Letter: We need to support each other in following public health orders | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: We need to support each other in following public health orders

You may have heard of a famous essay called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” which explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children, one of which is being kind to one another. As your elected school board, we felt it fitting to take a page from what is being taught in our classrooms as we share a dual message of concern and compassion.

As has been widely reported, Steamboat Springs High School has moved to remote learning through the Thanksgiving holiday due to quarantines that have affected staffing and our ability to operate in-person learning. As part of that announcement, the district disclosed that some students may have attended a super-spreader event in our community. That information was not intended to incite blame, shaming or division within our community, all of which are counter to our desire to rally everyone around making good choices and decisions that benefit our students and schools.

As a community, we have moved from Level One: Cautious, to Level Three: High Risk. The Routt County Community Engagement Team called the rising case count in Routt County “alarming.” They heeded a critical warning if we don’t take action: “Hospital capacity will be exceeded. More people will die. Businesses will have more regulation and may have to close. The ski season may be at risk, and schools will be impacted.”

We need to support one another in following the important public health orders that are in place: wearing a mask; staying 6 feet apart from people outside your household; only socializing with your household; washing hands often; staying home if sick; and getting tested if you have symptoms.

Our kids want to have fun and spend time with their friends; however, we need to have each other’s backs in being responsible and playing the tough but critical — possibly life-saving — role of risk-reducers. In that effort, let’s resist the temptation to immediately fire away on our keyboards when emotions are heightened, and instead, pick up the phone to share our perspectives directly and help the person on the other end understand what is at stake for us personally and as a community if the virus continues on its current trajectory.

Let us remember that compassion, kindness and positive reinforcement are critical to changing minds and behavior.

Kim Brack, Chresta Brinkman, Lara Craig, Kelly Latterman, Katy Lee

Steamboat Springs Board of Education

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