school and college but we never completely stop our education. How could anyone make the assumption that the loss of a few months or a year of schooling creates a larger risk than contacting COVID-19? The scientists can’t tell us what the long term effects will be to individuals who have had severe or mild cases of the virus.

We read stories about people who have severe side effects from the virus: very weak and deteriorated lungs, shortness of breath, long term headaches, muscle aches and more that will be linked to the virus.

I’m for education, but I have a stronger desire to see our people protected from such a violent virus. Students may not display symptoms and then recover from the virus but how are we assured that something will not show up in the future years?

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A student who stays home this fall and protects other members of their family makes more sense to me.

This is the first pandemic that I have experienced but did go through measles, mumps, polio and whooping cough as well as other health problems. I can assure you that parents, during those days, were concerned more about their health and family health. You stayed home to stop the spread. By the way, it worked.

My advice to the general population is to do what the scientists say and curb the virus and develop a vaccine to control the spread. There are unknown risks that the scientists haven’t even had enough time to unveil.

How can children riding a bus be assured other riders aren’t exposing them, driver, janitor, coaches, teachers and superintendent.

Noem cited research and studies conducted by several agencies. The facts aren’t even understood by scientists on the national level, let along governors, mayors and educators.

Jack McBrayer