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Letter: The virus isn’t political. No matter how you voted, follow guidelines

A flyer urging people to wash their hands is pictured on a table on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, the day after the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

With the shattering of our COVID-19 records, perhaps it is time that our public leaders bluntly get Utahns’ attention regarding the recommendations we have all heard regarding wearing masks, washing hands and limiting gatherings. These recommendations aren’t made to shame people, damage the economy or restrict freedoms. They are made to save lives.

The virus doesn’t understand political ideology. It doesn’t care if we feel that wearing a face mask infringes on our personal freedom. It is unconcerned that we voted for President Donald Trump or Joe Biden. It’s coming after all of us. Our health care providers who are logging in long, intense hours see this, and some are experiencing the heavy toll of witnessing death by suffocation on a regular basis.

Yes, the virus will indeed spread with or without government restrictions. However, the evidence is strong that the recommendations do slow the spread and lower the number of people dying from COVID-19. We can’t wait until a vaccine is available to lower the case counts because by then, it will be too late. Each person infected typically spreads the infection to two or three others, resulting in four, then eight, 16, 32, and so on, with the rate of spread ever accelerating. We all pay the burden for this in lost wages, lost or disabled loved ones and health care costs.

It is encouraging that the governor of Utah recognizes how serious the situation is. I am concerned that some of our other leaders don’t. I am sure it is an incredibly stressful and challenging time to be a public leader. Sometimes, a leader has to make decisions that will displease a lot of people, including those within his party. But this isn’t about pleasing people. It is about protecting us, the people that they serve.

Ron Anderson