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COVID: Smart only way to go

| May 15, 2020 1:00 AM

I understand the increasing urgency of business people and their employees to reopen, and I support reopening businesses. But, OPEN SMART! Businesses must put into place measures to protect both their customers and their employees. And SHOP SMART! Customers must help protect the business community they purport to value by following now well-known guidelines of social distancing, hand-washing and using face masks.

The 50 United States are conducting a massive experiment: each state is weighing its data and making decisions with a combination of reason and emotion. In a few days, we will be able to see how effective each of those experiments has been, including Idaho’s.

If Idahoans are to prove that this state’s experiment is successful, their best effort at following CDC guidelines for personal behavior is essential. Idaho’s characteristics may ensure a successful experiment. Unfortunately, my experience this morning at a well-known local grocery indicates that many local residents are ignoring those recommendations: only about 10% of those present, employees and shoppers, were wearing face masks. On the other hand, Costco sets a good example of implementing sensible precautions and customers are complying; however, many are vociferously, sometimes rudely, objecting.

With many people ignoring or even thumbing their noses at those guidelines in the name of personal freedom, I fear that we will experience the second worse wave of infections and death, and another costly, hurtful shutdown. Without the personal exercise of prudent, informed self-regulation, we put everyone’s health and economic well-being again at risk.

Open smart. Shop smart.

PAUL NEILS

Hauser