Apparently, this community cares more about politics and vague notions of “freedom” than we do about the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors. We claim to support our businesses, veterans, schools, and first responders, yet we are doing nothing to protect them from Covid exposure. We could stop the raging spread of Covid in our community right now if we dared to try. The answer is so simple, and yet we refuse to acknowledge the right thing to do — wear a mask.

Our commissioners and city council continue to pass the buck and fail at making hard decisions. Meanwhile, there is a “conspiracy of silence” regarding the number of locals who have Covid, are severely ill, or have died. We got here because when Idaho went into lockdown, this county had one Covid case. We were able to ignore Covid recommendations and become confident about our choices, because Covid was not happening here.

Today we have a different reality. Idaho County doubled Covid cases last month, from 219 to 489. Syringa is averaging 50 positive cases every two weeks. Students and staff in our schools have Covid. Idaho hospitals are at 99 percent capacity. Medical providers are getting Covid through community spread, not patient contact. We can no longer afford to ignore Covid recommendations.

Our leaders need to step up and require masks in public places. While unpopular, this would take “the onus” of wearing a mask off our residents and businesses, and protect the vulnerable.

Kudos to Syringa board for discussing Covid. Syringa hospital could increase public awareness by daily or weekly postings of Covid numbers that are easily accessible to the public.

In the absence of leadership, I am asking this community to rethink what is right and to take action for your loved ones. You can stop community spread. Stay home if you’re feeling ill. Wear a mask when out in public. Take a marker and write, “I’m wearing this for you” on your mask if it makes you feel better. It’s a small sacrifice, and shows you care about your community.

Robin Embry


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