Sanpete compliance with directives
has helped prevent virus cases
When Sanpete County is asked to do something for the public good, we do it. We have certainly proved that in our response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although many aspects of the governor’s directive were voluntary, Sanpete residents, in large measure, have taken the governor’s advice.
Employees in most nonretail businesses are working from home. Retail stores are enforcing social distancing and employee monitoring measures.
Walmart, our largest retail store, has been taking temperatures before employees go on shift. Pedestrian traffic going in and out is being monitored to make sure the store isn’t too crowded.
The Gunnison Hometown Market is having all employees wear masks. And increasingly customers entering all grocery and convenience stores are wearing masks.
People have postponed weddings, and held graveside services instead of funerals, some with a note that celebrations of life will be held later when it is again possible to hold large gatherings. It has hurt, but people have done it.
We haven’t checked with all schools and school districts, but where we have, it appears most parents are making sure their children participate in on-line school and get assignments in.
As Sanpete County residents characteristically do, we have stepped up to help out with the pandemic. An Ephraim woman recruited other seamstresses and launched a project to sew cloth masks for local first responders. When that is done, she said, she’ll start working on masks for the as many residents as possible.
The Snow College manufacturing technology program developed machinery and started manufacturing N-95 masks for healthcare workers. The Central Utah Correctional Facility made 400 cloth masks for Gunnison Valley Hospital.
Most impressive, we’ve found ways to maintain our sense of community even though we haven’t been able to gather in usual ways.
The enormous procession of dirt bikes, ATVs and other vehicles to the Ephraim cemetery, and the hundreds of red ribbons tied on lamp posts the length of Manti and Ephraim, were as impressive a show of love for Manti High student Jabin Taylor (who was killed in a dirt bike accident) and his family as a packed stake center would have been.
The Friday night car cruises along Main Street in Gunnison have grown week by week. On the Friday before Easter, the Easter bunny greeted children at car windows. Last week, the “G” on the G-Hill was brilliantly lit, with a lighted American flag on top of the hill.
On a smaller scale, a group of moms in Mt. Pleasant have arranged to take their children through a drive-through all at the same time, so the kids can wave at their friends from the family vehicles.
Our response to the governor’s recommendations, and to public health mandates such as shutting down restaurants, undoubtedly accounts for the fact that Sanpete County made it clear to last week without any COVID-19 cases.
While there have been residents who have pooh-poohed the whole economic shutdown in social media, most people understand that public health, and acting to protect our neighbors, overshadows what they might want to do as individuals.