Not long ago, a friend from the Bay Area visited me at my BYU office. He pointed out, rather dismayed, that the BYU campus was the only place in his visit to Utah where he had seen many people wearing masks. He said in his hometown everyone wore masks during the pandemic. Similarly, my oldest son has been visiting for the holidays from New York City. He returned from a quick trip to the grocery store and expressed surprise that almost no one at the store had a mask on, even though our COVID-19 numbers are high and rising.
Of course, those of us who live here are not surprised at this. In Utah, where even a plea from the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints goes largely unheeded, we seem to be pro-virus rather than pro-life or pro-health. Our individual freedoms are more important than the health of our neighbors or ourselves. We pretend that the pandemic is over. But the virus doesn’t care what we think. As of Jan. 3, one out of every 875 Utahns has died of COVID-19. But that is just collateral damage in our selfish war on reason and government “overreach.”