Posted: 01/26/2022 12:12:58

Modified: 01/26/2022 12:11:48

The number of cases in Dartmouth remains alarming

the Valley News article “Coronavirus Cases Drop in Dartmouth, Jan. 19” buried the lede.

According to Dartmouth’s Jan. 18 COVID-19 Dashboard, 11% of Dartmouth community members — including 21% of undergraduates — tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous seven days alone.

An extremely high percentage of the campus had also tested positive in the previous week (8% of the total campus community had tested positive in the week beginning January 2).

To Dartmouth’s considerable credit, we only know these numbers because he tested everyone weekly while reporting the results publicly. By contrast, most other local workplaces are left in the dark about developments in their own infection rates and associated risks.

Also to Dartmouth’s credit, 98% of the Dartmouth campus is vaccinated. High vaccination rates will significantly reduce the downstream burden of these infections on local hospitals while significantly reducing the number of deaths.

But still, these are some pretty surprisingly high numbers, all from the few weeks that have passed since the start of the term. At least some of these infections are likely to spread to the rest of the Upper Valley, perhaps especially as dining and socializing restrictions ease even though COVID-19 rates on campus are currently still so students.

This seems like a much more relevant way to frame the story in the Upper Valley than highlighting an apparent drop over the weekend in the more contrived context of only active cases.

Deborah Brooks


Consider being a mentor

January is National Mentoring Month, and in honor of this annual occasion, I wanted to share some information about the benefits of having a mentor for children.

Children in Windsor County need to regain some sense of normalcy after nearly two years of the pandemic. Connecting with a mentor can be a key part of this return to routine. The benefits of having a mentor are well documented.

In Windsor County Mentors School and Community Mentoring Programs, we train and certify mentors who are then matched with children in a local school or in their community. Once matched, the couple meet each week, and during their time together, the mentor and mentee can participate in whatever activity they choose – having lunch together, finishing school work, playing a game, exploring the world, or simply speak.

The trusted routine of mentorship allows children to build a relationship with their mentors based on honesty and trust over time. Mentors serve as thought partners for students in their academic and personal journeys and help them become empowered agents of their own change.

Strong social science research has shown that youth with mentors have:

■Increased high school graduation rates

■Higher university enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations

■ Improved self-esteem and self-confidence

■Improved behavior, both at home and at school

■Stronger relationships with parents, teachers and peers

■ Decreased likelihood of starting drug and alcohol use

Mentoring has also been linked in studies to benefits in social and emotional development, improved young people’s perceptions of parental relationships, and better prospects for transition to higher education.

Mentoring has many proven positive benefits for children and we Windsor County Mentors are proud to be able to support our local children.

Matthew Garcia

White River Junction

Democrats seek proof

Strategically, it’s encouraging to see the Democratic Party’s brain trust investing in overblown, over-the-top conspiracy theories in an effort to further malign former President Trump and Republicans in general. They will surely present a number of anonymous sources and allude to insinuations of collusion, plotting a military coup, serious crimes, etc.

For the past five years, the party has relentlessly focused on political machinations of its own design, favoring a Russian-Chinese style legal system where accusation equals guilt, and they provide all the necessary evidence – absolutely none.

Apparently they have little to lose.

Richard Bircher