A Message From Mayor Marc Carroll
CONSEQUENCES OF COVID-19
We started hearing vague rumblings of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in December of 2019, as word of a viral epidemic in Wuhan China started hitting the national news. We watched and listened to the news, enthralled as reports around the United States of various and increasing numbers of Americans who became victims of the pandemic came to national attention. Then it hit home to Idahoans as we experienced the first confirmed case on March 14. City of Blackfoot started preparations immediately upon receiving Governor Little’s State of Emergency Proclamation on March 13.
Around this part of the state, we seem to range from individuals who are in panic, to individuals who seem to be paying minimal attention to the pandemic. We should all be looking at COVID in the frame of mind that “my individual health depends upon how I behave, but it also depends on you behave”.
On March 25, Governor Little issued an Extreme Emergency Declaration for the State of Idaho, which was immediately followed by an Order to Self-Isolate by the Director of Health and Welfare, Dave Jeppeson. These directives are in effect until 1159pm on April 15, 2020, unless extended or amended by the Director. The Self-Isolation document is 10 pages in length, defining essential and non-essential businesses and entities and also provides direction to social distancing, hygiene, and stay at home requirements.
The effort to control the pandemic is well documented and lengthily covered by the entire media. Almost all the Governors have issued proclamations with requirements and directives within their respective states. As these directives are implemented, there is an unintended consequence which will potentially devastate small businesses, as well as some very large businesses, as we move forward in time. Societally, we are trying to navigate a fine line between the physical health of individuals and the financial health of this state as well as the country. The Federal government recently passed legislation in the form of $2.2Trillion in its CARES Program to provide financial relief to individuals and businesses. City of Blackfoot is doing everything it can to help individuals and businesses get through this pandemic and the issues it brings.
The current Order to Self-Isolate expires April 15, 2020. At this point, I am anticipating the Order will be extended to at least April 30, since we do not seem to have hit the top of the curve just yet. I am hoping that we see some sort of lessening of some of the restrictions currently in place, but still protect the elderly and the individuals with higher-risk health complications.
With the advent of spring, and then summer, folks are understandably wanting to get out and start socializing. Church attendance, school graduations, weddings, and funeral gatherings are all cancelled. We are forgoing soccer, baseball, track, tennis, and other sports activities. Easter egg hunts were cancelled. Gatherings of family and friends are on hold. Coming up, we have the Dog Show on Father’s Day week, Celebrate Blackfoot, Kermes Festival, Eastern Idaho State Fair, and The Wall That Heals celebration. These are all events that everyone has been looking forward to seeing and participating. Organizers of these well-attended events very understandably, want to see them go forward. State and local officials will be working with those organizations to help make decisions that will have the best interests of everyone in mind.
We do not know where COVID is taking us. We do know that social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitization work very well. Please help your families, friends, and neighbors keep positive frames of mind as we battle through this. Many of the most essential functions that will help our friends and neighbors through the COVID crisis are supported by nonprofits such as the Senior Center, Food Pantry, Bingham Crisis Center, SEICAA, and Red Cross Blood Drive. These agencies and others, are working hard to address the community’s increased need for services. If you are at home right now, and want to help make a difference for others, please volunteer at one these great agencies!
Contact information can be found on the City of Blackfoot website.
Be Safe and Be Well!
Mayor, City of Blackfoot