Dr. Cathy Slemp: WV not as green as our COVID-19 map portrays

Charleston Gazette-Mail

October 17, 2020

My father is one of the deepest thinking, wisest, and, in the best sense of the word, spiritual people I know. Recent events remind me of a key concept he shared. In nature, growth is often most abundant at the intersection of things — in estuaries, for example, where fresh and salt water churn.

Similarly, societal churning forces us to recognize and be open to the fact that we may be in new waters, that our understanding of reality maybe incomplete and that deeper currents or colliding truths are at play.

Crises are both disruptive and offer opportunity to grow.There is a second core principle of emergency response many in our nation have left by the wayside: Build upon and use existing experts and systems, working together and respecting each other’s lanes. This leads to stronger response, greater credibility and better outcomes.


Resuming school in the environment of disease spread is an issue fraught with challenge and difficulty, one where truths collide. Yes, there are risks in reopening schools when disease is present. Yes, we could minimize such risk and stay fully remote or not resume school at all. Yet we see public and political demand to open schools and play sports. We see teachers, though concerned and frustrated, excited to be back with their students. Why? They know that not every child can learn well remotely and they care.