Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

It was a deadly virus transmitted through aerosolized droplets and direct physical contact. During its 100 year history it killed ½ billion people yearly worldwide.Up to  95% of indigenous Americans are thought to have died from it in the 1800’s. 

By 1977 the Smallpox virus became the first infectious disease to be wiped out by intentional human activity, through mitigation techniques and primarily,vaccinations.

I remember how this came about in my Community when I was growing up. I remember standing in a long line outside my Elementary school with my parents and neighbors, the line stretching down the block. I remember receiving a puncture  from a  two-pronged needle in my arm, the scar from which remains. This scene was then repeated for the sugar cubed polio vaccination.

We listened to the science, we acknowledged the risk and we came together to make our Community a healthier place for each other.

Our school served as a major player in the life and health of our Community, supporting the students AND their working parents. 

People were considerate of others and the Bible was taught strictly in Church and private school.School board candidates ran on character.

Fast forward to another deadly pandemic which has claimed close to 4 ½ million people in a year, and, due to inconsistent mitigation and inadequate vaccination, has mutated into increasingly contagious variants, with the latest particularly affecting healthier and younger people, hospitalizing and killing  those who are unvaccinated.

When asked to return to common sense and consider proven measures to support the lives and livelihoods of our children, their working parents and our Community, the response of the School Board is silence. Discussion of our safety is replaced on the agenda by proposals to astroturf and dome an athletic field to compete with a neighboring District for Statewide sport venue.

When asked to support the development of vaccination clinics within Community Schools for the convenience of working parents and neighbors, a time-tested success,  the response is  silence.

When asked how many students would have to get sick, parents’ jobs lost, or a child’s life taken, before the Board reconsiders their mask policy, the response is again… silence.

The silence of  your position is deafening .  One hospitalization, One job lost, and one child’s death is tolerable to you and far less important than securing corporate sponsorship of a high school sporting event. 

Is this the best over $30,000 can buy?

Make American schools great again. Do we have to run through the entire alphabet of variants before we come to our senses?  Doesn’t every life matter?

We’ve proven we can do so much better.

Bruce Grau, Wausau