The Only Certainty is Uncertainty

May 11, 2021

“I wish I knew,” Dr. Kristen Rickey said, regarding mask wearing and social distancing at West Delaware next year.

With around 30% of Delaware county vaccinated, Rickey believes it’s too soon to tell if masks or social distancing will be required next year at school.

Because the vaccines aren’t 100% effective, Rickey said that vaccinated students must still wear masks to school this year. However, fully vaccinated students exposed to someone with COVID-19 can avoid quarantine by showing the school their vaccination card.

“Preventing illness is still a concern,” Rickey said. “We social distance, wear masks, and encourage vaccines to keep everyone safe, so any one of them going away increases the chances of the virus spreading.”

According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, around 70% of the population needs to be immune to COVID-19 to reach herd immunity. However, in a recent survey of 191 West Delaware High School students, only 36.1% of students said they plan to be, or already have been, vaccinated.

People need to advocate for their own health.”

— Kristen Rickey

Rickey explained that she won’t require the vaccine as she can’t make those health decisions for everyone, and that, while there are required vaccinations for students, those decisions are made by community health officials.

“Each individual needs to assess the risks and benefits,” Rickey said. “People need to advocate for their own health.”

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