Open Smart. Shop Smart. Dems Support Local Businesses.

Partisan division has reared its ugly head as groups protest restrictions on their personal liberty, ignoring recommended guidelines, or even thumbing their noses at them.

Democrats value local businesses which are essential for our community and economy to remain vibrant and healthy. We also value the safety and economic health of our family, friends, and neighbors and workers who are manning the front lines. How can we balance the needs of both?

Your business or employment is essential to you in enabling you to put food on the table, a roof over your head, and secure health care. The corona virus pandemic is challenging us to create a new normal: how to manage to work and play safely without long-term shelter-in-place and shuttered businesses while an effective vaccine is developed.

Democrats understand the increasing urgency of business owners and their employees to reopen, and we support reopening businesses. But, OPEN SMART! Businesses must put into place measures to protect both their customers and their employees. And SHOP SMART! Customers must help protect the business community they purport to value by following now well-known guidelines of social distancing, hand washing, and using face masks.

The fifty United States are conducting a massive experiment: each state is weighing its data and making decisions with a combination of reason and emotion. In a few days we will be able to see how effective each of those experiments has been, including Idaho’s.

If Idahoans are to prove that this state’s experiment is successful, their best effort at following CDC guidelines for personal behavior is essential. Idaho’s characteristics may ensure a successful experiment. Unfortunately, many of us share the experience of shopping at a well-known local grocery and witnessing that many people are ignoring those recommendations: only about 10% of those present, employees and shoppers, were wearing face masks. On the other hand, Costco sets a good example of implementing sensible precautions and customers are complying; however, many are vociferously, sometimes rudely, objecting.

With many people ignoring or even thumbing their noses at those guidelines in the name of personal freedom, we may experience the second worse wave of infections and death, and another costly, hurtful shutdown. Without the personal exercise of prudent, informed self-regulation we put everyone’s health and economic well-being again at risk.

Open smart. Shop smart. Support Local Businesses.