On Sunday, November 8th, Governor Herbert announced that there was a new statewide mandate to be enforced on Monday the 9th.
The entire state of Utah was in shock at the news. The governor has tried to avoid declaring a statewide mask mandate. Unfortunately, with a record breaking amount of new cases, he felt he had no choice but to set this mandate in place.
The mask mandate is not the only thing the Governor has set in place to lower case numbers. He also postponed all social events and extra curricular activities. Social gatherings are also limited to household members only. Although the sports and activities are postponed, State football will continue. The governor stated he wanted the players to finish their season.
High school students all over the state were outraged with the news. Our students here at Juab were looking forward to their winter activities and sports.
I interviewed a few students to find out how they feel about their activities being “postponed”.
Preston Smith (11th), said he was mad when he found out the school musical was postponed. Opening night was only a week away and Preston, along with the rest of the cast of “Cinderella”, have worked so hard to put the show together. Preston still has hope that the show can go on. As of now, the musical is postponed until further notice. He wishes they could still hold rehearsal but it’s simply not possible with the mandate.
Sara Winn(12th) is very involved in the FFA at Juab high school. She is bummed that her FFA activities are postponed. Sara is willing to comply with the new mandate if it means she will get to participate in her activities in the future. “As awful as this is, I would much rather shut down than live with the fact that my actions may have hurt or possibly killed someone else.” Although Sara has a good point not all of the students agree with her point of view.
Keanu Pauole (9th) says “I think it is stupid. We are punishing the youth through all of this. And teen anxiety and depression will go sky high.” Mental health is a huge factor when it comes to the pandemic. Everyone can agree that they want their lives to go back to the way they were before the pandemic. Things going back to normal is going to be harder to obtain than we think. We need to take action.
Grace Holman(10th), has taken matters into her own hands and sent emails to the governor and spoke with the local news with her peers. Grace says “I think that logically it doesn’t make sense. We are a low death rate population. The fact that they are targeting the healthiest population is confusing. I feel like it is ineffective.”
Many students agree with Grace. Targeting the younger generations may not affect the number of cases in Utah. Most cases in Utah are primarily 44 years of age and up. High school students can’t help but wonder why they are the target.
“Our age group isn’t the one filling the ICU beds yes there may be a spike in our age but we are most likely well enough to overcome it.” says Savanah Rasch(10th). Savannah is a member of the drill team at Juab. She says in order for her to participate in her State competition she has to get tested.
Savanah is taking action and has written several emails to government officials and members of the UHSAA. She was also responsible for putting together the story on Fox 13 about Juab students and their frustrations about the mandate. It is people like Savanah that help us get closer and closer to making a difference to make sure young voices are being heard.
The students of Juab high school want to know they have a voice. They want state officials to realize stripping away student activities is not the solution to the recent outbreak. There is another solution for controlling the spread, but taking away extracurricular activities and sports is not the fix we are looking for. It is merely a band-aid to fix a much larger problem.