CACHE COUNTY (ABC4 News) – The Utah Department of Health reported 1,151 school-aged children were diagnosed with COVID-19 over the long Labor Day weekend. One of them is a Cache County third-grader and now his father is speaking out on social media about what he calls the state’s failure to protect our kids.
Paradise resident Justin Jasperson says his 8-year-old son Wallace had barely been in classes at Canyon Elementary School in Hyrum for a week when he tested positive for COVID-19 with a persistent hacking cough and extreme fatigue.
“I ran him a bath and got him out of the tub and he just kind of collapsed in my arms and said he wanted to go to bed,” Jasperson said Tuesday.
Jasperson has diabetes and his four-year-old daughter June has kidney problems so Covid-19 in the house caused him to worry and grapple with a whole range of emotions.
“Anger, sadness, regret,” Jasperson said. “Just an overwhelming helplessness and profound sadness at the whole situation.”
Furious and frustrated, he went on Twitter Sunday night and wrote a thread to Utah Governor Spencer Cox. It begins:
“My son brought Covid home from school. Both of my children are too young to be vaccinated” and he goes on to write I’m so disheartened by certain members of the legislature who are minimizing the infection and deaths of our fellow Utahns, it is callous and disgusting…If we lose ONE MORE CHILD, the blood is on their hands. Make the difficult choices and spend some political capital. Be the leader you were elected to be, please?”
He felt it was his only way to convey his message, which has now been read by thousands.
“I just know there’s more people like me that aren’t being vocal enough to be heard,” Jasperson said. “It feels like our lawmakers, our Governor, our school boards, our county councils are listening to the screamers that don’t want to take the precautions to keep everybody healthy and I feel like there are more people out there like me that are just regular parents who want to keep their kids safe…Listen to the parents. Listen to the teachers. Listen to the health experts. For crying out loud, listen to the health experts.”
His thread has received dozens of comments, most of them positive, but so far, Jasperson tells ABC4 he hasn’t heard from the Governor or any political leaders.
He says that Wallace is gradually recovering.