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Minnesota Opinion - On swine flu:

An excerpt from recent editorials in Minnesota newspapers:

Cooler heads prevailed.

When the swine flu -- or H1N1 virus -- surfaced in Minnesota schools, the sky did not fall.

People who lived where cases where suspected took the situation in stride and complied with requests of health officials. At first, that meant schools closed when suspected cases were identified. Two schools in Cold Spring were the first to do so April 29 when that area had the first identified case in the state.

With advice from health officials, educators closed schools when suspected cases cropped up, but when the virus turned out to be milder than anticipated, everyone regrouped. Officials from schools, the state health and education departments, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discussed the situation and decided scaling back on school closures made sense.

Most importantly, the school superintendents are able to make independent decisions based on their specific situation.

Many schools reduced the duration that schools were going to be closed in light of the fact cases weren't widespread or serious.

At a Minneapolis high school, officials decided not to close the school even though cases were suspected. Parents did not panic. They preferred to keep their teens in classes rather than see them congregate at the mall.

In White Bear Lake, the superintendent opted to keep a preschool and early childhood program closed because younger children aren't as skillful at following safety precautions to keep infection from spreading. That decision made sense for that district's situation.


No one knows whether cases will drop off for good, pick up again in the fall or increase in severity with this flu strain. The best we can do is be prepared and stay calm. And if that means readjusting the plan of action repeatedly, then that's what we need to do.

-- The Free Press of Mankato