“Teenagers and their parents may not be in the age groups that get most seriously ill, but if the hospitals are already full, if they’re in an accident or have an asthma attack or something, they can’t get medical care,” she said. “You don’t realize how easy it is to overwhelm a hospital. That’s from a medical viewpoint. Not an opinion. We have to protect people.”
District 3 board member Mike Jones, an investigator with the Virginia State Police, said he assumes a certain level of risk with his job each day. He then asked those assembled to raise their hands if they knew someone who had died of COVID-19. Approximately half of the 25 people in the room raised a hand.
“People’s lives are being affected. It’s worth a pause,” he said. “Last week, when we walked out of this meeting, I felt like I’d been hit with a two-by-four.” He said in the past week, he’s had multiple conversations with teachers and parents, adding, “We need to appreciate and understand the balanced hand of leadership.”
District 2 representative and board chair Sherrie Page said she couldn’t eat nor sleep for days after last week’s meeting and that the decision to pause the winter sports season, “ripped me to the core.”
However, she said the superintendent’s job is to consider data and, with the guidance of the health district, suggested if the board didn’t heed that recommendation it would be “irresponsible.”