Utah's Covid Response

I go from feeling like you do, to being bothered and back again. It stinks I can’t do things with my elderly parents like I’d like, or my kids can’t interact with them because people can’t be responsible and careful. It stinks that just about every part of my life is modified or spent accommodating the inconsideration of others. All of that is minor stuff - what is sad is that people needlessly have died and will die. (You can probably tell what part of the emotional swing I described above I’m on).

4 Likes

It’s troublesome. During the March lockdowns when I went out (for purely “essential” supply reasons) I felt some manner of community pride and purpose when I saw the empty roads and parking lots.

Months later watching all that effort go down the drain, I feel sad because I truly have stayed isolated (as a reasonably healthy 40-something but with 70-something parents with typical breathing issues). I’m a natural hermit but these past few weeks with the cooling weather I’ve slowly descended into cabin fever (“No TV and no beer make Homer something something”).

My own family has been loosening the rules too for home visiting, and I tolerate it because they’re a bit more social and we try to at least limit physical contact.

Utah is still doing okay in my neck of the woods and yesterday I actually got asked to leave a store because I was an airhead and forgot to take my mask in. NBD. But something is seriously wrong, especially with the younger half of the population, if we’re seeing this spike. I had a couple of appliance repairmen come into my house and they didn’t even offer to wear masks. I felt disappointed but let them be. Maybe I should have been their elder and told them to wear the masks we provide.

To slightly touch on the political topic, I swing pretty far left but I don’t think they need to do any sort of damn stimulus bill, because unless they’re willing to say “stay home or we won’t pay you” the money is going to waste. I’m happy to let that stay in limbo.

3 Likes

Today’s new cases count just announced at 1960 (about 400 more than the previous high for a day)

2 Likes

I heard Spencer Cox say that the biggest reason for the latest spike is 60,000 BYU and UVU students descending on Utah County in September and being non-compliant with most safety measures. I guess that might be called a mega-spreader event.

1 Like

As a University healthcare donor (and employee) I just got an email talking about the clinical situation, and how we’re looking to bring in clinicians from out of state, are scrambling to find more room for patients.

We breached our current capacity last week, the clinical managers are getting really creative in trying to accommodate both Covid and non-Covid patients. A lot of elective surgeries are being postponed.

If any of you want to donate to the cause, here’s the link:

Stay vigilant, stay safe, folks.

5 Likes

Yeah I work there as well, I saw that email today.

Sobering.

1 Like

A friend with relatives in Utah County got invited to a family party down there with the note, “If you are going to wear masks, don’t bother coming.” That might give you an idea of the state of mind among those in Utah County.

8 Likes

All of my extended family are vehement anti-maskers, so I haven’t seen any of them since March.

Mrs SkinyUte is a dance teacher in South Jordan. They’ve now had two kids show up to rehearsals who “weren’t feeling great”. They found out later that both tested positive, which sent everyone who was at that rehearsal into quarantine. Predictably, the parents of both kids were anti-mask, “it’s all a hoax” types who were then extremely upset that the studio had to close down for a couple weeks (because of their kids).

Doesn’t help that the owner of the studio is firmly convinced that “this will all go away after the election” and only takes precautions when forced to by the county.

1,960 cases today.

11 Likes

This is so foreign to me. I’ve been blessed with a family that is always supportive. I can’t imagine any member of my family saying this to another.

2 Likes

Neither can I… and even if someone felt that way in my family (that masks were a hoax) it wouldn’t be a reason to keep family members away.

Men’s hearts will fail them…

3 Likes

Several people who spoke with 2News say there are a groups of parents who are refusing to allow their kids to be tested for COVID-19 in an attempt to keep schools open and avoid quarantines

This kind of attitude will be sure to keep the ICU’s at capacity. Feel bad for the poor teachers.

4 Likes

Rocky Mountain States Emerge as New Covid-19 Hotspot
Cases are surging and hospital beds are filling up in Utah, Montana, Wyoming and beyond; officials fault resistance to face masks

“People are just tired of the pandemic.” Health officials say resistance to masks and social distancing are behind a Covid-19 surge in the Rocky Mountain states.

In mid-July, Montana was far from the fast-moving Covid-19 outbreaks that were overwhelming other states, reporting about 150 new cases a day. It is now a national hot spot.

The coronavirus is triggering more than 900 cases a day in Montana, health officials say, driven in large part by people fed up with face masks, as well as a resurgence of weddings, parties and other social gatherings. The state, which has one of the highest rates of infection in the U.S., has surpassed 25,000 cases and 275 deaths.

“I think a lot of it is people got tired of not having their regular life,” said John Felton, the health officer in Yellowstone County, where officials say the number of hospital patients requiring intensive care now exceeds the county’s 41 ICU beds.

Montana and other Rocky Mountain states are the latest region to get swept up by a surge in Covid-19 cases, which are nearing or at peak levels in Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. New patients have left hospital beds in short supply, and state officials have renewed efforts to slow the spread.

So far, deaths from Covid-19 haven’t risen significantly across the region, but the wave of cases likely foreshadows an uptick similar to other outbreaks across the U.S., public-health officials said.

From September to October, there has been a big rise in new Covid-19 cases in several states, as well as a rise in hospitalizations resulting from the virus.

In New Mexico, where new cases have shot up to more than 800 a day from 108 on Sept. 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said Tuesday that restaurants, bars and other businesses where people gather would have to close for two weeks if four or more of their workers test positive over 14 days.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, has directed the National Guard to help with contact tracing. New daily Covid-19 cases on Wednesday grew to 322 from 24 on Sept. 1.

More than 600 Idaho teachers called in sick Monday and Tuesday in the West Ada School District over what they say are unsafe working conditions, citing little room for social distancing in classrooms and some students ignoring mask-wearing rules in the Boise-area district. Over the past month, daily cases in Idaho have reached more than 900 a day from about 200.

“At the end of the day, we are just screaming the conditions they are having to work in are intolerable,” said Eric Thies, president of the West Ada Education Association, a teachers union.

In Utah, where new cases rose from 300 a day at the start of September to more than 1,300, a hospital in Salt Lake City and another in St. George set up overflow areas after the number of patients exceeded the capacity of intensive-care units.

“We’re struggling,” said Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious-diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare, a network of 24 hospitals in Utah and Idaho including the one in St. George. Several other facilities were approaching capacity, he said.

Covid-19 cases slammed the Northwest and Northeast last spring before spreading to the Sunbelt over the summer. Those outbreaks largely waned after widespread adoption of mask-wearing, social distancing and other safety measures.

The same set of rules were adopted in much of the Rockies, but health officials said many people have let their guard down.

“People are just tired of the pandemic,” said Stan Hartman, health officer of Laramie County, Wyo., where cases—including in the state capitol of Cheyenne—have grown to more than 50 a day from about 15 last month. “They’re tired of the restrictions. We’re seeing more and more people wanting to get back to the way things were.”

The opening of schools for classes as well as young people gathering outside of school have contributed to the outbreak, he said. Wyoming has no statewide face-mask rules, and a lack of mask wearing in public places has been especially problematic, Dr. Hartman said.

“Some people just don’t want to wear masks,” he said. “They’re militantly opposed to it.” He referred to a recent letter to a local newspaper from a resident worried that people with Covid-19 could reinfect themselves by wearing a mask. It was evidence, he said, of the misinformation his department was trying to dispel.

Masks have become so contentious that school officials in Caldwell, Idaho, canceled an Oct. 2 high-school football game at halftime after a standoff with maskless fans, including antigovernment activist Ammon Bundy, who helped lead a 2016 takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. Mr. Bundy said on social media he was there to watch his son play on one of the teams. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

In Eastern Idaho, health officials in early October added three counties to the list of seven with mask requirements after a flare-up of cases. One of the newly added counties, Teton, had a mask order beginning in mid-July. After cases fell, the order was lifted on Sept. 10. The number of cases shot up after that, said Geri Rackow, director of Eastern Idaho Public Health.

“If people would just do the simple mitigation strategies to slow it down, it would help,” Ms. Rackow said.

2 Likes

Sometimes I swear the biggest competition in Utah County is who can be the biggest dumbass.

7 Likes

If people are tired of dealing with COVID, lock up for three weeks rather than deal with it for three years.

The immaturity and stupidity of our region is shocking.

1 Like

I believe, the only way those people “might” learn is they contract Covid and recover; and, they then give it to their loved ones and those loved ones do not recover. Other than that, I doubt they would care.

2 Likes

For work, I had to research the effectiveness of masks this week. Three recent studies–CDC, Johns Hopkins, Duke–all conclude that mask\s work to greater or lesser degrees. Some masks obviously are better than others. You dont have to have an N95 mask. two thin layer cloth masks are very effective. The pale blue termporary masks they give out at Costco, etc., are effective. The only thing that doesnt work are neck gaitors, b/c too porous.

BTW, masks dont really help you from getting COVID, but they really really really help you from spreading it to someone else.

2 Likes

This is a good reminder and also probably an indicator of the problem. Those who aren’t taking it seriously, who aren’t keeping distance, limiting social interaction (and in many cases encouraging unsafe social interaction) are also those most likely to resist wearing masks or wearing bad ones or wearing them poorly. So they are catching it and spreading it. You get why superspreader events happen.

I watch people at stores now pop on their masks because it is required and immediately pull their nose out of the mask.

3 Likes

I’d like to believe that, and yet I see pictures of my son’s family, happily unmasked and hanging with his in-laws, including his MIL who has lots of health issues, in spite of the fact that my DIL was hospitalized for four days this summer with COVID. I’m exasperated that they can’t understand the risks.

2 Likes

Yep. I saw some folks at Costco in St George that were “wearing” their masks around their chins. Didn’t cover their noses or their mouths.

3 Likes

We went to the zoo a couple weeks ago. You have to check in at the gate and confirm that you have a mask. The zoo did a great job of explaining the distancing protocols, and practically pleaded with people to keep their masks on.

I would guess that at least half the people took them off the moment they got past that checkpoint and completely ignored all of the distancing markers while they were in the zoo.

We’ve proven that even the most simple measures will be ignored because of our general “YOU CANT TELL ME WHAT TO DO” attitude. Sadly, I expect that a few hundred thousand more will die as a result.

4 Likes