Recently, we have had a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases across our country – and Frederick County is no exception. This increase is due to the Delta variant – which is spreading rapidly, especially among young adults and children – compounded by a decline in the rate of vaccinations over the past couple of months. Accordingly, in Virginia and nationally, the CDC recommendations are being followed to provide the most protection possible based on the latest data available.
If we are to have any hope of getting back to a sense of normalcy in our lives, we must follow the rules of science and respect for the lives of each other. I know there has been a great deal of debate among parents regarding masking mandates from schools and government. I attended and spoke at the August 10 Frederick County School Board meeting in support of masking mandates. I saw intense disagreement by those parents who wanted a choice about wearing masks as they shouted down speakers in favor of the mask mandates, while shouting and clapping for their own speakers and holding placards throughout the meeting. Yes, there were threats made against the board members before the vote was taken.
During discussion before the vote on the recommendation by Dr. Sovine for mask mandates, each board member spoke of their own reasons for their eventual vote. Some board members even indicated by phone and email that their constituents were mostly in favor of the mask mandate. However, when the vote came, it was 4-3 against the mandate. Being there, I believe that the board members felt pressured by those in the room opposing the mask mandate.
Two days later, Governor Northam announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia will require masks in schools K-12. We hope that school districts will now follow the state mandate. This is needed as the next step to stop the spread of the virus and protect our children and their teachers. Eventually, our children under 12 will get their vaccine and will not have to wear masks. Until then, we must respect the science and follow the CDC guidelines.
Turning down the rhetorical temperature…listening to the voice of science above the political pundits…focusing on the bread-and-butter issues that unite us rather than the wedge issues that divide us – these are some of the reasons I am running for the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, representing the Shawnee District. I hope you will join me in this campaign in whatever way you can – with your donation (CLICK HERE) or your volunteer support (CLICK HERE).
PS: My thanks, as our children prepare to return to the classroom, to our dedicated teachers and staff, and to the parents who are navigating these difficult times.