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Our View

Governor Mead’s statewide orders


April 9, 2020

While some may criticize Governor Mark Gordon for not issuing a stay-at-home order, we applaud him. By sticking with sensible statewide orders, he has kept bureaucracy to a minimum and confusion at bay while ensuring our law enforcement agencies can continue to serve and protect instead of being tasked with policing our behavior.

Even more importantly, what our governor has done, at the end of the day, is entrust we, the people, with guardianship of our own future. Let’s not screw this up.

If you caught Governor Mead’s press conference on Friday, you may have noticed there was a note of irritation in his voice when talking about his decision not to issue the order.

“What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for, ‘mother may I?’ Or are you taking care of yourself and practicing the common sense that we expect?” he asked during that press conference.

“One of our Wyoming values is ‘talk less, say more’. Our orders talk less and say more.”

He’s quite right: only we can take care of ourselves. Only we have the power to make sure our families are safe, our neighbors have enough supplies and our friends are doing ok in isolation.

Only we can make the right decisions, both for ourselves and our communities. We’re proud to call ourselves citizens of Wyoming, and of Crook County in particular. We have watched everyone from government agencies to businesses to everyday citizens as they knuckle under, do the right thing and then turn their attention to finding ways they might help.

This isn’t the case everywhere in the world. This might not be the most pleasant reminder of the value of a tight knit community, but it’s certainly a strong one.

If you’re wondering how you can help us keep this reputation we’ve so rightfully established, may we make a few suggestions gathered from medical advice, the thoughts of local officials and even some of our business owners.

First, the obvious: let’s stay at home as much as we can. For every person who is able to stay home and does so, we give another person the opportunity to be out in public providing essential services and keeping our economy running.

When we do need to go out, don’t crowd the grocery stores and other businesses that are remaining open to serve us with essential goods. Just one person from a household should go out for supplies at a time, and we should all try to limit the number of visits we need to make.

Third, we should probably all be working on the assumption that we, ourselves, are carrying the virus and make decisions based on the idea that what we do could either spread the virus to others or keep it away from them. Follow the CDC and public health guidelines to wash our hands often and well, and wear a cloth face mask to prevent spreading the disease to others.

It’s important that we all realize how fragile our community’s financial ecosystem is. Crook County is made up almost entirely of small and medium businesses, none of which will survive without our support.

If we lose our businesses, we lose more than just a place to grab a bite to eat. We lose the sales tax and other associated revenue that then comes back to our cities and allows them to keep providing us with roads, water, sewer and garbage systems.

It is in all of our interests to do our best to support them right now. Consider ordering food from one of our eateries and purchasing items from our stores.

You can also take part in the Sundance Chamber of Commerce’s activities, such as the drive to raise money to purchase gift cards that will then be passed on to our essential workers and healthcare providers to thank them for their work to protect us.

For many of our businesses, it’s difficult and expensive to stay in stock right now, and it may also take a lot longer to fill your order. If you are able, add a little extra to your tip.

If you’d like to volunteer your time by making supplies or signing up to deliver necessities to people who are in quarantine, check out our articles on the front page for a couple of ideas. But as we’ve seen plenty of ingenuity from the community already, so we’re excited to see what other ideas may occur to our generous and caring neighbors.

Above all else, thank you to everyone who is supporting this effort by either staying at home or keeping things going on the front lines. We can only beat this pandemic if we’re all in the fight together, and there’s no better example of how to do that than Crook County.


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