We are now at a critical COVID-19 risk level in Blaine County. Our infection rate is 60 per 100,000, with a 15 percent test positivity rate. This is worse than Los Angeles County, where they have instituted an emergency stay at home order. In comparison, our local restrictions are lax and completely irresponsible.

I applaud our local face mask mandate. I’m proud to see our community respects science and one another with social distancing and mask wearing. However, our situation is deteriorating and it appears we are victims of Governor Brad Little’s political posturing, ignorance to the most recent CDC guidelines and lack of backbone to implement more stringent statewide restrictions. And, as the holiday season approaches, this will inevitably bring more virus into our community.  Some projections suggest that, over the next three months, Blaine County could experience 1,350-plus infections, doubling the total number of cases to-date. If someone gets really sick, where do we go if St. Luke’s is full?  St. Luke’s Wood River averages one or two COVID patients a day. Over the weekend we had nine admissions! We are sitting idly by as our situation worsens, and no one is putting up any effective guardrails to control this crisis on our doorstep.

My husband and I are in a self-imposed isolation—we simply don’t feel safe in our own town. We feel like we are sitting on lawn chairs, in the middle of a forest fire, armed with only squirt guns and waiting in vain for the firefighters to arrive. 

As our governor will do nothing to help, we must take matters into our own hands.  Who do we need to implore to implement effective, short-term measures to protect our community?  We are only a few months away from a light at the end of this tunnel, but drastic, stricter local mandates are needed immediately to help us save lives.

Rachel Clark, Sun Valley

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