Would make a great name for a band, right? But probably hurtful to someone, somewhere. Maybe bats. So, let’s call it COVID-19. Or Corona-virus. Whatever.
It is March 30, 2020 and Idaho is mostly locked down. Liquor stores, gun shops, grocery stores, Home Depot/Lowes, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, gas stations and more are open. There are probably about a hundred drive-through coffee shops in the valley, and they are open. Restaurants doing take out only.
But many people in Idaho are slow to adopt the social distancing thing the federal government is seeking.
People from other states don’t understand Idaho.
Personal responsibility and personal freedom trumps most other things here. Especially if it is the federal government issuing orders. This feeling of personal independence runs deep in people here, except for the newcomers like myself.
Ruby Ridge was in north Idaho. That was a long time ago. But as recently as 2014 Ammon Bundy led an armed standoff against federal officials at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Ultimately arrested, a local jury set him free. People in Idaho and western Oregon cheered.
He lives in Emmett, Idaho about 30 minutes from my house.
So, distaste and distrust of the federal government, or government of any kind, runs strong in these parts. When the federal government says stay indoors, many people in Idaho ignore them.
I am hoping we get through this mess sooner rather than later.