There has been a lot of confusion and moving parts in recent days regarding the coronavirus.

First school was on as scheduled, then classes were off on Monday but teachers were to report, then it was closed for everyone all week. In one statement Lyon County Public Health urged people to avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing; in the next it said it was following CDC guidelines and recommending school go on as scheduled.

In the meantime, people have expressed their frustration over changing directives, updating decisions and everything else.

We get that it can be frustrating; particularly for parents who are trying to figure out what to do with their children this week in the event of a closure. But as maddening as it may be, please try to remain patient with those who are making these decisions and recommendations.

To tell the truth, as crazy as these last few days have been for our newsroom trying to keep up with all the updates and get information out as quickly as possible, I definitely do not envy administrators or public officials right now. Just like the rest of us, this is the first time they've ever been through something like this. While schools, hospitals, etc. have emergency plans in place that include response to a pandemic, there is still no catch-all fix for anything that comes their way.

School administrators, for one, have taken a lot of heat over the weekend for not closing for the week in a more timely manner. I'll even admit that my kneejerk reaction was that keeping school open was not a wise decision. But in times like these, we have to remember that these aren't their areas of expertise, either. The best they can do is keep the lines of communication open with health officials and follow the advice of those who are experts.

Throughout the weekend, the situation was still developing, with new information coming out on what seemed like an hourly bases — even faster at times. All of the administrators, health officials and decision-makers were doing their best to follow expert advice in real time; as the situation continued to involve.

On Sunday afternoon, when Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson recommended that schools close this week, all three of the districts in Lyon County took swift action to heed that advice. It was a continuation of what they had been doing all week.

Though some parents and community members might not always agree with decisions made by school administrators and the like, they really are trying to do their best by students or whoever else might be impacted by their decision.

This is new territory for all of us; decision-makers included. Even if you don't agree with the call that is made, remember to be kind and patient. It's OK to let them know your feelings on the matter, but remember to be understanding as you do.

They're only human, and they're doing the best they can.

Zach Hacker

News and Online Editor

(1) comment


And be better prepared for the next time it happens. Scientific America has an excellent article:

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