Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Feasting on so much good news

| August 26, 2020 1:00 AM

Let’s hope.

Let’s hope that the tidings laid out in last Saturday’s Press are harbingers of a virus on the decline locally.

Just 12 new positive cases reported in Panhandle Health District, a region that spans the state’s five northernmost counties. That’s the lowest number in nearly two months.

Resumption of high school sports. Soccer took center stage, with prep football coming up this Friday. Even if you don’t have kids or grandkids playing local high school sports, the guess is that you felt a glow at seeing kids outdoors competing again and learning the valuable lessons of training and teamwork.

A taste of the fair. The North Idaho State Fair and Rodeo is one of the most anticipated, well-attended events of the year, an annual closing ceremony for summer with terrific entertainment, a delightful immersion into our agrarian roots, and yes, food that delights one’s gastrointestinal infrastructure like no other. (The fair comes but once a year, so these rare treats must be medically forgiven.) Kudos to the fair staff to figure out a way to serve fair food to the public via drive-thru in the Kootenai County Fairgrounds parking lot. There’s more where that came from: This Friday from 4-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you didn’t read to the end of Saturday’s Press story about the Fair Food Fix, a beautiful bombshell was dropped: Next year the fair will expand to 10 days, rather than the traditional five.

Further good news of possibly beginning to win the war over COVID-19 came from the University of Idaho. Two professors specializing in economics fields outlined Idaho’s outstanding performance in the wake of the greatest American job losses since the Great Depression. Idaho ranks third nationally among lowest unemployment rates, at 5%. But as Garth Taylor, UI associate professor of regional and community economics noted, what’s so encouraging is that Idaho is following an inverted “V” pattern. We’ve gone from one of the lowest unemployment rates (2.5%) in the nation pre-coronavirus (upper left of V) to almost 12% during the lockdown (bottom of V) and then quickly back into healthy territory at 5% (upper right of V).

Taylor complimented the state’s leadership and Idahoans’ ability to cope under dire circumstances. We couldn’t agree more. It’s that leadership and Idahoans’ determination not to give up but to take the appropriate steps to fight the virus that bode so well for the future. Here’s hoping there are many more issues of The Press as positive as Saturday’s.