To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is being sent to implore the school board to act for the safety of our children. Do not demand restrictions that are more “hygiene theatre” than reasonable restrictions for our children’s safety. Restrictions that include social distancing and mask wearing have little value for kids’ physical health while their implementation are having profound negative psychological effects on our kids.
Here are the facts about COVID and adolescents: there are 74 million kids in the United States. 4,000,000 kids were tested and found to have COVID-19. Based upon the 4 million confirmed cases, 5.7% of minors were hospitalized and 1.8% ended up in the ICU. Approximately 228000 kids were admitted to the hospital and 68000 were admitted into the ICU. 391 minors died from COVID complications (though the death number is highly contested).
But, “most cases of COVID-19 diagnosis and related hospitalizations were seen amongst infants and toddlers aged <4 years old, predominantly of male sex.” Additionally, the percentage of hospitalizations drop precipitously when you consider the reality that real COVID-19 cases are probably 3-5x greater. In other words, there is negligible danger that school aged children will be hospitalized from contracting COVID-19 and nearly no danger of a child dying from the disease. There is no scientific reason to mandate mask wearing or social distancing. This is the science before one even considers the benefits of the vaccine.
9.2 million kids under 18 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and the risk of hospitalization or death is nearly zero for these children. Kids under 12 who aren’t vaccinated also have nearly zero risk in being seriously affected by COVID. Even now with the spread of the DELTA variant, there is no public data that changes these facts.
There are profound costs to our children if you continue these restrictions—face masks and social distancing. First, school plays a primary space in maturing students in interpersonal skills. How can this happen with covered faces and the inability for near social contact . Normal interactions have not happened for 18 months and is now being considered for another 12 months. This will be 3 years of abnormal social interactions. What will be the results?
Consider these studies:
Heightened rates of depression and anxiety: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267797/
Increased drug and alcohol abuse among minors: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7368647/
Significant rise in self-harm and suicides among minors: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7368647/
Long term social distancing will negatively affect children: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/social-distancing-effects-on-social-development
Has the school board considered the cost to kids who won’t experience normal socialization for at least 30 months?
Have the appropriate experts been contacted? Has the board made parents aware that these restrictions might have life-long, life-threatening, relational consequences?
Together these will affect income, relational intimacy and psychological happiness? Do these matter?
We are sacrificing our kids so that we can feel safe.
I know there are some parents and board members driven by fear. But minimal risk cannot be the catalyst for such restrictions. It’s an exercise in futility. The ‘cure’ is more dangerous than the disease.
I hope there are enough rational people on the school board who will act on behalf of our children’s real welfare. Vote to end all COVID restrictions.
Rev. Ron Citlau MDiv
Amy Citlau LPC
Parents of 4 students currently attending district 135 and district 230 schools