Editor: Blame the ones who are really responsible
As so the blame game begins.
When the announcement was made Wednesday morning that Mineral County had plunged into “red” status and all schools would be going virtual on Thursday, it immediately became painfully clear that the highlight of the local football season, the county football matchup known as The Mineral Bowl, would not be played this year.
As Mineral County Schools officials said Wednesday evening at their regular board meeting, it is an unfortunate, heart-wrenching fact of this COVID-plagued life we are living right now.
And there is nothing they can do about it.
As bad as some people would like to find a loophole, there isn’t one. Mineral County officials cannot get around the rules, and they shouldn’t even try for the safety of students, parents, and the general public.
We have heard some people ask if it could be rescheduled for later, but quite frankly, according to what was said during Wednesday’s board of education meeting, officials don’t see this current trend ending for at least two or more weeks.
And when it does reverse, we have to be very cautious “opening back up,” or we will be hit yet again.
We have also heard some people laying the blame for the rise in positives on Frankfort High School, and asking how they “got away with” running in the state cross country meet last Saturday when the school had been closed for two days.
The fact is, there was nothing keeping them from competing. The school was closed down to enable county officials to do contact tracing, and any of the schools that have had positives have only been closed one day each time for that purpose.
The Oct. 30 Frankfort football game had to be cancelled because school was closed that day, but the school was technically back open the next day. It was not until Sunday evening, when the additional positive case was reported, that the school was closed on Monday - again to do contact tracing.
There was no county-wide “code red” at that time and no need to cancel extracurriculars.
Tonight’s Mineral Bowl, however, is an entirely different situation. This time, the entire county is “in the red,” and all schools - per state guidelines - were immediately closed to in-person instruction and all athletic and extracurricular activities cancelled.
While our hearts go out to the student athletes who were not only gearing up for the highlight of the football year but also looking toward the upcoming playoffs and championships in football, volleyball and cheer, we again emphasize - The county had no choice but to shut things down.
This is no one’s fault. And we certainly can’t blame Frankfort High School for fueling the COVID fire.
Yet the keyboard warriors on social media Wednesday did just that.
If we want to lay any blame here, let’s look at the people out there in our community who have either grown lax in their precautions or who have never taken precautions in the first place. People who either stopped wearing masks or who have never worn them. People who just plain got tired of being careful and went on about their pre-COVID social activities without taking precautions or, amazingly, people who think it’s all been a pre-planned hoax.
Things are getting serious out there, folks. Our positive numbers (64 and climbing as we write this) are higher than they have ever been since this pandemic started.
Yes, masks are a nuisance. And the need to socially distance from others is just as annoying. The loss of many of our most-enjoyed local events - the fair, the Apple Harvest, Christmas parades and tree lightings - has been depressing and for many, economically devastating.
But aren’t these annoyances worth it if we can get these numbers going back down to the 0 we actually had reached this summer? If we can get our schools back open? If we can save someone’s life?
Mineral County Board of Education member Donnie Ashby said it best last night: You tell me you want your kids back in school, yet you don’t want to wear your mask.
So please, quit trying to lay blame and take the blame yourselves. We ALL need to pitch in and get these skyrocketing numbers under control.