Despite being a coronavirus hotspot, sheltering in place in the Wood River Valley during March and April was remarkable. With spring opening in the south valley and the north holding fiercely onto winter, there was no better place to be for a mindful outdoor enthusiast. Now, weeks into Idaho’s reopening, I feel the same, which brings me to the point of this missive: my need to thank this mostly unified community for behaving kindly, leaning graciously into the governor’s stages and heeding CDC guidelines.

What I am most grateful for is our community’s normalization of mask wearing. This simple gesture of self-preservation and community service is not the norm in much of the state, which is baffling but fodder for another letter. Wood River Valley businesses have encouraged and often mandated mask-wearing, creating a social norm that respects our limited health care service providers and sets a sane example for visitors.

Thank you. Seriously. Having just visited Twin Falls for a dental surgery consultation, I can say definitively that my barista in Ketchum does more to inhibit the spread of this virus than my oral surgeon. I am grateful.

Julia Zimmerman, Sun Valley

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