Halloween is upon us, and normally that means hundreds of happy kids in the streets, in the stores, and knocking on doors. This is the first year in my lifetime that is a truly scary thought. I’m still hoping to see some guidance from our local leaders on how to celebrate safely in the middle of a raging pandemic as coronavirus cases are exploding in our community and around the country.

We had just three confirmed covid cases in Idaho County leading up to the 4th of July Border Days celebration. Unfortunately, when the visitors left, the virus they brought with them stayed behind. As of Saturday, Oct. 24, in less than four months, those three cases have exploded into 339. And there is no sign of transmissions slowing down — just the opposite. Since testing is still very limited, we know that the numbers reported are less than the actual number of cases. Also, according to Syringa Hospital staff, many symptomatic patients refuse to be tested.

Despite this dangerous scenario, most people I encounter in town are not only not wearing masks, many are huddled together with friends talking into each others faces. Unfortunately, deciding on risky behavior for yourself doesn’t just affect you personally. Should you contract the virus, the number of people you could potentially infect increases exponentially and can double or triple in a matter of days. Obviously, we’re seeing that happen here now.

Effects of covid can vary from mild symptoms to death. Serious illness and death are not just limited to the elderly and infirm. Children and young, healthy, athletes have died from this virus as well. Why play Russian Roulette with your life and the lives of innocent others you risk infecting?

I can’t help but think what life would be like if we all woke up in the morning and decided to take a chance on driving on the wrong side of the highway, just to exercise our freedom. We know what the consequences of that would be. What’s the difference?

Mary Ann High

Grangeville

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