It is amazing how eerily similar the Wildfire Season and the Coronavirus Spread are in Utah. Although “higher than normal fire potential” exists throughout the state — there have already been 698 fires with roughly 150,000 acres burned, more than twice than the same time last year — we have been blessed that so far, only a few houses and structures have been lost. According to fire officials, more than 561 of the fires were human caused, with illegal fireworks, target shooting, equipment sparks, discarded cigarettes and campfires listed among the causes. Everyone understands that even if only one house is destroyed, it is a personal catastrophe for the owners. We can imagine how we would feel if the home was ours, so we all recognize the need for continued vigilance.

With regard to COVID-19, the numbers continue to increase but we still have been blessed. The SL Tribune reports there have been 30,891 confirmed cases in Utah so far, 1,913 hospitalizations, 18,593 “recovered” (i.e., still alive three weeks after being diagnosed) and “only” 233 deaths. The death of a loved one for most would be worse than losing a house, but unlike with Wildfires, the attitude of some is surprisingly calloused. Someone recently told me, in effect, “What’s the big deal? They would have eventually died of something!” Obviously true, but is that really a valid reason for refusing to wear a face mask? PLEASE, let’s remember we can ALL help, and a dead loved one could be ours!

Don Gardner


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