This is not a piling on exercise. This is an examination of what to do and what not to do when leading a people driven organization. For example, a school.
Covid-19 has reared its ugly head in the White House Universe, infecting the President, advisors, Senators, staff, and guests. The spreading event seems to be the outdoor and indoor receptions introducing the Supreme Court Justice Nominee. Whether or not this proves to be true is immaterial. The events serve as a good case study for school leaders.
First of all, do not fall for the line that every prudent precaution was taken. This was not the case and extensive video evidence drives this point home.
First, what was done correctly.
There was screening done to determine who could be admitted into the event. This screening included a self-check of symptoms, a fever scan, and the administration of a quick Covid-19 test. All three had to be negative. And all indications are that this was the case.
Second, what was done wrong.
The social group think (as opposed to the scientific and medical reality) was that the negative scan results were definitive proof that a person was Covid-19 free. Therefore, everyone could let their guard down, mingle, and be “normal.”
Negative Covid-19 scan results do not mean that a person is healthy. Negative scan results simply mean that there is a greater chance that the person is Covid-19 free which means that it is less risky to admit the person into the “Bubble.”
This is why fever and smell test scans should be administered to everyone entering a school every day (a practice that is too rare). It reduces the chance of an infected person coming into the building and then infecting others.
But the screening is the first step, not the only or last step.
Once it is determined that it is less risky to allow a person to enter the bubble, then social distancing, mask wearing, and on-going hygiene practices must be mandated and enforced. Otherwise, an asymptotic individual can infect numerous other individuals in the bubble. An asymptotic person (or persons) freely mingling, maskless and in close quarters, among the uninfected is seemingly what occurred at the White House. The warning is that this same risky operational environment is being replicated at too many schools. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that this situation is easily remedied. All that is required is for the leader of the organization to:
- Put in place the appropriate procedural safeguards.
- Mandate the following of those procedural safeguards, without exception.
- Model the appropriate implementation of those procedural safeguards, at all times, even when it is inconvenient and/or uncomfortable.
It’s not too late to make your campus, staff, and students safer. Learn from the experiences of others.
Lead Your School and Wash Your Hands!
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