Editor's Notes

Sometimes I really wonder what are we thinking.

As I write this, our ability to effectively and safely educate our children as this endless COVID-19 pandemic marches on continues to be very much in question. Schools have reopened, carefully and tentatively, but we all know that just a small number of positive virus tests could end that in seconds in any district.

Unemployment remains high. Simply putting enough food on the table is a challenge for too many.

More people die from this virus every day.

Nevertheless, one of the hottest topics around here and statewide this week — about which The Daily Item published multiple stories — was how many people would be permitted to attend high school football games.

Currently, the number deemed safe at an outdoor gathering by the state Department of Health is 250. Many feel that number is arbitrary and way too small.

It may be. Plus, few days go by without some new directive from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, as it scrambles to do what it thinks will keep the virus numbers down.

The truth is, they don’t know and we don’t know. It’s been a crapshoot from the start.

But isn’t it still better to err on the side of caution?

Of course, any number Harrisburg suggests would be considered arbitrary and too small by some. We are not, as a people, particularly good at accepting limits of any kind. 

Members of the state legislature saw this as such an important issue — or at least as such a politically popular one — that they took the time to write, consider and pass a bill that would allow districts to make their own calls on how many to allow. 

The bill was sent to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, where it faced a promised veto.

Meanwhile, the Sunbury city council on Wednesday sent the Shikellamy school district a letter supporting allowing 500 people combined at games. The next night, the Shiikellamy school board unanimously approved that idea.

I get it. Parents want to see their kids play. Students want to cheer on their teams. So do alumni and community members. 

We raised four kids. They all played competitive sports at some level. We would have hated it if they’d not been able to play or if we’d not been able to watch them play.

I can’t honestly say how we would have reacted to that prospect since we never faced it.

I hope that people who attend will at least take distancing precautions and wear masks. We sure don’t want to make a bad matter worse.

Ultimately, though, there are so many more serious issues to address, including:  

n Parents who must work yet suddenly find their children need to stay home and try to learn by computer.

n People who have lost their jobs.

n Businesses that face going under.

n How this will all impact the development of our children and grandchildren.

The COVID-19 virus has prevented us from doing all sorts of things we enjoy. Our youngest daughter was supposed to get married last May. We postponed until December, and now it looks like we’ll either have to postpone again or plan a smaller scale celebration.

We can, unanimously, agree to hate everything about this situation.

But the more we push for the little things we somehow think will be a step in getting there, aren’t we risking it lasting even longer?

Send comments to dlyons@dailyitem.com

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