John Livingston

Are WE Cowards?

What kind of a society places the welfare of adults over the growth and development of its children? During my senior year of medical school, I was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital and I lived for 6months with a former college football teammate of mine who coached and taught at the St. Albans School for boys on the grounds of the National Cathedral. The Headmaster at that School was Cannon Charles Martin who was a well-respected educator and cleric in the American Episcopal Church. Every month he would write a headmaster’s letter to the parents and alumnae of the school. In December of the year, I was there he wrote a letter about the importance of school and why “his school” would never close because of “weather, pandemic, natural disaster” and he listed a few other causes.

In doing so he believed that it sent a wrong message to the students. School and education were important—very important and outside of God, family and country—educators talked that way back then, they were the most important thing in a student’s life. He would always be on campus as would the masters—most lived on the grounds and classes would proceed as they always had for over a century even in times of “war, depression and famine”

Over the past two years we have shut down schools, limited access to learning, and marginalized opportunities for students in sports, music, and drama activities—all important for the upward mobility and creation of opportunities for young people. And without these opportunities for young students, in the years to come we will become less competitive and advances that will improve the standard of living and opportunities for everyone will be lessened.

What kind of a society places the welfare of adults over the growth and development of its children? When assessing risk mitigation strategies around Covid-19 issues our primary concern should be about the impact that it has on our most valuable natural resource—-human capital, our children. 75% of Covid deaths have come from patients over the age of 75. According to CDC statistics even today only 14% of deaths in that age group are caused by Covid. People with heart disease, cancer and diabetes are high risk no matter their age as are immune compromised patients. So many who are stricken and may fall into those groups and die “with Covid-19”, not because of Covid-19. The most important statistic in this regard is to look at the “all case fatality rate in Idaho from 2018-2020—2018(14,263), 2019(14,430), and 2020(14,496) —a 4% increase when our State’s population changed by 6% with a disproportionate number of those people moving in being in high risk groups.

What kind of society places the welfare of adults over the welfare of their children? Idaho has the fifth highest suicide rate amongst children in the country. Through the efforts of mental health professionals, educators, and even a few in State government these numbers started to go down in 2017 and 2018—interestingly before many legislative initiatives even came into being. We in Idaho have a suicide rate of 20.4/100,000 still fifth in the USA—suicide has gone up Nationwide since Covid and lockdowns and public isolation strategies, but suicides amongst children less than 18 have gone up faster—Idaho statistics not available as of today. So in Idaho with a population of almost 2million people and a 20.4/100,000 rate we are seeing over 400 suicides/year with a disproportionate amount of that increase coming from young people. And how many people in Idaho died of Covid-19 who were under the age of 18? One! Maybe? And how many people in Idaho under the age of 18 died of suicide?—More. Who knows how many more and how many of those because they were isolated or quarantined? Certainly, more than zero!

What kind of society places the welfare of adults over the welfare of children? In Idaho on the DHW Covid-19 dashboard they actually list the following: Mean age of Covid deaths—75 and 70% of the deaths (3700) are in that category. <18—0. 18-29—16. Cannon Martin was correct. The fear of dying, or the fear of having to fight a disease that can be difficult but if you aren’t in the high risk category you will survive at an expected rate of 98% has paralyzed our society Let’s protect those people in the high risk group—those over 75 and those with comorbid conditions, and let’s start making our children and youth our top priority—instead of being overly concerned with protecting ourselves. How selfish is that? The death rate from the Spanish flu in some locals—Philadelphia, reached 20% and the death rate from Small Pox and Yellow fever also approached those numbers—even higher. We have seen 3700 souls die in our state and 755,000 die in our Country since the pandemic started. The all-case fatality rate in the USA every year runs around 2,800,000. It only increased by 200,000/ year since the pandemic and yet we report a Covid death rate at three times that number!

 “What kind of society places the welfare of adults over their children?

A society of COWARDS!

“Let’s go Brandon” MIGA (Make Idaho Great Again) “Fight Like Hell”

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