PALM BEACH, Fla. — On Wednesday, Erica Whitfield will cast her vote on whether to send Palm Beach County teachers and students back to the classroom amid a pandemic. The school board member says the choice has been anything but academic.
COVID-19 snuck into the Whitfield house in April despite her family’s best efforts at distancing and mask-wearing. Their caution was driven by the need to protect the littlest Whitfield, a miracle baby who arrived 11 weeks early and was still in the hospital more than a month later.
Erica and her husband, Brent, didn’t want to walk the deadly coronavirus into the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Now they suspect the hospital — maybe the cafeteria — is where Brent picked it up and then gave it to Erica and their 12-year-old daughter Noelle.
What followed was close to three weeks of isolation, in which mommy and baby connected