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Real danger now waits

We’ve had it pretty easy so far.

Not much evidence here of the devastation other places have been dealt at the hands of COVID-19. Or even of the level of tragedy the Seattle metro area has suffered, which has been far lighter than it might have been had health authorities pointed out a way to lesten the blow.

That strategy was never about keeping everyone safe from the SARS-Cov-2 virus that has sickened more than a million Americans; it was about keeping the healthcare system from collapsing if an overwhelming number of cases came, as they likely would have had the central “social distancing” orders not been in effect.

It worked in Seattle and other places that followed it fairly early, especially since they had decent hospital capacity.

But rural areas like this one are extremely limited in that regard. A small staff of dedicated health care workers could be quickly overwhelmed if the community they are charged to care for decides it’s had enough of this and ignores the guidelines — of which we are all truly sick.

Politicians, even at our rural county level, are under intense pressure. Businesses call them to say they are about to fail. People need to work.

But opening up blind, with no ability to tell where the virus is or to find those infected, puts us all at risk for an even greater economic catastrophe later — after many of us have gotten sick or even died.

The next phase of this crisis is the one we should really worry about.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher


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