Whitewater’s Residents Judge Wisely

There has been some uncertainty in Whitewater about how cautious one should be in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As it turns out, Whitewater’s residents have had the right view of this, recognizing as they have the need for distance between people to limit the spread of disease.

One reads, in an email from the Whitewater Unified School District dated 3.15.20, that schools will be closed beginning today (3.16.20):

Whitewater Unified School District is closing effective immediately due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the increasing number of corona-virus cases in Wisconsin, the increased concerns of parents, students, and staff, and the large number of closures in surrounding communities and states, it is in the best interest of the health and safety of Whitewater students and community to close schools beginning tomorrow.

This is a sensible, rational approach, and speaks well of our community’s residents.

Sometimes it’s necessary to move in the direction of danger (to rescue a drowning person, for example), sometimes one needs to stay still (so as not to excite a wild animal, for example), and other times (as with an infectious disease) it’s a proper approach for ordinary people to move calmly to a reasonable distance from crowded areas.

An abundance of caution (through social distancing, for example) is not in opposition to good science – it is an application of good scientific principles from national experts in times of limited local testing data.

There will be, during this time, serious (and heartbreaking) concerns about children having proper nutrition during a school shutdown. Our community – and thousands of other cities & towns – will face (and should be able to meet) these needs. By lessening one concern, we will be able to turn less distractedly to another.

None of this is desirable; it is all regrettable.

We are simply asked to do the best we can, with compassionate attention to those most affected.

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