Green River Star -

Our view: COVID-19 battles face a difficult road ahead


November 18, 2020

A mask mandate will not work.

Comments from Sweetwater County Attorney Daniel Erramouspe and Green River Police Chief Tom Jarvie last week indicate enforcement of a mask mandate is impossible. In an email to the Star, Erramouspe wrote, “we would not prosecute any violations, as I believe such an order is unenforceable.”

The question is this: what do we do to get more people to follow recommendations to wear a mask while in public and to socially distance themselves from other people, especially when Thanksgiving is weeks away and we’re approaching the Christmas season?

At its current rate, COVID-19 infections will only grow significantly. As families get together for the upcoming holidays, it will spread even more and, in Gov. Mark Gordon’s words, “a lot of people might not be around for Christmas.”

One thing is certain. We can’t rely on everyone to do their part in following what health recommendations have already been suggested.

It seems a lot of residents in Wyoming have come to the conclusion that whatever happens, happens. If they catch it, oh well.

No one is going to tell them what to do. If government orders someone to do anything, it’s an infringement of their freedoms, even if they’re designed to help save lives.

This is a far cry from the sacrifices made during World War II, when the government was actually rationing certain items to people to divert goods for the war effort. Sugar, butter, gasoline and more were sold to people in limited quantities.

We don’t doubt there was some grumbling amongst people who didn’t want to be impacted, but the general consensus was they did what they had to do to support the boys overseas. That rationing effort was temporary and everyone knew it.

What’s the difference between that and following a few health guidelines until the pandemic situation can be properly sorted out -- which is when a vaccine will be widely available. What is so bad about following a few directives to ensure hospitals aren’t overrun with COVID-19 patients and the largest employers can continue to operate without fear of being closed due to mass quarantines. These mandates aren’t designed just to ensure grandma or grandpa don’t fall ill with COVID-19, they will also save lives not directly impacted by a COVID-19 infection.

No one can be forced into compliance, but it’s time we start thinking more about our friends, family and neighbors.


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