Letter to the Editor: St. George 8th grader asks community for compassion, vigilance in face of COVID-19

Photo illustration. | Coronavirus representation courtesy Centers for Disease Control, Photo and composite by Chris Reed, St. George News

OPINION — I am an eighth grade student at Snow Canyon Middle School in St. George. I am very concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in my community and the complete lack of love and respect being shown by my fellow community members.

Last Friday, an emergency warning was sent out to all phones in Utah capable of receiving it. The message read, “State of Utah: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Record cases. Almost every county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public health order, masks are required in high transmission areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer.”

That message was sent at about 2 p.m. About six hours later, a large party was held at an apartment complex clubhouse near my home. The party was rumored to have been attended by over 120 people between the ages of 13-15. Pictures released on social media by one of the teens showed over 60 people gathered together without masks inside of a small room.

The reason I am writing about this is because I am very concerned for all the hospitals and health care employees working around the clock trying to help people and also for my fellow classmates: those that attended the party, as well as those that did not. I am equally as concerned for all the people in the area of the party. The organizers rented out a small clubhouse of an apartment complex in order to host the party. This party was also very close to two different senior living homes.

The final thing that I am concerned about is the integrity of our local police officers. The father of the family that organized the party is a police officer himself. This is very unsettling due to the fact that our own officers should be enforcing the law, not breaking it.

Overall, I think it was very irresponsible for the family to organize the party. In hosting the party, they completely disregarded local laws and COVID-19 restrictions, even those announced just hours before the party, as well as put over 60 13-15 year old students and their families at risk; not to mention the effects that this party could have on local hospitals in the coming days.

I hope that by sharing this story, maybe more of my community members will learn from their mistakes so that somehow we can save more people’s lives and put less health care workers and their families at risk.

I will end with a question for all Utahns to ponder: How am I supposed to go to school with these kids and not worry about whether or not I am putting my own family in danger by doing so?

Submitted by WALTER SHEWMAKE, St. George.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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