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Sometimes, I wonder if our governor just needs a plain old-fashioned reality check. Things that he says over and over in his news conferences do not even make sense on the face of it.

No, we do not have only two choices, either to go out and take risks or to stay home and curl up in a ball, send our economy into a deep depression, face starvation, fight among ourselves and create a war as the only way out.

No, the voices of we, the people, who are represented by our state legislators meeting together, are not a circus.

No, we are not following the science when we decide to reopen things further, including our sports and our schools.

Fortunately, our citizens have, for the most part, continued to think for themselves and not entered into the fantasy bubble that our governor has created for himself and cannot seem to break out of.

We have already proven how, wherever possible, we are able to stay home and do productive work without coming together in a brick-and-mortar building. Millions of telecommuters already knew this to be true.

With the appropriate investment in resources, we also can equip our homes to substitute for on-site schools, at least for the next year. Eleven thousand home-schoolers in our state have already been following this practice year in and year out.

For those who cannot readily get broadband or the devices to use it, we have public television, telephones and the U.S. Postal Service to provide the materials we need.

Home visits have always been built into Head Start to strengthen low-income families. With masks and proper distancing, teachers and aides can make regular visits to those children who most need this kind of hands-on attention.

Multiple options exist for those of us sheltering at home to participate in the economy via online orders and various delivery services.

As I noted in an earlier op-ed, World War II was not created to save our economy from a deep depression. During the 1930s, people and communities came together and accepted the responsibility of our government to help each other get through difficult and challenging times.

I feel deeply insulted whenever I hear our governor refer to our Legislature as a circus. Maybe his views of them have caused him to treat them the way he has, with his various stunts and tirades.

He still does not seem to grasp the fundamental structure of our government, which allows us to choose our representatives to join together in the democratic process, with our input, to achieve the best results for all of us.

The science and data have demonstrated throughout the world that schools can successfully reopen only when the pandemic is in decline and we have less than a 1-to-1 infection rate. We also know that children of all ages can transmit the coronavirus to those who are at highest risk, leading to suffering and deaths.

We also know that a child will be far more harmed, for life, by losing a parent or caregiver than by missing a year in the classroom.

Please, Gov. Justice, find the courage to break out of your bubble and move forward based on the realities that determine the actions of thinking people. We will each do what we must do to survive and protect those who are closest to us, as well as our neighbors. You can lighten our load by helping and supporting us, instead of denying and fighting what we know to be true.

Betty Rivard, of Charleston, is a retired social worker and planner for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.