On Thursday, there is an NHL ice hockey game in Salt Lake at Vivint Arena. The Vegas Golden Knights are playing the L.A. Kings. It should have been a fun event; however, the Covid-handling of this game provides a cautionary tale to our local governments and businesses.
Weeks ago, Ticketmaster announced that adults would need to be fully vaccinated and kids under 12 would need to wear masks to be admitted to the game. Personally, my family fits into that requirement, so that’s no big deal for us. Then yesterday we received another email from Ticketmaster stating that Vivint was changing those terms. They said all kids under 12 now had to have a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours.
What? How do you get a test result in less than 36 hours until the game?
“How you do it” is that my wife got the kids out the door at 7 AM this morning and went to the Park City School District testing facility before school. She took advantage of our school’s rapid testing facility. Our neighbor did the same. However, two of our kids’ friends decided to skip the game because they were afraid of getting tested. Fair enough. I get it.
So, the impact of this decision was to encourage us to misuse public resources because there were no other options (other than giving away hundreds of dollars in tickets).
In hindsight, should we have used the school Covid testing facilities? I’m not sure, but there were no other alternatives from our perspective. My 9-year-old did tell them he was there so he could see the Vegas Golden Knights and they didn’t object. However, I am certain they didn’t intend to offer school testing so kids could go to a hockey game.
By the way, three hours after my kids were tested, Vivint issued a Tweet (because we all follow Twitter) that kids didn’t have to be tested, after all.
Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it understandable? I don’t know.
It really sickens me that my family used public resources when it wasn’t required. I’d love for PCSD and the Health Department to send a $150 bill to Vivint. I’m sure my wife would like two hours of her life back. I’m sure my kids would rather have not undergone the stress of a Covid test. I’m sure that the kids who decided that front row seats at an NHL game weren’t worth getting prodded by the Covid machine, would have rather not dealt with that stress.
None of that can be taken back.
However, locally we can be aware of the repercussions of decisions like these. I think often officials in Summit County error the side of being strict with Covid. That is probably generally OK. It may allow our schools to stay open and enable us to have a ski season. However, there is always a cost.
As we progress through this Covid-world, we need to make sure we think through all the unintended consequences of our community’s actions. What often sounds good, often isn’t in reality.