LETTER: School board COVID-19 policy unfair

From reader David Paetkau

As I write this, Vietnam and British Columbia are each reporting 39 cases of COVID-19 — although the rate of infection in Vietnam is 20 times lower, because the population is 20 times larger. Travelers from China are thought to have introduced the virus to B.C., while travelers from Britain and the U.S. are responsible for all but one of the current cases in Vietnam.

My elder daughter, who spent most of the winter hitchhiking in China, is in Vietnam. This week she has been kicked out of a farmers’ market and had street vendors simply pull up their masks and turn their back as she approached, not because she had been in China, but because she is Caucasian, and thus suspected of being infected.

My younger daughter just landed in Hanoi, on her way to visit her sister over the school break. Last week SD8 circulated a policy stating that she would be barred from school for the two weeks following her return, not because she had visited a country that was struggling with the virus, but because she had visited a country that is Asian: the school policy reads that quarantine applies to students who travel to “Asia or other fast-growing outbreak countries (sic).”

South of the border Donald Trump gave a speech suggesting that COVID-19 proves the need for a wall between the U.S. (1,037 cases at last report, and raging upwards) and Mexico (eight cases at last count).

Hey folks, hard times are when we reach down inside and find the strength of character to support one another, and when we take the time to differentiate fact from rumour. They are not the times when we need school boards to release policies that are devoid of objective or quantitative criteria, but dripping with latent racism. We need to do better than this, now more than ever.

David Paetkau

Nelson

CoronavirusLetter to the Editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial search and rescue award a surprise for Kaslo’s Don Hunt

Hunt is one of six recipients of the Public Safety Lifeline volunteer awards

Woman who assaulted downtown Nelson business owner sentenced

Nicole Brown was found guilty of assaulting Linda Randall during an attempted shoplift in 2017

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event

Damian John will lead a workshop titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read