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Risky time to take risks

We have to get back to normal sometime, it’s true. But when?

The Grand Coulee Dam School District directors voted last night (Monday) to implement a plan for a phased-in restart even for the seventh- through 12th-graders. They’ll be back in physical classrooms just one day a week starting in early December. The phase in is planned out as far as April, when they will be back in classrooms four days a week, according to the plan.

The district is beginning this path just as the nation and this state are posting record infection numbers rates for COVID-19. Things aren’t that great in local counties either, although they are quite better than a month ago.

But the national, state and county experiences don’t necessarily speak to the risks of this community, located far from the large majority of outbreaks — but not from all of them. New cases were reported yesterday in Grand Coulee, which has seen 15 in total so far. Coulee Dam has also suffered 15 cases, Elmer City five and Nespelem 34, including one Nov. 6.

If the district’s plan is to work, it will take the cooperation of many in the community who don’t think they need to adhere to the safety guidelines. And the district will need strict adherence to them, as well. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t proceed with caution, but it does mean the extreme urge to rush back to normal, stemming from extreme covid social fatigue, must be faced and subjected to discipline, individually and with district policies.

This is no time to let down your guard. This won’t be easy.

Scott Hunter

Editor and publisher


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