The News Editorial: Positive signs
May 14, 2020
When things began to shut down and as businesses struggled and we heard reports of people scared, stressed and lonely we began to wonder if there was any end in sight to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Wyoming and other states are starting to open things up, not fast enough for some and too fast for others. Churches are scheduling services, restaurants have been allowed indoor dining with guidelines in place. Salons and gyms opened up and those of in need of a haircut were appreciative for that.
But opening up businesses and allowing some events is a good thing.
There are no active COVID-19 cases in the Big Horn Basin currently.
This week the fair board announced it would plan for a regular, normal fair, not a virtual fair in late July. The Ten Sleep Rodeo Association is moving forward with plans for the annual Fourth of July Rodeo.
You see we do not know when or even if there will ever be a vaccine for COVID-19. We’ve been waiting 40 years for a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. We’ll hear on occasion they are close but then it is dropped.
Vaccines are not something to be rushed, no matter the disease.
We also can’t wait for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization to declare the pandemic over.
It took 16 months before the WHO declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, running from April 2009 to August 2010.
It is unknown when the COVID-19 pandemic will officially be declared over. Businesses cannot wait for that. Residents cannot wait for that.
It’s not about keeping people from dying – people die from the flu, cancer, heart disease, car and airplane crashes, natural disasters and other factors every day.
We can’t protect everyone from everything, but we can learn things from this pandemic and make things better.
It’s about learning to live with COVID-19.
We all learned how to wash our hands properly. That was not just for COVID-19, but Phyllis Lewis through Extension had been teaching that to elementary students for years.
We learned to social distance (it is called personal space but a little extra).
We learned we do not need to hoard toilet paper.
We learned that there are a lot of seamstresses around the city, county, state and country who can put their sewing machines into action quickly.
We learned people with 3D printers are also ready to put them into action for the betterment of the community.
Have we learned if you are sick to stay home? We will have to wait and see as health care providers have been saying that for many, many years each flu season and it does not seem to work. Maybe it takes a pandemic for people to realize if they stay home they are protecting others.
Hopefully many businesses have realized and worked out systems to allow some employees to work from home in those instances.
Here at the Northern Wyoming News we had two employees who were and still are working from home. Not because they are ill but because they felt more comfortable and because with schools closed they needed to be there with their children.
We still have our front door locked but our walk-up window has worked well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be looking to open up our front doors the week of May 25, once those employees are back at the office.
Once we open up and allow the public inside the facility we will be making sure high-touched surfaces are cleaned immediately after a customer leaves, including door handles.
We can learn and we can adjust through this pandemic, but what we cannot do is stop living and it is nice to see signs of life coming back in Washakie County, Wyoming and the country.