It’s understandably frustrating. 

People are losing money, businesses are struggling and young people are missing out on rites of passage — junior proms, spring sports and graduations. 

However, COVID-19 — novel coronavirus — cases in the region have continued to grow exponentially. 

New cases in Sanpete County brought the total region covered by the Central Utah Public Health Department to 15 during the weekend. 

Sevier County went from zero to five cases in less than a week, and more cases will occur. 

The whole shutdown of the nation was implemented to prevent the country’s medical systems from being overwhelmed by COVID-19. 

Even though President Donald Trump has outlined a three-phase plan for reopening the country, it is still so very important to follow the guidelines to stop the spread of “the invisible enemy.”

Unfortunately, there are people who are not taking it serious in the region.

Most people in stores are not wearing masks. The Centers for Disease Control added the mask suggestion to its guidelines as a way to prevent the spread. Masks don’t protect the wearer, but there is evidence that it prevents the wearer from spreading the disease.

A large number of coronavirus cases, upwards of 50 percent by some estimates, are asymptomatic. This means that people who have no fever, no shortness of breath and no other indications can be spreading the virus.

Wearing a mask, even if it’s just a bandana, in public places like the store is a way to prevent one’s self from spreading it to others, and in today’s world, is a sign of respect for the health and safety of others.

Others are traveling outside of their own counties to recreate, or are still gathering in large groups, which makes the sacrifice being made by businesses, families and individuals meaningless.

Utah is one of the few states to not have a formal stay at home order, and has been the target of much criticism as such. However, Utah’s overall culture is one where people generally try to do the right thing. The 2002 Winter Olympics was mired in controversy, but appeals to the residents of the state played a huge role in turning the event around. Volunteerism soared, communities came together to celebrate the event, and as a result it become not only a successful event, but one that turned a profit for the state as well.

This same spirit is needed now. Utah should be able to make it through this crisis without a formal order, but only if people take this crisis seriously.

The better people do at things like social distancing, staying home and enhanced hygiene, the faster this crisis will fade.

However, if people refuse to take it seriously, it will result in cases continuing to increase to the point that may become insurmountable — especially with the limited resources in rural areas.

The good news is these restrictions are not forever. In the coming weeks and months, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, as long as government and individuals put safety first. 

(1) comment

Mark Nentwich

How can you expect the people of Sevier county to participate in slowing the Virus, when our own leaders ignore the science...Example A.T.V. jamboree up to 500 people from all over the world , in Richfield for a week ?? If you have the impression we are all working together to slow the curve and return to normal...Spend a half hour at the county fair counting masks....

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