Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Dear Everyone, Sorry About Iowa


[Happier times at the Iowa Capitol on a tour. We currently won't go near the state capitol because masks are not required and very few Covid precautions taking place. Our local Museums have tighter restrictions and protocols than our government buildings.]

Dear Everyone (In the United State and abroad),

I apologize on Iowa's behalf. In case you're not up-to-date on the latest headlines, the governor of Iowa did away with any and all Covid precautions. We could have had the Superbowl here in Des Moines and had a completely packed stadium because we have no more rules against it!! Partaayyyy! The governor seems to have declared the pandemic over in Iowa!

Except, it's not. We have a 24+% positivity rate. We're dead fucking last in vaccine distribution. I'm unclear as to where these doses are. Still unclear because we, the people of Iowa, have been given no clear answers. Supposedly, the vaccine is here, but we just haven't distributed it? But, our county health departments and pharmacies in charge of actually putting the vaccine into people's arms claim to have none. So there's that. **In truth, my understanding on this may be rusty because my mind is going 1,000 miles an hour thinking about other things.

All of this just as our governor has also made it the law that all school districts, including Iowa's largest school district serving some of our most vulnerable children, be 100% face to face. It's also unclear if the schools can apply for waivers to go virtual if our county positivity rate rises. Our county (the one with the largest school district in Iowa), is sitting at over an 11% positivity rate. Sadly, that's good by Iowa standards.

All of this worry falls on deaf ears. Instead, I get to be told by out of town friends they don't feel comfortable seeing us any time soon because we live in Iowa. I don't blame them, but it hurts. I quickly check my Twitter to see that the stupidity of the Iowa Governor is trending on social media. I also see comments from people in other states, other countries, who say, "Take away their vaccine allotment if they're going to do this." Clearly, since Iowa voted Republican, we all must be selfish, obviously uneducated, morons who can't see a bigger picture.

I can't really say I blame anyone for that knee jerk reaction. I too, would likely have that reaction or sentiment upon hearing the absurd headlines coming from our state. Really, I'm writing this to let you know we're not all living with our heads under a boulder. There are many like me, those who I choose to surround myself with, who have upheaved their life in this mess. I changed my lifestyle (as did most), my business, I chose to homeschool my kids, so our schools would have three less bodies in the crowded classrooms. We choose to continue to live a solitary life to protect those around us, we take great care in considering when we go somewhere in public, we only support businesses who take the pandemic seriously. I am one of those people patiently waiting for the vaccine that people don't feel we deserve because of the choices of our stupid, fucking Trump supporter of a governor. I received my first dose last week, but awaiting my second. My fingers and toes are crossed that I'll actually be able to receive my second, since the rollout is clearly going so smoothly here.

I can't even type her name. At this point, she is putting Iowa in more danger. Danger that is very real and very felt by those of us who don't support our governor's (or any of our state government for that matter) choices. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this is where we would be. I continue to say, "nothing can surprise me anymore." Then our governor opens her mouth and I'm dumbfounded each and every time. I don't fully know what to write to make others understand. So, so, so many of us don't agree with these decisions and we're the ones suffering for it. Our state has a surplus in their budget, but misspent thousands of dollars of federal money during the pandemic. None of it is going to the people of Iowa, the teachers being forced into potentially unsafe environments, and not enough is going towards small businesses struggling to stay afloat.

Sadly, I can teach my children firsthand what happens when you don't elect proper leaders in important leadership roles. If I raise children who don't realize the importance of knowing who and what you're voting for, then I have failed as a parent. Clearly, a shockingly large portion of Iowa have failed in this too. For that, I am sorry and ashamed.

I spent all of high school wanting to move away from Iowa, only to somehow wind up back here. I've spent the last 15 years loving Iowa and the last 6 months researching other places to live. I promise you it's not (all of) the people of Iowa who are looking to keep a pandemic live and well. There are so many of us waiting for this all to end, for the bad dream to stop. There are many of us fighting all of this, but we are overshadowed by words like this:

Yes, you're reading all of that correctly. She's instructing Iowans to be defiant and also ignore the pandmic and worry about high speed internet. I guess that's what "good" Iowans are supposed to be concerned about. ** another side note: getting high speed internet to our rural communities is actually very important; currently, residents in rural communities have trouble logging on to make their vaccine appointments or appointments to get a Covid test (all done online in our state) and kids who want to be safe and attend school virtually, don't have that option because they dont' have proper internet connection. I hear all of that and understand all of it, but high speed interent shouldn't be our State's main focus in this legislative session when we're in a pandemic.

If you take anything away from this, it's that you PLEASE know we don't all think like her or support any part of what she's preaching. I am pleased to live in a community and surround myself with people who, while not all liberal, do not agree with any of this. I am ashamed that the rest of the world thinks so little of Iowans at this time. 

I hope this letter finds other parts of our world safe, or at the very least, safer than us. I look forward to the day when Iowa will once again be known as the Corn State rather than the Covid State.


A Concerned Iowan