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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 08:31 PM

Tourists brought prosperity to an Idaho ski valley. They also brought covid-19.

National

Tourists brought prosperity to an Idaho ski valley. They also brought covid-19.

By Griff Witte
April 1, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

The snow-capped peaks of Idaho’s Wood River Valley are a magnet for movie stars and other wealthy tourists who throng to the area each winter bearing their skis, their appetites and their cash. They come for the soft powder, stay for the parties at top-class restaurants and pump money into an otherwise remote wilderness region where the howl of wolves echoes through the night.

But this year, somewhere between the lifts and the lodge, the tourists left behind something else: a deadly virus.

Now the valley is a coronavirus hot spot, registering one of the highest infection rates per capita in the country. With 192 cases in a county of just 22,000 people — including two deaths — the share of the population testing positive is greater than even in New York City.

The impact has been dramatic: The small hospital in Ketchum, the region’s hub, has partially shut down after four of its seven emergency doctors were quarantined. Patients are being ferried to facilities hours away. The fire department is relying on fresh-faced volunteers, trained in a day, to drive ambulances.

Everyone in town knows someone who has fallen ill.

{snip}

Authorities say they don’t know if the worst of the pandemic has passed or if it’s still to come. But they say they are heartened by the fact that the community appears to be rallying together. Social distancing rules are being followed. People are volunteering to help. The tourists, everyone seems convinced, will one day return.

And each night, at 8 p.m., the region puts its own spin on a global phenomenon of breaking the isolation and thanking health-care workers — not with pots and pans or cheers or a song. But with a howl.

“The whole valley,” Russell said, “lets out a giant wolf roar.”

Griff Witte
Griff Witte is a national correspondent for The Washington Post. A longtime foreign correspondent, he previously served as the paper’s deputy foreign editor and as the bureau chief in Berlin, London, Jerusalem, Islamabad and Kabul. Follow https://twitter.com/griffwitte

These tweets were brought to my attention by Donny Ferguson:

I talked to 3 dozen people who live full-time in rural/resort areas (or who are debating leaving the city for their second homes) to write this piece on how the privilege to "escape" cities is gong to ravage rural communities:



There are huge COVID-19 hotspots in Blaine County, Idaho; Gunnison County, CO; Summit County, UT; Gallatin County, MT. What are all of those places? Ski towns.

As
@tressiemcphd
put it, "wealth is the vector"


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Reply Tourists brought prosperity to an Idaho ski valley. They also brought covid-19. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 OP
Botany Apr 2020 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 08:35 PM

1. "... the share of the population testing positive is greater than even in New York City."

Thanx Donny you shouldn't have. And this will be all of America very soon.

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