While we are focused on survivability rates and urgent care surrounding COVID-19, evidence is now trickling in that this virus has a complex impact and has potential for long-term damage that could shorten lives and harm quality of life.

One wonders if 10, 20, 30 years down the road we will see infomercials for COVID-19 decisions similar to what we see now for asbestos and those suffering from mesothelioma.

Like then, today's local and state elected and hired officials face the same gamble. Do you send educators and staff into a logistical nightmare known as a potentially lethal environment that is full of children?

Are you sending hundreds into an environment where the regular flu spreads like wildfire? You can't hold a 6-year-old accountable for protocol, so decision-makers will be. Do you have the data and evidence to support exposures on your watch, and in your environments will not have long-term damage subject to financial reparations decades down the road?

I don't envy those who potentially risk everything if they decide to send individuals into an environment where protocols cannot be controlled.

Jim Southwick, Rochester