Letters to the Editor: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023

On Friday September 15, the active shooter alarm went off at Troy High School. This was not a drill. It was a false alarm at 7:30 in the morning, but what is false about instant fear, immediate panic, and the lingering trauma that will sit and must already sit with these students every day? Another “false” alarm went off again that morning and the school decided to dismiss classes for the day. Why? These instances don’t negatively affect our children, do they?

Friday morning, students and teachers ran, barricaded doors, hid, and started texting loved ones. Chaos ensued as students ran from the building, some in tears, others jumped out of windows to get out of the building. Looks like active shooter drills work. Everyone did everything right.

There was no active shooter on school grounds that day. Thank goodness. But the fear, panic, and trauma that the alarms caused for our children as they hid, as they ran and jumped out of windows, and frantically contacted parents to let them know what had happened is not okay.

Our children now have ingrained in them that when you hear this sound – you run for your life. These kids were scared. These kids are traumatized. But hey, go back to your classroom tomorrow. This is a safe and secure learning environment – no fear or trauma here, until a door slams, or another alarm goes off. My hope is for this generation to take this trauma to the ballot box.

- Janel Ranly, Troy

George Will and the Cato Institute are weighing in on pandemic public health management with 20/20 hindsight and somehow pinning blame on emergency measures taken by local, state, and federal agency heads. They seem to forget that with this new virus there were no available tests, no certainty of how this spread, no protection for first responders, no gowns-gloves-masks in hospitals, staff deaths and overwork burnout; not enough morgue and funeral home space in New York City.

In the absence of treatments and vaccines, Public Health had to refer back to measures taken for the 1918 influenza and past centuries of plagues.

Mr. Will lauds the Great Barrington Declaration for its contrarian stance. This lead to backlash that accepted loss of citizens’ lives as inevitable as long as businesses were not shuttered. This also fed vaccine refusal and a Pandora’s box of false social media posts. Have we forgotten the tragic loss in Dayton of a cardiologist, a 41-year-old nurse and many younger people with no pre-existing health issues?

Mr. Will cites Senator Cruz’ proposal for confirmation hearings for CDC leaders. This is another opportunity for grandstanding before cameras for self-promoting politicians. I see no need for my Public Health leaders to be overruled by Donald Trump, Senator Cruz, J.D.Vance, Freedom Caucus, or the Ohio General Assembly in the event of a new contagious emergency. I saw how our General Assembly treated Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, to the detriment of us all.

- Paul Van Ausdal, MD, Yellow Springs