Editor of the Reformer:
I am appalled that Governor Phil Scott would even consider directing schools to ask children if they joined other households for Thanksgiving. He is placing the burden of the parents’ decision on the children. This is precisely how Hitler gained inside household information through the Hitler Youth program and it should be clearly unacceptable in a free society, pandemic or not. While I believe the desire of the Governor is to keep the illness at bay, posting children as informers is not an option. The logic behind this canceled Thanksgiving assumes that Vermonters cannot assess the warnings and risks for themselves, so the government must tell us how to behave to keep us “safe.”
According to the Vermont Vital Statistics Report, 6,027 Vermonters died in 2018, and 6,010 in 2017, from various causes. If we wait until next Thanksgiving, there will be another estimated 6,000 people who will not share our turkey dinner, not because of COVID but because time marches on. And now Governor Scott has decided for us that the 6,000 people who will die from non-COVID causes and will not be with us next year are less important than the 64 we have lost to COVID. Each life does matter, but Governor Scott is choosing which lives we will get to celebrate. I am a thinking woman and can decide that for myself and my children, thank you.
Let us keep perspective that according to the Vermont State Police Website, “As of November 17th, there have been 60 fatalities on Vermont's roads in 2020. There were 38 at this point in 2019, and the 10-year average for this date is 54.” While our road death rates are up 22 percent from last year, and one might argue the epidemic proportions of this increase, no one is asking us to stop driving or asking our children if someone drove them safely to school -- or to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving!
Today, I am thankful for my family and for all the work our public servants have done through this crazy year. Whether I agree with their methods or not, I appreciate their time and do believe they are trying to do what is best. I am also thankful that I live in a country where my voice can be heard. I have the right and the responsibility to speak out and to let my elected officials know when I disagree. Today, I am finally speaking out that I have had enough, and our children are not your pawns. I hope Governor Scott will continue to guide and share good information but will let Vermonters make their own decisions, and will not bring our children into this mandate.