A Letter To the Editor that I sent was published recently in The Chicago Sun Times.
I feel that any contrasts which can be drawn between the results of sensible Democratic governance on Covid and idiotic Republican misgovernment on it should be drawn. I might prefer to say, “DeSantis is an idiot,” than “Pritzker acted sensibly,” but the latter is more relevant in a Chicago newspaper.
(The second LTE)
Remember that when you send a LTE, even if it is not printed, it is read by the staff of the paper, often by several of them.
The people who questioned Governor Pritzker’s mask mandate for schools can compare some results. At about 100,000 students, Polk County, FL, school district is about 30% the size of CPS. With 3,804 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in its student body since the beginning of school to a recent day, it had more than twice CPS’s 1,832 cases from the beginning of school to that day. As Florida school began earlier, that covers a bit more time, but not nearly twice as much.
It’s probably unreasonable to attribute the entire 6-fold difference between the per-capita infection rates to the mask mandate. While the city vaccine mandate was intended to reduce transmission after this date, it has been increasing staff vaccination, and, therefore, reducing transmission, all along. Due, in large part, to mitigations which have no direct connection to education, Illinois is a healthier place to live than Florida. Even so:
- Six times the infection rate is so large that it is hard to imagine an indirect cause. And
- When a system as a whole is working, saying that PERHAPS it would work ALMOST as well after an omission is a weak argument for that omission.