Editorial:

Amid everything else, find reasons to be thankful

Posted 5/7/20

There’s no sugarcoating the fact that these are tough times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of lives, while the massive effort to slow the new disease’s spread has …

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Editorial:

Amid everything else, find reasons to be thankful

Posted

There’s no sugarcoating the fact that these are tough times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of lives, while the massive effort to slow the new disease’s spread has put millions of Americans out of work. And one way or another, no part of the country has been immune. In Park County, few people appear to have become ill, but plenty of people are struggling to get by amid the economic slowdown.

Some are fearful of the disease or simply angry at how this crisis and government-imposed restrictions are impacting their lives. The reactions are understandable; things are not OK right now.

But amid all of the emotions we’re feeling, try making some room for gratitude, too, because there still remains much to be thankful for.

Consider, for example, the fact that Park County has yet to have a single person die from — or even be hospitalized with — COVID-19. Some take that as a warning that the worst of this pandemic is yet to come; others see it as a sign that all of these restrictions are an overreaction.

Only time will tell what is in store for Park County. But in the meantime, can we just take a moment to be thankful that, while other areas of the country have seen deep tragedy, our area has been able to stay relatively healthy? It’s worth celebrating the fact that we’ve had just one confirmed case of COVID-19. It’s also good news that health officials agree we can start backing off some restrictions that have limited business and upended daily lives.

And as frustrating as Wyoming’s public health orders may be, we are far better off than many places.

While metropolises like New York City have been brought to a near-standstill, life in Powell has generally looked closer to normal than apocalyptic.

There’s plenty of room for debate over what restrictions may be going too far in Wyoming and there’s no denying the real financial damage being dealt by the precautions being taken.

But can we also hold some gratitude for the fact that we haven’t been ordered to “shelter in place” or truly “lock down?”

It has been frustrating to watch how fear and anger have often seemed to dominate discussions of the pandemic on social media and elsewhere, overshadowing even the positive signs.

For instance, some early studies suggest that COVID-19 may not be as deadly as first thought, and that’s part of the reason restrictions are being loosened around the country. Some have jumped on these initial findings to declare this was all one big hoax; others charge that the leaders pushing to reopen the economy are rushing to put financial gain above human lives.

Couldn’t we instead find some time to celebrate the fact that the worst case projections about this disease are not coming true? That fewer people are going to become deathly ill is great news.

Certainly, we are not out of the woods. The economy has taken a pummeling and the data clearly shows COVID-19 remains a serious threat when considered on a population-wide scale. For those reasons, we should all continue doing our part to help and protect our neighbors.

And we should also keep looking for reasons to be thankful.

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