Op/Ed Opinion

Letter to the editor: COVID makes indoor graduation risky

This year will be the first time in the COVID-era when MUHS Graduation will be held unmasked, indoors without any COVID precautions. Apparently, the administration sees this as the right thing to do despite Vermont having one of the highest rates of infection and hospitalizations in the U.S., and Addison County being classified as high-risk even by the new less-stringent CDC guidelines. This is a needless risk when an outdoor venue would be easy, inexpensive and very typical at many institutions.

An indoor unmasked graduation injects significant risk into attendees and the entire community for absolutely no reason. We all know indoor events are more risky than outdoor events, and we all know not wearing masks is more risky than wearing masks. Yet the administration seems to be throwing caution to the wind in favor of “what we’ve always done.” What lesson is that teaching our kids?

Graduations, like weddings, are one of the most wonderful positive events for families and communities to celebrate. They bring old and young together to witness this wonderful rite of passage. Making this event as safe and inclusive to all seems to be a basic responsibility of the administration and one they are not taking seriously. How will they feel if elderly or young unvaccinated kids attending are then sick, hospitalized or worse? Are they even giving this any consideration, or are they just assuming “it’ll be fine.” Their actions say they don’t really care.

I urge the administration to rethink their plans and move the event outdoors so that everyone regardless of their personal health risks can attend. I also urge other concerned community members to speak up and make sure the administration knows your opinion. While the nation has so many challenges that are so difficult to fix, this one is easy … move the event outdoors.

Dan Browdy

Middlebury

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