Record editorial: The careless actions of some can imperil us all
We’re all in this together.
For most of the coronavirus pandemic, that has been the case in Summit County. It certainly was during the early days of the crisis, when businesses closed down and we complied with the Health Department’s stay-at-home order. And it has been true in the months since, as residents have made changes in their daily lives — from wearing masks in public to shopping for groceries less often to forgoing in-person gatherings — for the benefit of everyone in the community.
Tensions have been high since the pandemic began, but the sense in Park City that we can count on one another to be responsible and to do what’s necessary to get through the crisis safely has been a bright spot in an otherwise dark and volatile time.
It was disheartening, then, if not flat-out infuriating, for residents to learn last week that county health officials are attributing the recent spike in coronavirus cases to a party held early this month inside a Park City lodging facility. According to the Health Department, attendees apparently gathered in significant numbers, coming and going throughout the day, and were not strict about wearing masks.
In other words, exactly the kind of reckless behavior health officials have been cautioning against since March. Exactly the kind of behavior that would be expected to lead to dozens of new cases if someone at the party was infected with the coronavirus. In this instance, that appears to be what happened.
Now, we are all left to deal with the fallout. Those involved with the party did not just put themselves at risk. They put the entire community at risk.
And they did it at a particularly precarious time.
The surge in cases comes with the scheduled start of ski season just three months away, after much of the community’s efforts thus far have been aimed at keeping the virus under control through winter for the sake of the local economy. The spike has also added to parents’ and teachers’ concerns about the start of the school year, which was already fraught with anxiety.
Navigating through the last six months has been a monumental challenge. Unfortunately, the pandemic is not going away any time soon, no matter how much we wish it.
Let this incident be a warning to us all. It’s not enough for most of us to continue taking the coronavirus seriously. It has to be everyone, doing the right thing because we understand the careless actions of some can imperil us all.
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