Do not take away Parent’s freedom to watch their kid's extra-curricular activities
This is not a debate about a virus – rather this is a debate about people and their government achieving the proper balance of FREEDOM and RISK (we actually agree with using anything like masks, social distancing, etc that is proven to stop the spread - but we want it to be our choice). Every day of our lives we analyze the risk of certain behaviors and use our God given freedom to decide whether we want to take that risk. Governments and other institutions can help decrease risk as well by educating and assisting in our choices.
Lets compare the risk of dying from Covid in Idaho to the risk of dying in a car accident on Idaho roads.
In 2019 there were 224 traffic accidents and approximately 1154 serious injuries and a total of 27,015 traffic accidents. Approximately 59% of the population (0-100 yrs old) chose to take the risk of driving on Idaho roads at some time during the year.
There are 1,787,000 people in Idaho, so there are about 1,054,000 drivers that are choosing to risk their lives as they drive (and possibly the lives of their children or elderly passengers who can’t drive). So these are the risk rates:
- death risk rate of about .02%,
- and a serious injury rate of .09%,
- and a traffic accident risk of 2.6%.
The government and other organizations have done a good job of decreasing the traffic death rates – not by banning people from driving, but rather building safer cars (airbags, seatbelts, etc), and requiring by law the use of seatbelts (because there is undisputed evidence they decrease death rates). They also educate the people better about safer driving, etc.
But the bottom line is the individual, if they obey the laws, has the right and responsibility to decide whether or not they will drive and take the risk of dying in their car. There will be times and situations where they see an increase of risk (icy roads, etc) and they will need to make the decision.
This system of freedom, risk and checks and balances has worked very well and is a good model to follow.
Now lets look at the Covid situation in Idaho and compare that to driving. So far, there are currently 763 deaths in Idaho, and 3,202 hospitalizations, and about 83,344 cases and we're close to the end of the year.
There are 1,787,000 people in Idaho and we can safely assume that anyone at anytime and any place can contract the virus. So the risk numbers would be as follows:
- .04% death risk
- .18% serious illness risk
- 4.7% infected risk
When we factor in the reality that maybe 50% of the Covid mortality cases are attributed to other death factors, and are not the main cause of death, then we end up with a mortality risk about the same as that of driving a car.
But here's the real kicker, if we factor in the fact that of those 763 deaths, only about 6% where under the age of 60 - the numbers tell a completely different story than the government and media narrative - the risk of Covid death of someone under the age of 60 is many times less than that of driving a car. So the answer is real simple, those that are in the high risk categories, or those who are around them, should take extra caution - just like those with poor eyesight or other conditions shouldn't drive.
One of the other pieces of our education of Covid is what is happening with our healthcare workers and hospitals. There are a few more numbers and observations for those that are interested. We've added a note at the end of this petition if you're interested in learning more.
Then to put all of this into a greater perspective - if you were in the first wave on D-Day at Omaha Beach, the chances of dying was about 75%. Those young soldiers, many of them about the age of our kids when they graduate from high school, ran straight into gunfire knowing they probably wouldn't make it. Why did they do that? They weren't forced to do that, but rather they chose to fight for our freedom to make similar choices, albeit much less risky. So please, in honor of those who died for our freedoms, don't take them away from us like they are meaningless, and dishonoring those hundreds of thousands that died to protect our freedoms.
So why all the drastic measures like shutting down businesses (which the CDC and our common sense know doesn’t help), or not allowing parents to sit in a large gymnasium, auditorium or stadium to cheer on their kids (socially distancing of course), or any other tactics that have been dreamed up by people wanting to empower themselves by taking away the freedoms of others. We can only speculate as to why?
There are definitely things the government can do to educate and help minimize the spread, such as education campaigns, social distancing, hotspot management and tracing, masks (although the evidence that exists has not convinced about 50% of the population that they work – unlike the evidence that seatbelts work, that has convinced the majority of the population of their benefit, which allows the government to pass a law requiring seatbelts).
The most useful thing that government can do in a situation like Covid, where the risk numbers are not that different than driving off in your car, is to continue to educate, and present the facts about the risks, and then give the people the freedom to chose if they want to take that risk, knowing full well there might be some bad players out there that would cause them harm (ie the drunk drivers, or the Covid infected spreader).
OUR PETITION: We petition the government to allow parents the freedom to visit a school facility to watch their children participate in extra-curricular activities. We will follow the protocols, and trust in every other parent and school official in attendance that they to will follow the recommended protocols of safety. Ultimately the decision to keep parent and fan support out of extra-curricular activities will do more harm to the mental well-being of the kids, than any health or safety benefit derived from this harmful policy.
We PETITION the Governor and the people who have made this harmful policy to immediately allow 2 parents per student to attend their child's extra-curricular activity. With this change in policy, the parents will wear masks and social distance at the event, and not go to the event if they are sick.
Let us exercise the freedom that our forefathers fought and even died for – freedom that inspires us to take on that daily risk that helps our families and our country forge ahead in difficult times.
Do not take this FREEDOM from us, and do not force us to stay in our BASEMENTS!
The numbers don’t lie and the numbers show us this isn’t much different than getting in our cars and driving to the grocery store. Most of us are willing to take that risk, and those that aren’t, are perfectly welcome to choose not to. Looking at the numbers, many people, if given the choice between getting in a car accident or getting Covid – they’d choose the accident. The overwhelming majority of people prefer to keep making their own informed decisions about risk.
THIS PETITION WILL BE SENT TO
- THE GOVERNOR OF IDAHO,
- THE SENATE AND HOUSE,
- MADISON SCHOOL DISTRICT,
- AND THE IDAHO STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
- THE IDAHO HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION (Ty Jones is the head person there)
YOUR ACTION ITEM: we have talked to Ty Jones at the IHSAA and he says that they did not make the decision and that it came directly from the Governors office. He gave us the email for the education advisor that Ty talks to. His name is Greg Wilson and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also copy Ty Jones at email@example.com and the Governor at firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails are a very helpful addition as we deliver the petition. Thanks!
A phone call to the Governors office is also helpful to talk with Greg Wilson - the number is 208.334.2100. If you want to talk to Ty Jones directly you can call him at 208.375.7027 - he says he did not make the decision, but he's definitely an influencer of the Governors education policies.
PS. After you sign the petition, the ipetitions company asks for donations - it may appear that we're asking for donations. We are not - we don't need donations, we just need your support!
Healthcare worker note:
Where we think the Covid risk numbers increase dramatically is with our health care workers. They have chosen to stand in the line of fire every day and serve those who are ill - all while increasing their risk of infection and death. These are very brave people and if we look at the nurses in particular, who probably experience the most exposure, the National Nurses United (largest Nurses union in the country) have reported around 200 Covid related deaths in 2020. Of the 2.86 million nurses in the country, that is a .007% risk of death. While this number is below the risk of an average person's risk, we believe the numbers are skewed as many nurses are not on the front lines dealing with the Covid cases. If we look at health-care workers in general compared to law enforcement risk of death - here are the 2020 numbers (which don't lie or get emotional):
- approx 1800 healthcare worker deaths from Covid out of 18 million workers = .01% risk of death
- 200 law enforcement deaths out of 800,000 officers = .03% risk of death
So while we honor every worker out there who has sacrificed their life to serve the public, we also need to keep perspective based on the numbers. Becoming a law enforcement or health care worker has alot more stress and risks than just death, but we can see that law enforcement has 3 times more risk and probably alot less appreciation this year from the media and general public. Numbers and facts help us gain better perspective.
Then we look at the hospital capacity in Idaho - this is what the ID Dept of Health and Welfare website said on Nov 16 - "the availability of ventilators and ICU beds is the best Monday that it’s been all month. Similarly, the most recent data available for hospitalizations and ICU admissions reported Friday, November 3 shows a slight decline in both numbers". So while we need to do everything we can not to flood our hospitals, it appears they and their great healthcare workers are doing the job they were hired to do.
We are grateful for their service, and we're sure they would not want to take away our freedoms and shut down our economy to stop the virus, just like the police officers would not want to take away the gun rights of the people, just to stop bad people from shooting each other and fellow officers. Its all about keeping the freedom to make the right choices.