I am writing you out of deep concern about the possible catastrophic effects in Idaho of the current corona virus pandemic. I have been a practicing pediatrician in Pocatello for the past 50 years. I also worked in overseas mission for 8 years, where I saw the disastrous effects of uncontrolled epidemics.

No one can exactly predict the effects of a novel pandemic. However, we are at least a year from an effective vaccine, and there are no proven effective treatments on the horizon.

I deeply respect the views of many experienced epidemiologists and public health physicians who overwhelmingly predict that our entire world is in deep trouble, trouble that we can’t escape, even in rural Idaho.

Many have called this a war, a war we cannot win unless we marshal all of our resources and gain the full cooperation of our citizens. We need to do this as soon as possible. If this is a war, we need a general who exercises strong leadership, who doesn’t allow each part of the state to do its own thing.

I firmly believe that we are in imminent danger of overwhelming our health care resources and allowing many of our citizens to die unnecessarily. Our only means of preventing this disaster is to identify all cases; (we don’t, at present, have nearly enough rapid testing), and we must install strict measures of isolation on a statewide basis.

I implore you to use the powers invested in you as governor to lead us through this unprecedented crisis and take the necessary steps to protect the people of Idaho. A laissez faire approach will not work in this situation. Your strong leadership is critical at this time.

As I write this letter, I hear that you have issued a statewide self-isolation order and have directed non-essential businesses to close. This is an essential first step.

Under your effective, timely leadership, we have a good chance to win this war against the coronavirus.

Roger W. Boe, MD,