Editor's note: In the version of this letter printed in the July 16 edition of The Palladium-Times, the author uses an offensive term for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Upon reflection, we acknowledge our publication of this term was inappropriate and incompatible with the Pall-Times' guidelines for editorial submissions. A corrected version appears below.

To the editor,

I’m 67 years old with minor respiratory issues. You could say that I am at high risk if I get the coronavirus.

I am raising my thirteen year old grandson. If he goes back to school it will put me at risk of illness or death. I am willing to take that risk. My grandson needs to go back to school.

The science of this virus is very clear. Our kids are at low  risk of serious illness or death from the coronavirus virus. Our relatively young teachers are at very low risk of dying from the coronavirus virus. Children have been shown to cause a very low rate of transmission of the virus. They are themselves, at very low risk, and they present very low risk to the rest of us. I am not afraid, and if I was, I would still want my child to go back to school.

I’m an old white man. I have lived my life. If I lose the rest of it because I advocated for my grandson to go to school, ill count my life to have been well spent. I am not willing to sacrifice the future of our children in exchange for the safety of living in a cage.

Many European schools have already opened, and their children are not experiencing the horrifying consequences that our hysterical media are predicting. The results are already in. Opening the schools does not increase the risk of the coronavirus spreading. Europe, and Asia and many other countries are proving that fact on a daily basis. Facts are facts.

Another important fact is the simple truth that our children suffer many other dramatic risks and consequences if they do not go back to school. Suicide. Obesity. Depression. Malnutrition. Undetected abuse. Lack of mental health care. Social isolation. Video game addiction. Boredom. Lack of intellectual growth.

Our kids need to go back to school, whether the teacher unions like it or not. If our schools do not re-open, our teachers should not be paid for doing nothing. Let them do without income like all the small businesses that were destroyed by the crazy lock-downs imposed by our fearless leaders.

Online learning is not a solution. Most kids simply do not participate. They do not learn effectively sitting in front of a computer. And what about music, and art, and physical education, and just plain moving around? My grandson is a classic example of what a waste of time online learning is. I pushed him constantly to do his lessons online during the last school shutdown. He learned absolutely nothing, and then went back to his video games.

His intellectual growth was stunted by the last lockdown. Another school closing will be catastrophic for him.

Our kids need to go back to school, and if they don’t, our teachers and administrators shouldn’t be paid. They plan on continuing their wonderful wages and benefits for doing nothing, and of course the unions plan on continuing to receive the massive amounts of dues that they collect. That attitude is a disgrace. Our teachers should be in the streets protesting to re-open our schools. Instead, their union leaders are preaching hysteria and fear. Even though the science disproves those arguments.

My grandson needs to go back to school, and if that results in my life being shortened, it is a price I will gladly pay. Our children are our future. I am willing to take great risks to make sure that they have the future they deserve. If our teachers are afraid to take the minimal risks of doing their job, they should seriously think about a different career.

If our schools do nor re-open, the rest of us should seriously consider not paying our school taxes.


Fran Hoefer


(5) comments


What a self-serving, omnipotent attitude coming from an Oswegonian, no less! Marching our most vulnerable population into a dense, socially mingled school setting will cause a spike in infections from which we will not be able to recover. First, the children will get sick. Then they will pass it on to their teachers, their parents, the school staff including adminstrators, custodians, grounds crews, bus drivers, thereby shutting down the brick and mortar institution. Then their parents and grandparents will get sick and die, but not before passing it on to health care workers including doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists.

They, in turn, will pass it on to their families and the general population who will travel and continue the resurgence in a larger geographical area besides Oswego. The most important things we can do are 1) recognize that we're in this together 2) wearing an approved effective mask correctly (nose tucked-in) has never been more important 3) stay home 4) stay socially distanced until the "all-clear" signal has been issued 5) turn-off the thought that "it's over since I'm not sick". It's not over, yet, Fran. Patience is a virtue to be taught to your grandchild and your letter indicates a life threatening lack of it.


Fran, you said you're willing to die and send your grandchild into foster care, where your infected grandchild will reinfect their new custodians who could then die, leaving your grandchild as a ward of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, Governor. "Nothing ventured; nothing gained."


Thanks for your opinion. I'm so sorry that you are hysterically afraid of the coronovirus. Do you ever leave your house? Do you wear a mask in the back yard because the virus might get you?

I feel sorry that you are so fearful. Counseling is available.

My condolences.

Fran Hoefer

ps. I always use my name when I criticize someone. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a coward or a hypocrite.


Hire a tutor. They're online[beam]. "Those who can, teach."[beam] After the job of (grand)parenting, it's one of the most important professions. Ariel


Thanks for the suggestion Ariel. So you think I should spend money on a tutor while you sit home and collect your salary for doing nothing? I'm not alowed to say anything disparaging on this page, but frankly, I don't have to. Your words clearly show what you are.,,

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