Fence Companies Are Essential… Or Should Have Been


Last year, we were told what in our society counts as “essential” and what doesn’t. Home Depot, liquor stores, Costco… essential. Small businesses, restaurants, gyms… not essential. It’s a terrifying thing watching the government decide if you’re important enough to society to stay open and operational. But there’s another awful aspect of the governmental decision-making process: Sometimes they decide something isn’t essential, and we realize later on just how wrong they were. That seems to have been the situation with a family highlighted by a parenting Instagram influencer this week.

I’ve written about the woman behind “Taking Cara Babies” before; she’s a social media baby sleep expert who was semi-canceled when it was discovered that she donated to President Trump’s campaign. She refused to be canceled, and this week, she’s highlighting one of the biggest dangers to babies, toddlers, and children: drowning. On Instagram last night, she shared the story of a toddler who tragically lost his life. You can see a snippet of the story from a screenshot of her Instagram stories.

Let’s be clear: It wasn’t “due to the pandemic” they weren’t able to come out. They were prevented from coming out because of our governmental response to the pandemic. A senseless response that shut down our entire society for the entire spring and summer in many parts of America. And in the sections of the country that were the most locked down? We saw the most death from the virus.

We hear a lot about the death toll from COVID, but these are the stories that will go uncounted and unacknowledged. Defenders of the lockdowns say “Yes, but over half a million people died!” They say that as if closing down a fencing company in any way could have saved one of the lives lost to COVID or prevented anyone else from contracting the virus. No, closing down most of these parts of our society did nothing to prevent the spread of COVID, and did a great deal of collateral damage instead. Stories like Sylas’s need to be told; we need to recognize the many preventable deaths and all of the misery caused by our decision to deem some businesses essential while shuttering countless others.

We tried to shut down our society (at first we were told it was just for two weeks, lol, those were the days) but are learning that life has no pause button. And for families like Sylas’s, there’s no do-over button either.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 10 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne

    While I absolutely agree with your point about government overreach in choosing essential vs. non-essential, I do not accept that the lack of fence was the primary cause of this child’s death.  I realize this will be unpopular, but the child died due to a lack of supervision.  (As do most child drowning vicitms). A child’s death is inconceivably awful.  I honestly can’t even imagine!    A momentarily distracted parent can lead to tragedy.  And but for the grace of G*d, it could have been me as a parent.  It is impossible to lay eyes on a toddler for every second.  If there was no fence, the child should not have been able to access the outside/pool area at all.  Would a fence help with that purpose? Absolutely.  But the child should have been contained in the house (with the use of toddler-proof locks on the doors) or watched like a hawk, without distraction or interruption, if outside in any proximity to the pool. (The story you posted said that the mom admitted she lost sight of him for a moment and he fell into the pool)  Would he be here today if there had been a fence?  Probably.  But COVID wasn’t the reason for his death.  Even in non-COVID times, the fence company could have been delayed weeks on starting the job (as contractors tend to do) with the same result.  It is a tragedy of a deeply, gut-wrenching proportion, but thin arguments like this, trying to connect the government’s ridiculous “essential business” selections to this child’s death, just scream emotion rather than logic.  That being said, my deep, earnest prayers for this suffering family!  

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    If it wasn’t for a fence company in the 1890s I likely wouldn’t be here today. So I consider them essential.

    I think the general idea of classifying businesses as “essential” or “non-essential” is goofy, though.  Essential is not a stand-alone word.  One has to specify: essential to what?  

    • #2
  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I’m wondering how a pool could have been constructed without a fence.  Pools require a fence around them here.  You wouldn’t be able to close on the house if the pool didn’t have a fence.  Anything could have been erected–get some rebar and snow fence, deer netting, a tarp.  But that wouldn’t have necessarily have stopped the child; nor would toddler-proof anything.  I ended up using long pieces of duct tape to keep our son out of the knife drawer.  He viewed child locks as puzzles to be conquered.  Toddlers can be exhausting.

    A friend’s husband is in the business of child-proofing and safety for the elderly in the home.  His issue during lockdowns is that people were afraid to have someone come into the house at all.


    • #3
  4. David Foster Member
    David Foster

    Early in the epidemic, GE Healthcare was asked to ramp up their production of ventilators.  The company is using 3-D printing both to make parts directly and to make molds for injection molding.  However, the chief engineer for advanced manufacturing at Healthcare said that some of the 3D-printing companies he had been talking to were shut down due to government edicts that deemed their work nonessential.

    They were apparently able to get around this barrier…“We have a map of all the companies that have excess capacity, and so we’ll divert whatever print work we need to whatever company has got the ability right now, on top of the equipment we have at GE”…and probably also the ability to call some politicians and get suppliers’ levels of essentiality changed–but I expect that there has been a lot of this sort of thing. There is no way that local or state officials can understand the supply chain dependencies that exist between a seemingly-minor local business and a major national priority somewhere up a level or two (or more) in the product structure. In some cases, all it might take is a letter from the top-tier manufacturer certifying the importance of the work the supplier is doing, but delays and costs will usually be involved.

    • #4
  5. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne

    • #5
  6. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery

    That pales compared to the children lost to suicide because the schools shut down. 

    • #6
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne

    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery (View Comment):

    That pales compared to the children lost to suicide because the schools shut down.

    To be fair, suicide rates were disturbingly rising anyway. I am not sure why. 

    • #7
  8. Raxxalan Member

    The problem with government deciding which businesses are essential verses non-essential is the exact same problem with government setting prices.  It is simply not possible for a government bureaucrat to possess enough information to figure that out.  All things are connected in a myriad of ways that make it impossible to untangle them and unknowable to the bureaucracy.   As Hayek observed 
    “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”   There is no way that any government could make those kind of determinations without making a hash of the whole thing.  Unfortunately our elites today not only fail to understand this they also possess the “pretense of knowledge that is the idea that anyone could know enough to engineer society successfully.”  Hayek again.  Perhaps instead of CRT we should teach some Austrian Economics to our High school children.  

    • #8
  9. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert

    All businesses are essential to the people who own and work at them.

    • #9
  10. MiMac Thatcher

    Drowning in children is surprisingly common-the #2 cause of death in <5 year olds. Boys are the vast majority of the cases & you can’t take your eyes off a little boy near almost any body of water. 20 kids drown per year in BUCKETS of water.


    • #10
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.