The Sun Valley area has always been a great place to vacation, and this hasn’t changed despite a global pandemic. This year summer visitors should return home with more than just wonderful memories. They should take home the experience of how to protect themselves and others from the growing ravages of COVID-19.
As ground zero for the emergent virus in Idaho in late winter, Blaine County saw one of the highest infection rates in the nation. It was the first county in Idaho in which residents were ordered to shelter in place. It was the first in which businesses closed except for those deemed essential. The county and its cities were among the first to approve and implement mandatory facemask orders for indoor public spaces.
Without those measures, compliance with mask orders and cancellation of large events, Blaine County would look like most of the rest of Idaho in July with skyrocketing case numbers and feeble containment measures.
For some reason locked deep in the Idaho psyche, protective measures are not popular. Idaho has joined Missouri, as a “show-me” state because residents seem to be insisting on being shown illness, test shortages, overwhelmed hospitals and intolerable numbers of deaths.
Beyond Blaine County, large events are still on deck, including county and state fairs, concerts and fundraising dinners. Some are taking precautions. Most are doing the worst possible thing in advising individuals who may feel uncomfortable in crowds to stay home.
Take it from Blaine County, that’s not the way to bring case numbers down. That’s not bragging, just fact. Summer visitors should take that fact home with them and act on it.