On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency. Governor Gordon declared a state emergency. I cried. For Wyoming residents of nursing homes who were denied visits from family and friends. For families who were denied, not only visits, but goodbyes, to loved ones.
At the end of April, the President of the United States delegated the powers to assess the needs for health orders, at the state level. By then, we had established that our hospitals were not overwhelmed. We had learned who the high and low risk populations were, and the high-risk individuals knew how to protect themselves. The common practice for surgeons to wear masks was extended to the whole medical care profession and COVID-19 patients were isolated. Still, in Wyoming, health orders were maintained.
Businesses, churches, and schools continued to be shut down. Seniors were denied the graduations they so deserved and looked forward to. Town celebrations were canceled or scaled down. Why for?
We have not been hurt by COVID-19 itself, but by the health orders. We understand Wyoming Department of Health’s role in continuing to monitor the situation, and we are thankful for the health guidelines it provides. What we do not understand are the orders. The health, safety and welfare of all Wyoming citizens should be weighed against health orders. Guidelines allow high-risk individuals to protect themselves and low-risk individuals to continue engaging in all activities that keep them financially, physically and emotionally healthy. Orders on the other hand, by reaching for an unattainable zero COVID-19 case goal, are not.
On behalf of Wyoming concerned citizens, Big Horn County.