I would like to believe that this is the last time I write about COVID-19 and facemasks, as the number of folks getting vaccinated has grown and those infected has dropped dramatically. I want to thank all the local health care personnel that worked tirelessly throughout the past year and a half to help prevent infections as well as treat those that became infected and seriously ill. I do wish to send my condolences to the families of those that died from COVID-19. I also want to thank our local officials that had the foresight and courage to require the wearing of facemasks throughout this period and all those that wore facemasks. Here in SE Idaho we were fortunate that the COVID-19 cases never overwhelmed our health care system, as it did in so many other parts of our country and the world. Most of us never even had any first hand experiences whereby a relative, friend, or neighbor, ended up seriously sick, in the hospital, or had died from COVID-19.

Because of these low numbers, many Idahoans believed that COVID-19 wasn’t anything to worry about and some felt it was a hoax. In addition, they felt the requirement to wear a facemask was stupid and an infringement of their personal freedoms. Looking at what we experienced here in SE Idaho and using some simple logic with the fact that COVID-19 has been catastrophic in some areas of the USA and the world and that most folks in SE Idaho wore facemasks, it would be obvious that facemasks work. People like Janice McGeachin and members of the Idaho Freedom Foundation have routinely criticized the wearing of facemasks and any requirement to wear one. If anything, they and anyone else who thought it was a stupid thing to do, NEED TO THANK all those that were willing to wear a facemask, as it did protect them and their families. Although Governor Little did not issue a statewide mask mandate, at least he rejected McGeachin’s ludicrous idea to prevent local governments from issuing mandates as they find necessary.

Again, I applaud our local government officials for listening to the health care professionals (and not idiotic politicians), to require facemasks, and I applaud all those in our community that wore facemasks to protect themselves, as well as everyone else. Now to complete the control of COVID-19 and stay healthy, get vaccinated, if you haven’t already done so. COVID-19 isn’t going away, so good luck if you’re not planning to get vaccinated as few folks are now wearing facemasks.

In SE Idaho, 230 of our neighbors died, and for Idaho – 2,100 deaths, the USA – 600,000 deaths, and across the World – 3.7 million deaths (estimates).

Robert Marcinko,

Pocatello