(copy of a Letter to the Editor I sent to my local paper, the Vacaville Reporter--without the links, or picture)
As a concerned grandparent of five Vacaville residents, aged 5 to 12, I feel I must write to express my outrage over the continuing measures that give our young residents very little hope in this world.
First of all, I must express that ages 0-25 RARELY get Covid-19 and there have been many credible studies (From the University of Vermont Medical School, Sweden and Germany) that say that even if children do contract it, they do not spread it. The verifiable death rate for that age group is so near zero percent, it may as well be. It seems like the harshest measures are against seniors (who are vulnerable, but are confined with recovering Covid-19 patients in Skilled Nursing facilities, per Newsom's orders) and children, who are the least vulnerable to Covid-19. Why is this?
Just today, I witnessed at least 16 adults playing doubles tennis on the four tennis courts at Orchard Park. I am not "ratting" them out, I am glad they are doing enjoying free and healthy recreation. However, there was no social distancing (how could there be) and they were not wearing masks, which I also applaud: Breathing fresh air is imperative to our health.
What I do have a problem with, however, is I walked 50 feet to the playground and there is a big notice that it is closed to prevent the "spread of infection." As I already stated, children rarely get Covid-19, and don't spread it, so why is it possible for adults who do get it and do spread it to enjoy a healthy and free recreational activity, but not the children?
Playgrounds are egregiously closed all over the city; basketball hoops have been taken down; twice the police have been called on my grandsons who were practicing baseball with their teams; AND now VUSD is tearing up all of the ball fields at their schools and putting notices on the fences that there is no play allowed on school grounds! Libraries which are a refuge from the heat and a favorite place for my grandchildren to hang out are also closed. The wonderful free programs we enjoyed are tragically gone.
What are our children supposed to do for recreation? Being outdoors is the healthiest place to be, but in this heat, we should be enjoying the community pool like in past years: We could, if we could get into or afford swim lessons, but children can't even swim laps at Walter Graham Aquatic Center until they are 13!
I recently read where Vacaville is considering putting businesses in public parks so they can survive, but the children for whom the playgrounds were designed, cannot use the facilities? Can't anyone else see how backwards this is? Save the parks for profit, but not for play?
Do we want a city, state, nation filled with couch potatoes and ill-educated children?
Is recreation only available to families that can pay to play?
Even in the midst of Covid-19, Vacaville can and should be doing better by its youngest citizens.