School nurses, parents, children, and community members gathered outside the Massachusetts State House at sundown today with a bullhorn and a list of demands for better COVID-19 precautions and services at Boston Public Schools. We called on state and local officials to ensure that every school has prompt and reliable COVID testing and contact tracing, well-performing ventilation and air filtration systems, excellent vaccination rates, and high-quality masks available for free.
Notably absent were the political leaders of our state, such as Governor Charlie Baker, Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius.
We had a good rally, and we spoke out clearly about how America is failing to respond to COVID, but we need to keep up the momentum. More members of our community need to get involved in this work, because Omicron is spreading rapidly. As Ed Yong wrote in The Atlantic:
The country needs to do what it has always needed to do—build systems and enact policies that protect the health of entire communities, especially the most vulnerable ones. Individualism couldn’t beat Delta, it won’t beat Omicron, and it won’t beat the rest of the Greek alphabet to come. Self-interest is self-defeating, and as long as its hosts ignore that lesson, the virus will keep teaching it.
Dr. Philip Lederer, an infectious disease physician at the Upham’s Corner Health Center in Dorchester, told the crowd he hoped the rally would be “a turning point for freedom and healing for the children of the Boston Public Schools and beyond.”
“We live in a time of great darkness, of unchecked COVID transmission, of withering injustice and weak political leaders,” Lederer said. “Our children are in danger from COVID and many other threats. Saving our public schools and protecting our children’s health must be our number one priority.”
That’s all I have for today. If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below! And remember, my blog is entirely free. Thanks, Phil