Ulterior Motive to the News of a COVID Case in Pottsville School or Just a Slow News Day?
Did anyone else find it curious that the county’s daily newspaper of record decided to publish a story about a singular case of COVID-19 at Pottsville Area’s DHH Lengel Middle School?
The article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 16 edition. One positive case of COVID at the middle school resulted in 15 more people being quarantined.
Now, a few months ago when schools were beginning to report positive cases among their ranks, these types of reports were pretty commonplace. This report would have come out and no one would have thought twice about it.
However, we hadn’t really seen any in a few weeks, maybe even a couple months, from schools getting reported in the media. That doesn’t mean it still wasn’t happening. It’s just that it was becoming a little more commonplace and reporting on it got repetitive.
Even then, we really hadn’t heard much out of Pottsville Area when other schools were coming forward with their reports of positive cases. Some schools went out of their way to publicize their cases and what they were doing about it. The newspaper did report on 1 previous case of COVID at Pottsville Area, but just once.
It should be noted that schools aren’t required to report these positive cases to the public. Their only obligation is to the people determined to be close contacts of the positive COVID case.
New Case of COVID-19 at Pottsville Area School District
But then, out of the blue, this story breaks and runs in Tuesday’s paper. And there’s wasn’t much to it. No one is quoted; it just cites an email from the school’s acting superintendent. So, was this really just an article out of the clear blue?
Now, it could be that the paper was having a slow news day. They caught wind of this email circulated to parents and decided to fill a hole in their paper for Tuesday. That’s a likely scenario.
It’s a very likely scenario if you didn’t attend or watch the most recent Pottsville Area school board meeting. At it, the Pottsville Area teachers union launched an offensive against a plan to bring students back to school 5 days a week. So far this whole school year, Pottsville Area students have only been attending 2 days a week in-person and 3 days virtually.
Another possible scenario: some parent or someone with a stake in what’s happening at the schools who doesn’t want Pottsville students to physically go back to school 5 days a week lets the paper know about the email. The paper hears this and says, “Sure, we’ll run it.”
The paper likely did not have an ulterior motive but what does this story do? It starts sowing the seeds of fear.
After staging their protest to the school board’s plan, Pottsville’s teachers can point to this story and this case of COVID as an example of what will likely happen, and more so, if and when students return full-time.
Again, this is possible, too, as much as it’s possible we’re looking too far into this. The timing of the story was just interesting, or maybe just a coincidence.
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