- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2019

Let’s keep this simple.

You’re familiar about the outbreak of measles, correct?

Well, here’s a simple tool that school districts can put in their tool boxes to educate the masses.

You’re probably familiar with the mass mailings from supermarkets, home remodelers and fast-food eateries — the ones the U.S. Postal Service stuffs in your mailbox on a weekly bases.

Well, it’s time for our school districts to get with that program and help put our tax dollars to good use.

If we really and truly want to curb the current measles outbreak and better educate U.S. residents about vaccinations in general, why not use our good ol’ reliable, trusty dusty Postal Service?

School districts can easily and quickly pull together a one-page mailer, head to a local post office, and have the letter carriers put one in every mailbox in their city, town or county.

Let the post office work out the logistics.

A simple “Dear Resident” letter that lists the ages and the necessary vaccines, and recommendations that recipients check with their doctor or clinic could go a long way.

Again, the current measles outbreak is a prime example.

News of the outbreak is in our faces because some parents and caretakers oppose vaccinating their kids against any childhood diseases, some adults never were vaccinated, and some kids and adults aren’t vaccinated because their homelands aren’t as strident about public health as the United States.

There are other reasons why.

None of those reasons or excuses need be addressed in the letter, though.

What the “Dear Resident” letter should do is simply address what vaccinations are needed and at what age.

No government gobbledygook allowed.

The point is to keep it simple and here’s why: Since Jan. 1 of this year, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has verified 880 cases of measles.

The state with the most cases is New York, which has an estimated 700 cases.

The 880 cases could rise as spring and summer travel moves full speed ahead.

This is highest number of measles cases since the viral infection was “eliminated” in 2000 and since the outbreak in 1994, when 958 infections were reported.

Americans love New York — and Oklahoma and Maryland and other states where measles has made itself known, and Americans shouldn’t shy away.

Fear won’t solve the problem. Education can.

The measles is a highly communicable disease that can spread easily on a cruise ship, on a sports field or arena, a dorm or schoolhouse, and recreation centers or country clubs. Military bases aren’t exempt either.

Diseases do not discriminate.

Let’s step away from questioning why people don’t vaccinate their children and themselves, and step into commonsense mode.

Educate, educate, educate.

Let’s move with all deliberate speed on a “Dear Resident” letter as school districts prepare for summer break, and parents schedule medical appointments.

And be mindful, school districts should send another mass mailing at the start of next school year since U.S. schools are supposed to verify children have been vaccinated.

Perhaps, educators should, too.

Bureaucratic gobbledygook can be complicated.

Educating the masses about necessary vaccinations should be a simple undertaking, however.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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