Apparently, many Pocatellans think lessening Covid-19 restrictions means everything is back to normal. I was grocery shopping on a midweek day in the afternoon. Maybe 25% were wearing masks (with the exception of store employees who were wearing masks) but hardly anyone was social distancing. In fact, the social distancing markers were gone in the store. The traffic on the roads looked like pre-virus even though we are still in the stage that Idaho guidelines state you should minimize non-essential trips.

Does anyone read Idaho’s Covid-19 website? If you do, you will find that by far the largest group of people contracting the virus are the 18-29 age group. It is not the elderly population. However, the majority of deaths are occurring in the elderly population. Have you read anything on-line about MIS-C (Multi Inflammatory Syndrome- Children)? Children’s immune systems overreact from covid-19 and a child can suffer rashes with cardias arrest and other organ impacts. So, thinking children can’t contract corona virus is wrong. I saw only one child in the store with a mask on.

So, you say we have to open the economy? I am sure most everyone agrees with that but it has to be done responsibly. I would hope Idaho health officials plan on lots of testing, contact tracing and isolation of those 27+ cases each day (average for the last 18 days). One thing for sure, this virus doesn’t distinguish between Republicans and Democrats. Everyone is at risk. So, citizens have to do their part—social distance, wash their hands and wear masks. And even though we live in an unpopulated part of the state and country where we don’t have many cases, all it takes is one person from an infected area to pass it on. Look at Blaine county and the skiing tourists spreading the virus. Did you stop to think that the reason the cases are so low is because of the actions that Governor Little took in absence of federal leadership?

The sad thing is that much of this economic shut down could have been avoided if our federal government had acted even two weeks sooner. Our death rate nationally very well could have been only 6000 instead of the over 93,000 we have so far (source:New York Times). Sitting around for two months stating the virus was no worse than the flu and would be gone by April were irresponsible acts with deadly consequences. Talking about injecting bleach and using unapproved drugs is even worse. Don’t believe everything you hear. Get the facts and verify. Conspiracies and wishing doesn’t make it so. Freedom has responsibilities. Our responsibility is to obtain the facts and act accordingly.

Rebecca Hathaway,