July 23, 2024 7:55 am

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Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to Governor Jay Inslee

Dear Governor Inslee,

I am writing you, to seek your help on liberating my father from his confinement as he has been confined to his assisted living home since March 2020 with extremely limited access to the outside world.

My father, and tens of thousands like him, has been on medical lock down since March when you enacted a four-phase policy of isolation of healthy persons in order to keep them safe from possibly contracting COVID-19, or coming into contact with a COVID-19 carrier. Well, it’s now late September and the number of actual COVID-19 deaths has been shown to be far, far less than was first touted by World Health Organization and the CDC especially when you extract comorbidity and flu-combination deaths.

My father, prior to lockdown, enjoyed driving his car to the store, to his church, to the bank and along the country roads where he lives, to name a few destinations. He enjoyed walks outside his facility, visits to see his friends and most of all spending time with his family; that being myself and family, and my sister and her family. We were able to come to his assisted-living apartment and visit him, whether to hang out and play a round of cribbage, or take him for lunch. Keep in mind, I live 2 hours away and my sister lives 3 hours away, so we don’t often get to see our father; when we do, it’s a very special time.

But all that changed when you imposed your harsh restrictions upon assisted living homes throughout Washington State. Thus, for many months, in fact over half a year, he has been on house arrest, so to speak, with very limited ability to go outside his facility. Keep in mind, my father rents an apartment and needs very little in the way of any assistance; as I said, he is very active and enjoyed a fully active life including driving his car and walking around the community. But that has changed; he has now gifted his car to my sister due to his inability to leave his premises. Keep in mind, he has never had an accident while driving his car.

Just so you understand, if my father steps foot outside the facility on his own, he will be slapped with a 14-day in room quarantine. When we come by to see him, which we did, and he came outside the facility to see us and to give us a hug, and he was seen by the nurse, he was penalized by being placed on a 14-day in room quarantine and treated like a leper by some of the staff during this time.  Keep in mind, we were not sick, he was not sick, and he is not sick now, and neither are we.  However, my father is becoming depressed and lethargic by remaining in his room for days when quarantined and staying within the facility which has heavily restricted resident interactions and activities.

By placing these heavy restrictions upon my father, and those like him, you have inadvertently condemned my father, and tens of thousands like him, to involuntary confinement and limited movement within his facility much like what was done to the 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans during WW2 who were imprisoned for four years under the guise of safety.

So my question to you, Governor Inslee is, are you going to keep my father locked away for four years or until he passes away unable to hug his children and or grandchildren without severe reprisal for doing so? Or will you show mercy and rewrite the current policies to allow my father and the other thousands like him the freedom to leave their facility for longer than one-hour period of time without reprisal? Keep in mind, the staff who work at the facility come and go each day: from smoke breaks, to lunch breaks, to going home to their families, to shopping at busy stores, and taking vacations, all without being placed on quarantines and restricted to how many people they come into contact with within the facility.

With the flick of a pen, you can show mercy and have your name be called blessed or you can continue to keep up the current lock-downs and be a curse on the lips of tens of thousands of shut ins, family members and the general public who are disgusted with this extended, seemingly unending, medical marshal law we have been forced to endure.

Every day you go home from your work as governor and enjoy the hug of your spouse, or the embrace of your children when you see them. All I am seeking is for you to extend the same curtesy to my father by reducing or repealing the restrictions currently placed upon assisted living homes.

Much like the blind zeal of the United Sates government, and many state governors, Washington being one, 120,000 innocent second generation Japanese Americans were imprisoned for four years during WW2.  Many suffered lifetime setbacks and emotional scars, all under the shroud of safety. The current lockdown mandate applied to healthy senior citizens, like my Father, has once again become a dangerous setback in our liberties and will go down in history as being as misguided as the actions taken during 1942-1946; you can change this right now.

In closing, I am not sure if you are a religious person, but I know this; one day you will stand before the Almighty and give an account of your actions. My hope is that you will choose to honor my father and those like him who served our country with honor, as well as gave birth to me and my peers who now live with the heartache of being denied the ability to hug our parents. You can change that, and I certainly hope you will.

Sincerely and Best,

Steve Johann

Lynnwood, WA

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