• 73°

Show some love to students, teachers

Monday afternoon’s announcement was expected but nevertheless heartbreaking for thousands of Virginians: schools will not reopen for the rest of this academic year.

In the midst of this horrifying COVID-19 pandemic, it was the prudent thing to do. Case numbers in Virginia have been rising for weeks, and there are still a lot of unknowns about this new virus and the illness it causes. Exactly how easily it spreads, and exactly how easily children can be carriers of the virus, even if they don’t become ill themselves, remain to be seen, but there are a few things about this virus that are known. It is deadly. The incubation period is incredibly long — up to two weeks — so people can be spreading it for days without knowing it. And caring for patients will completely overwhelm our health care system if the virus is allowed to continue unchecked for much longer.

So while the loss of about three months of school is incredibly upsetting for students, parents and teachers, it was the right thing to do to preserve human life.

For the rest of this week, those involved in schools will be facing some tough decisions and walking through unprecedented times with strong emotions. We ask that you show them some love and grace during this time.

This is especially rough on seniors, who just a couple of weeks ago were looking forward to all that comes with the last months of their senior year: prom, spring sports, academic tournaments, the thrill of overcoming challenges and accomplishing things they never thought possible, graduation and more. These seniors have been working toward these moments for 13 years, and now, most of those things are canceled, and the rest are uncertain.

While we are just as disappointed as all of you that there will be no more school for the rest of the year, we know that the spirit of community and resiliency that Suffolk is known for will shine again in the difficult months ahead. We look forward to covering many of the efforts that will be undertaken to soften the blow to those affected.