In some parts of the country, notably, the American South, school has already started. And many red state governors are already making it difficult to keep children safe.
Ron DeSantis has been one notable example. Bill Lee is another one. Now Tennessee is seeing skyrocketing COVID cases with children making up 1/3rd of the positive tests.
WPLN news notes, “The pandemic has never been so hard on Tennessee children as it has been the last few weeks. At this point, nearly a third of all new cases are among Tennessee kids 18 and younger — also a record for the pandemic.”
Dr. Shelley Ost who practices in Memphis explained, “As the cases go up, we only know this is going to multiply. And there’s already nowhere for these patients to go because there’s just not capacity.”
Despite the rapid rise in cases, Lee has shown no willingness to change his policies. On August 16th, the governor signed an executive order that allowed parents to choose whether or not their children would wear masks in schools.
The governor said at the time, “The most important tool we have to fight the pandemic is a vaccine. I encourage Tennesseans who have not been vaccinated to talk to their doctor to consider getting vaccinated and to make an informed decision. I worked with my doctor and received the vaccine and it has been a dependable tool to keep me healthy.”
The vaccine, of course, is not yet available to children under 12 years of age. So the best protection for children of that age is to mask up in school.
Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and hillreporter.com. He enjoys sports, politics, comic books and spending time at the shore with his family.