Café Community

The unemployed are tasked planting trees. ?

May 22, 2020

Pakistan Is Giving Tree-Planting Jobs to Workers Unemployed Due to COVID-19

by, Brandon Wiggins

Pakistan is helping daily workers who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19 by giving them jobs planting trees, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF).

The initiative is part of Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, an ambitious forest restoration project, and provides a template for the type of “green recovery” that countries can embark upon in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to coronavirus, all the cities have shut down and there is no work. Most of us daily wagers couldn’t earn a living,” a construction worker named Abdul Rahman told TRF.

While Rahman’s wages of 500 rupees ($3) per day are around half of what he could have made “on a good day” as a construction worker, he said it was enough to get by.

“All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families,” he told TRF.



‘A pakistan International Airlines plane with at least 91 people aboard crashed in a residential area near the airport in Karachi, officials said.’


Idaho May 19th Primary

May 9, 2020

Eye On Sun Valley

Don’t Forget to Vote By Mail

by Karen Bossick

Blaine County residents are being reminded that there will be no walk-in Idaho primary on May 19.

Idaho’s 2020 Primary is a mail-in-only election due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And you can request your November ballot now at

The May ballot reflects candidates from the party of your choice. The ballot must be mailed back using a pre-addressed envelope.

The Republican and Constitution parties have closed primaries, meaning only voters affiliated with those parties can vote in those elections. The Democratic Party primary is open to anyone who is not voting on the other parties’ ballots.

If you’re unaffiliated you may affiliate with the party of choice by filling a signed form.

On the ballot:

Legislative District 26

State Senator

DEM Michelle Stennett

REP Eric Parker

State Representative, Position A

DEM Muffy Davis

State Representative, Position B

DEM Sally Toone

REP William Thorpe

County Offices

County Commissioner, First District

DEM Dick Fosbury

County Commissioner, Second District

DEM Jacob Greenberg

IND Kiki Tidwell

County Sheriff

DEM Steve Harkins

County Prosecutor

Matthew Fredback

City of Hailey

Request for extension of local option tax: “Shall the City of Hailey, Idaho, adopt an extension to its local option tax with Hailey Ordinance No. 1257?”

The ordinance provides for the implementation and collection of non-property taxes for 30 years from its effective date, at the rate of 3 percent on rental cars and hotel-motel rooms, 2 percent on retail sale of liquor by the drink, wine and beer and 1 percent on the retail sale of restaurant food.

The revenues should be used for emergency services, including rapid response, traffic enforcement, training, staffing, equipment and vehicles; maintenance, improvement and acquisition of parks; road repair, snow removal and transportation enhancements; city promotion, visitor information, special events and economic development; town improvements, such as library modernization, sidewalks and the creation of a town square; public transit; cost to administer the ordinance.

The local option tax would also be used to maintain and increase commercial air service to Friedman Memorial Airport through the use of Minimum Revenue Guarantees or other inducements to providers; promoting and marketing service to increase passengers and for ancillary costs, such as bus travel due to flight diversions.

Ketchum Post Office.’t-Forget-to-Vote-By-Mail/


Idaho & Blaine County COVID Updates

April 23, 2020

The time-line of Idaho’s state government 4-part economic plan seems to be formed on logic the virus will acquiesce to mandated phases. It is careless and could be dangerous. Idaho does not have the COVID-#’s, testing, or tracing, to support re-opening at this time. -dayle

[Getty Images]

‘FDA Comm Scott Gottlieb said that the country will need to initially conduct up to 3 million tests per week to reopen. A separate estimate from Harvard researchers says the U.S. must conduct b/t 500-700,000 tests per day by mid-May to begin reopening.

The new report, released by Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics on Monday, emphasized the need for a massive scaling up of testing coupled with a robust contact-tracing program in order to reopen the U.S. in a way that avoids future shutdowns. Its top recommendations include a call for the nation to deliver 5 million tests per day by early June in order to ensure a safe reopening of portions of the economy.

Their call for 20 million daily tests is in line with recommendations from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer, who said earlier this month the U.S. needs to administer 20 million to 30 million tests per day.

Gottlieb said the the country likely wouldn’t reach broad-based testing capacity until September.’

Governor Brad Little encouraging ‘peer pressure’ to follow guidelines, not state-wide enforcement.

Don Day at BoiseDev:

Gov. Little: “We will not progress through the stages of reopening if people do not take personal measures to limit their exposure to coronavirus. That means stay home as much as you can.”

The four-phase plan starts to reopen the state, but Litlte stresses Idahoans should wear protective face coverings, remain six feet apart from others, and continue to wash their hands.

Stage 1

This phase will start May 1 at the end of the current stay at home order.

  • Businesses should maintain six feet distance for employees and customers. Any businesses that open should have sanitation protocols in place.
  • Most retail businesses could reopen, except:
    • Bars & nightclubs
    • Restaurant dining rooms
    • Indoor gyms
    • Hair salons
    • Large venues like movie theaters and sports theaters.
  • Houses of worship can reopen.
  • Daycares can also reopen.
  • Employers should continue telework where possible.
  • Visits to senior living facilities and facilities like jails are prohibited.
  • Minimize travel.
  • Out-of-state visitors should self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Vulnerable Idahoans should avoid interacting with the public.

More details on this stage.

[For additional stages, follow the link.]

Stage 2 May 16th.

Stage 3 May 30th.

Stage 4 June 13th.

Blaine County

“If you missed the second Virtual Town Hall, you can watch the recording from the Blaine County webiste here – 


Harry Griffith from Sun Valley Economic Development [SVED]:

  1. Buy Local
  2. Share Ideas
  3. Embrace Change

Recovery could take two years in a new 2.0 local economy.

2nd home owners will help our local economy.

We will see developments of new business models in the valley.

Some businesses will not be able to recover, others will scale back.

Teleworking could increase across the valley bringing in new teleworking businesses.

We will see periods of ⬇️ wages & hours.

LOT receipts are ⬇️.

At least eight large community events cancelled valued at $20 (m) into the valley; also affected are smaller events and non-profit fundraisers.

We are looking at a “devastated economy.”

The summer will look very different from past summers.

2,000 unemployment claims in the valley…23% unemployment rate right now.


Blaine County could see another wave of COVID in the fall.

Must stay diligent to hygiene and physical distancing guidelines, or #’s will increase quickly again.

[Getty Images]

‘A fatigued health care worker takes a moment outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center in April. Many hospital workers these days have to cope with horrific tragedies playing out multiple times on a single, 12-hour shift.’

“Appreciate the 8 pm howling.”

5% of the county has been tested…approximately 1,300 tested.

Questions remain:

How many may have been impacted by the virus and not know?

Will some become sick again?

Need more testing and contact tracing.

Elective surgeries will be phased in again.

COVID doesn’t “flip a switch”…we need to “turn the dial.”

[dayle: Some health care models and economists illustrate COVID and infections as a ‘W’, with peaks and valley’s dependent upon future infections and economic fallout.]

Possibility: Surveillance tracking and testing not beholden to bias, i.e., those who can afford testing, or have access to testing…want to be tested.

Sun Valley Institute/Blaine County Recovery Committee

Blaine County has been disproportionately hit by COVID-19 and associated economic collapse, with some of the highest per capita infection rates and an economy primarily dependent upon tourism in a rural, isolated community with tremendous income disparity – nearly half of county school district students receive reduced-cost or free school lunches, and 1 in 3 residents is food insecure.

“Pulling TOGETHER to come through the COVID-19 crisis stronger, wiser and more resilient than ever! 

Blaine Recovery presents available resources to help individuals, businesses and organizations with recovery –a coming together of our community, for our community.

THANK YOU to all who participate – giving and receiving, supporting and sharing – strengthening the fabric of our community.”

Blaine County community leaders joined to create a long-term recovery team, the Blaine Recovery Committee, to develop a recovery plan and coordinate local resources in response to the COVID crisis

Aimée Christensen, BRC Steering Committee and Executive Director of Sun Valley Institute, who is coordinating the effort.

Contact: Mike Gordon Blaine Recovery Committee Coordination: 208-309-3049.

“Blaine County best-practices for a successful re-opening.”

  • Identify
  • Mobilize
  • Future

Three subcommittees:

  1. Business Sector
  2. Non-Profit Sector
  3. Personal Sector

All information is available in Spanish, thanks to the supportive efforts of Hector Romero.

BRC Steering Committee member, Mike Higgs, Executive Director of Blaine County Chaplaincy, said, “The journey up the river to recovery is one we must take ​together​. The Blaine Recovery Committee will help get more oars in the water, pulling together, so we will get there more quickly without leaving some behind!”

‘The Flourish Foundation announces the Community MasquerAID initiative. Born out of compassion in action, this meets an essential and on-going need for personal use protective face masks in the Wood River Valley during COVID.

Relying on laser-cutting technology from Beyond Wood, the skill and passion of local sewists, engagement of Compassionate Leaders, guidance from Providence Health and other health care providers, all MasquerAID masks are washable and manufactured locally.’

[To learn more and to donate, follow the link.]

Non-profit news organization ProPublica interviewed experts and frontline officials from Italy, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. “Of all of them, we found more commonalities than differences. So, these are the 7 things we must do before we open up America:

1. Build an army of contact tracers *Every* expert we talked to said it’s important to know exactly where the virus is spreading. The only reliable way to do this is via “contact tracers” who can track down the contacts of anyone who tests positive.

While this sounds like an obvious step, it comes with demanding logistics that few — if any — U.S. states are able to carry out right now, such as:

“It usually takes four or five people over three days to do one full contact trace, on average,” Andy Slavit, former head of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  during the Obama administration. He said California (40M pop) could need up to 20k contract tracers, depending on circumstances.

2. Test. Constantly. You’re sick of hearing about it, we know. BUT. Our experts agreed that the inability to do widespread testing for the virus is the central reason it has spread so widely in the U.S.

Isolate people w/ suspected infection from their families. This is a really tough one. It goes against everything the family-centered American society supposedly treasures. That said, what we’ve learned in Italy, Taiwan and our country is sobering.

NY authorities originally told anyone with symptoms to “self-isolate” in a single room in their home for 14 days, avoiding contact with other people living in the same place. But that ignores a lot of fundamental facts of life. What about people who:

-live in single-room apartments – don’t have two bathrooms. – aren’t meticulous about wiping down door handles or wearing gloves and masks when they wash dishes The result?

In city after city: horrifying stories about one parent, then a second parent, then the children ending up dead or ill. Separating people for 14 days is tough. It would be massively unpopular. Many experts suggested using hotels to isolate those who test positive.

(Also could be helpful for the hotel industry).

4. Protect health care workers. Protect. Your. Healthcare. Workers. One of the lessons from Wuhan and Italy is that you have to be utterly meticulous about protecting doctors and nurses. If you don’t, the hospitals become a vector for infection and you lose the frontline people. Or worse — If you need them to handle a second wave of infections, even a smaller one, they may stop coming to work. You need to stockpile PPE & supplies before reopening. This is not optional.

5. Don’t try to go back to “normal”. Our goal isn’t to get back to a pre-pandemic way of life, but instead to employ whatever tools it takes to keep transmission as low as possible while restarting your economy. This means:


-temperature checks

-6-foot distancing

Things that are relatively new concepts for the US, and are already proving unpopular. Too bad, our experts said. These measures save lives.

6. Watch out for the 2nd wave The initial success stories in fighting COVID-19 — Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea — all saw a rise in cases in March. Even after getting new cases down, you have to maintain constant vigilance to keep the rate low. What will this take?

For starters, a national system tracking flu-like symptoms. Epidemiologists call it “sentinel surveillance.” It’s the kind of system we should have had in the first place…

And lastly…

7. Communicate. Clearly. Constantly. ***Governors and other state leaders:*** One thing that came through in many of our interviews around the world was the importance of communicating clearly and consistently about the actions you take. You’re going to have to persuade voters to do things they won’t like at a moment of unparalleled partisan rancor, record unemployment, disarray in your state’s traditional media outlets and divisions among eminent scientists.

After those interviews, we asked American experts If they thought we could do it. Their answer? None of you are close to being ready. All of the above are things that America’s governors need to do and take seriously.

ProPublica is  not done investigating the spread of coronavirus and those accountable for saving the American public from further needless deaths.


April 13, 2020




Sun Valley Begins Antibody Testing

April 8, 2020

You have a chance to help others.  We have just announced the start of a clinical study to test for COVID-19 antibodies in our community. Please CLICK HERE for the press release. The clinical study is part of a collaboration with Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to help further the fight against COVID-19. We are asking for volunteers to help with the research. Initially we are looking for 400 volunteers, although that could be increased in the future.
Teamwork – that is what makes things happen. There are too many people to mention that have helped initiate this exciting academic study – and we are just getting started! Through community relationships, experts in the field and highly respected academic institutions, we have managed to put together a team of leading epidemiologists. However, it all starts at home. Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin and Blaine County Emergency Medical Director Terry O’Conner are spearheading this initiative. Further afield, we are delighted to be partnering with two outstanding academic institutions – I am thankful for the local connections that made this possible.

-Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw

Antibody Study and Testing Begins in Blaine County

KETCHUM, Idaho – The Ketchum Fire Department and Blaine County Ambulance District have partnered with the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to conduct a study that includes antibody testing for residents of Blaine County.

The study will start with a random sample of 400 Blaine County residents to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals to determine how many asymptomatic, or silent, cases there are in the community.

Officials emphasize this is a study; not a medical diagnosis, vaccine or guarantee of immunity to COVID-19.

Initially, the study will analyze the total number of COVID-19 cases in the sample group compared to the number of cases tested. This information will help further the fight against COVID-19 to help scientists slow or stop the disease. It will also help discover if antibody presence confers immunity.

Blaine County residents wishing to participate in the study, including the testing, may register at Residents will be screened and chosen for the study based on demographic criteria established for the study.

Eventually, the study will provide information to the community on when it is safe to resume normal activity.

“We are grateful for the efforts led by Ketchum Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin and Blaine County EMS Director Terry O’Connor to spearhead this study,” said Mayor Neil Bradshaw. “A keen interest from the partnering organizations and the perseverance of our Chief and EMS Director kept the ball rolling and made the testing a reality for our community.”

Further analysis of the study will help to:

  • Determine whether there are indicators for predicting a mild or severe reaction to COVID-19
  • Determine the transmissibility of the virus
  • Predict the duration of a COVID-19 outbreak and whether herd immunity can be reached in a community
  • Develop vaccines for COVID-19
  • Determine if there is a correlation between certain classes of blood pressure medication and severity of illness

“I am proud of the collaboration between Blaine County and our cities,” said Blaine County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg. “Not only will this testing in the County help the study, it is a chance for the volunteers to help friends, relatives, neighbors and ultimately, all of humanity.”


Providing COVID-19 testing to workers deemed essential during this global pandemic. is a coordinated effort by Idaho businesses, innovators, and leaders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our mission is to procure testing specifically for Idaho companies to make it easier for essential workers to be tested. We have access to a large supply of test kits and are currently working to secure an antibody test that will be available soon. 

WE ARE NOT a replacement for traditional doctors offices and others doing testing for individuals with symptoms or who meet other testing requirements.



From Dr. Archie

April 3, 2020

B L A I N E   I D A H O

From  – Tom Archie MD,   Ketchum, Idaho

COVID19 Transmission Edition 

This is a single-issue edition of the InnerHealthMD Pulse. It is dedicated to the topic of how early and how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus is spread from infected individuals to others who have not yet been exposed.
I explain my rationale for….
a) early self-quarantine if suspicious of symptoms
b) early self-quarantine if someone in your house has suspicious symptoms
c) how long to remain in self-quarantine, and
d) why I disagree with CDC recommendations for duratation of self-quarantine and with hospital systems using CDC guidelines to recommend ending quarantine for known cases (or for symptom-probable cases).

There are links to original journal articles, all reported in March 2020.

I encourage individuals, physicians, and especially employers to review this information when establishing return-to-work (or return-to-grocery-shopping) timelines.

There are links to original journal articles, all reported in March 2020:[UNIQID]

Surface Contamination &
In a detailed study of 13 COVID19 patients at Nebraska Medical Center’s quarantine unit, most of whom had mild disease,  40 surfaces were repeatedly checked for the SARS-CoV-2 virus

The following were positive for the coronavirus:

-76.5% of all personal items 81.3% of exercise equipment, medical equipment (spirometer, pulse oximeter, nasal cannula), personal computers, iPads and reading glasses (mean of 0.217 copies/mcL)
-83.3% of cell phones (mean of 0.172 copies/mcL)
-64.7% of TV remote controls (mean of 0.230 copies/mcL)
-81% of samples from toilets (mean 0.252 copies/mcL)
-80.4% of all room surface samples
-75% of bedside tables and bed rails
-81.8% of the window ledges (mean concentration 0.219 copies/mcL)
-100% of all under-the-bed floor samples (mean of 0.447 copies/mcL)
-80% of ventilation grate samples (mean of and 0.819 copies/mcL)
-63.2% of in-room air samples (2.86 copies/L of air) – including well beyond 6 feet away
-66.7% of hallway air samples – outside-patient-confined rooms (transported by medical staff)

Virus found in GREATER amounts where drifting by air than on items touched
Virus was found on surfaces obviously not touched by patients (under the bed, window ledges) following air flow and eddies.  Airflow modeling results strongly suggest that “virus expelled from infected individuals, including from those who are only mildly ill, may be transported by aerosol processes in their local environment, potentially even in the absence of cough or aerosol generating procedures.”

BOTTOM LINE  If you have a new illness, please stay home until it is gone and stays gone for as long as 3-4 weeks after symptoms started. Help reduce spread!

In a study of 23 COVID19-hospitalized patients in Hong Kong,

Saliva viral load highest in the week 1 and declined with time
Longest viral shedding 25 days after symptom onset.

-50% of severe case shed virus in saliva >20 days
-23% of mild cases shed virus in saliva >20 days.  C
-38% of severe cases shed virus in stool > 20 days
-14% of mild cases shed virus in stool > 20 days
There was no virus found in urine samples.

In a study of 9 COVID19-hospitalized patients in Germany, which included interesting observations on the ability to grow virus in culture after obtaining it from patients at different stages of disease

Virus found in throat, lung and stool but never in blood or urine.
Patients initially had mild symptoms of a common cold.

Nasal swab PCR tests positive in all cases on Day 1-5 of symptoms.
Antibodies IgM & IgG first detected on Day 6-12 of symptoms.
Longest viral shedding 22 days from onset
Slow, steady decline in the amount of virus in samples over 22 days
Efforts to grow virus from patient samples in the lab were more successful in the first week of symptoms.

Despite high viral loads found on nasal sampling in later weeks, virus was not able to be grown from samples taken starting on Day 9 after symptom onset.
This suggests less infectiousness after 9 days from onset of symptoms
We each have a one chance to make a good decision about how to avoid spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID19 pandemic, further beyond ourselves and our homes.

We have never had to think this way about a disease before on such a large scale.  Every time the coronavirus fails to make it out of our bodies and into someone else’s body can mean hundreds of lives saved on down the line. A quicker return to strong economic vitality – something that is incredibly important for everyone’s wellbeing – requires everyone’s short term effort to stop the spread of COVID19.

CDC guidelines regarding ending self-quarantine should extend longer than currently advised.  While they are a little more convenient than the medical literature suggests is wise, please don’t use them as an excuse to ignore the evidence.

– I recommend masks, as available, when near non-household people.

– I recommend COVID19 symptom self-quarantine for up to 21-25 days post-symptom-onset-date (out to 30-37 days in the most severe cases).

– If not sure about early symptoms, then self-quarantine and reassess in a few days. If you are ill, you are MOST contagious BEFORE very sick.

Be well, and protect others.

Blaine County Charitable Fund

100% of your donation will go to those who are approved for assistance with basic living expenses that cannot otherwise be deferred or negotiated!

Thank you for generosity during this particular world wide crisis.  We hope to provide the runway for individuals to be able to not have to make rash decisions and gain courage to advocate for themselves when it is time.



​We are a group of volunteer Blaine County community members who would like to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community during times of crisis.  Motivated by the closing of local schools and businesses in response to COVID-19, and knowing those that already live on the edge of being financially secure will suffer the most, we hope to facilitate financial assistance now and in future times of crisis.


We provide assistance to individuals who live and/or work in Blaine County and are experiencing financial hardship due to unanticipated crisis.  We will award small grants to individuals and directly pay identified living expenses that cannot be otherwise deferred or negotiated such as rent, insurance and medical expenses.  We also hope to direct those in crisis to resources in our community in order to insure non-duplication of services.


We accept donations that will be granted to individuals who have applied and are approved for assistance.  The Board of Directors of Blaine County Charitable Fund will attempted to meet weekly during times of crisis, and monthly thereafter, to evaluate applications and distribute funds.  100% of our funds will go to grantees.


​We are a group of volunteer Blaine County community members who would like to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community during times of crisis.  Motivated by the closing of local schools and businesses in response to COVID-19, and knowing those that already live on the edge of being financially secure will suffer the most, we hope to facilitate financial assistance now and in future times of crisis.


We provide assistance to individuals who live and/or work in Blaine County and are experiencing financial hardship due to unanticipated crisis.  We will award small grants to individuals and directly pay identified living expenses that cannot be otherwise deferred or negotiated such as rent, insurance and medical expenses.  We also hope to direct those in crisis to resources in our community in order to insure non-duplication of services.


We accept donations that will be granted to individuals who have applied and are approved for assistance.  The Board of Directors of Blaine County Charitable Fund will attempted to meet weekly during times of crisis, and monthly thereafter, to evaluate applications and distribute funds.  100% of our funds will go to grantees.


Blaine County Charitable Fund
PO Box 265
Hailey, ID 83333

Fax: 1 (208) 369-9271


Sun Valley & COVID-19

Why an Idaho Ski Destination Has One of the Highest COVID-19 Infection Rates in the Nation

Blaine County, Idaho, for example, which is roughly the size of Delaware, has just three hundred and ninety-nine confirmed cases and two deaths. But, with approximately twenty-two thousand full-time residents, the county’s infection rate is now the highest in the nation—greater even than those of New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties, and possibly on par with earlier pandemic epicenters in northern Italy and Wuhan, China. And, as in Italy, the situation is exacerbated in the aging resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley, where the average ages of residents are forty-six and sixty, respectively.

Idaho’s doctors and nurses face the greatest danger. More than fifty health-care workers have tested positive in the state’s South Central Health District, about forty of whom work for the St. Luke’s hospital system in Blaine County and Twin Falls to the south. Jesse Vanderhoof, a nurse at St. Luke’s hospital, in Ketchum, was administering nasal swabs at a drive-up testing site before he became sick. As his condition deteriorated, on March 24th, his wife dropped him back at the E.R.; hours later, she received a call saying that her previously healthy, thirty-nine-year-old husband had suffered a seizure and was boarded onto a life flight bound for Boise. He was put on a ventilator for several days before regaining the strength to breathe on his own.

Brent Russell, one of two E.R. physicians at St. Luke’s in Ketchum who tested positive, battled a hundred-and-four-degree fever with shaking chills; he would awaken in the middle of the night, unable to catch his breath. Russell wrote a letter to the local Idaho Mountain Express pleading with a community that, in his view, was either unable or unwilling to adapt to the new rules of the pandemic. “People were not taking this seriously,” he told me. “I would look out the windows of my house and see groups of people talking and congregating in the street.” As his wife, son, niece, and nephew all came down with symptoms of covid-19, Russell applauded Governor Little’s abrupt stay-at-home order, a decision that caught many by surprise in a state known as a refuge for anti-government individualists. “We need a heavy hand right now,” Russell said. “We need all forces thrown at stopping this thing.”

A ski resort is, in many ways, an ideal breeding ground for an epidemic. Skiing and snowboarding may look from a distance like solitary pursuits; the helmets, goggles, and neck warmers may be assumed to function like alpine hazmat suits. But, at major resorts, stretches of brisk, wintry liberation on the slopes are interrupted by long chairlift and gondola rides, during which people sit shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee with a perpetually rotating cast of strangers. The National Brotherhood may not have brought the virus to Idaho, but it did bring the party, and, in ski towns across America and the rest of the world this winter, the two have gone hand in hand. Ski-resort areas in California, Colorado, and elsewhere “show higher infection rates than more densely populated cities nearby,” Adventure Journal noted, including Mono County, California, the home of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which now has the highest per-capita rate of covid-19 in the state. In Europe, several governments tracked hundreds of coronavirus cases to one Austrian ski town, with some epidemiological reports identifying beer-pong tables as a potential source of infection. In Mexico, the chairman of the Mexican Stock Exchange tested positive after returning from a ski trip to Colorado’s Vail resort.

Tensions between big-spending outsiders and the local workforce that relies on their spending define life in any vacation town. But, in a pandemic, the calculus is changing. In the Idaho Mountain Express classifieds, one local summed up the situation in Biblical terms: “To everyone coming here to ‘ride out the storm,’ please stay in for 2 weeks before you immerse yourself in our town. Please don’t buy a 3-month supply of groceries, leaving little for the rest of us. Don’t be a plague of locusts.”

[Full Article]


“What I’m seeing is very scary in our emergency department.”

April 2, 2020

ER Doctor Issues Dire Warning


By Karen Bossick

‘Everyone needs to avoid contact with everyone outside their household or we’re not going to stop this thing.

“What I’m seeing is very scary in our emergency department, and that is volumes of patients who are very ill and who we’ve had to admit. Last weekend we admitted four patients in one hour,” Dr. Jim Torres told Dr. Tommy Ahlquist on Ahlquist’s Inspire Excellence podcast this week.

Torres said the beds at St. Luke’s Magic Valley hospital in Twin Falls are being filled up with patients from the Wood River Valley.

“And, if you can imagine, they get their own cases, and Boise gets their own cases filling up the ICUs with sick patients. Then, you know, they potentially could run out of beds, could run out of ICU beds, could run out of ventilators, and then we can get into the crisis mode where New York City is and some of these other big cities. It could happen here.”’

“You can look really well and have this virus and be giving it to other people who aren’t going to do so well… And there it goes,” he added. “You give it to one person. That person gives it to another person and so on and so on and so on. And that’s what’s happened here in our town.”

“It would be a nightmare if Twin and Boise started getting the number of cases Blaine County is seeing  because there are so many more people in those towns, he said.

“And a lot more people who could be exposed and who could become ill. That would be a disaster.”

Torres’ plea comes at a time when Ketchum Fire Chief is pleading for volunteers—ski patrollers or others—to drive ambulances. Torres’ stable of paid staff members and volunteers has been decimated due to the coronavirus. The fire department has even borrowed ambulances from the City of Carey and elsewhere to keep up with the demand.

The number of cases in Ada County where Boise sits has climbed past Blaine County’s in the past few days.

Idaho reported 672 cases on Wednesday. It was the largest single-day increase, up from 527 the day before.

Despite the growing numbers in Blaine County, several Eye on Sun Valley readers reported Wednesday that the traffic through Ketchum seems to have grown, not lessened. And supermarkets are bustling.

“No spacing between people as they come in, and I was told that some people come in every day,” said one woman.

“That’s why so many people are still coming down with it. No one is paying attention to the social isolation order. They don’t think they will get it, either because they are younger or they still think it’s a hoax. Someone needs to get word to them to stop. It’s just awful.”

Another woman said she was out on a daily walk near Knob Hill Park when she saw several teens and young adults gathered there.

“I considered going up and talking to them about the importance of social distancing, but I didn’t know them and felt uncertain of my welcome,” she said. “How do we educate kids about this and what can happen if they bring it home to their families or others.”


Oh my gaia.

March 31, 2020


Felt in Montana, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

It was intensely felt in Sun Valley, Idaho.

KTVB/NBC 7 Boise

6.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Idaho and 7 surrounding states

BOISE, Idaho — At 5:52 p.m. Tuesday, the Idaho and states throughout the Northwest were rattled by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the USGS.

The USGS reports that the epicenter was west of Challis and 73.3 miles north of Meridian.

According to the USGS map, the epicenter of the earthquake was next to Shake Creek and Laidlow Creek in the north-central Idaho mountains.

The USGS had a delay in reporting the earthquake because of social distancing, according to Paul Bodin, the head of the University of Washington seismology lab, who talked to our sister station in Seattle, KING.

KTVB staff felt the possible earthquake from North Boise, Meridian, and Nampa. One of our staff members said her family in Montana felt the earthquake.

People in seven different states reportedly felt the 6.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the USGS’s intensity map.

The earthquake came less than two weeks after a major quake rattled Utah, Idaho’s neighbor to the south. That 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck just outside Salt Lake City, damaging buildings and spurring evacuations.

The USGS said the earthquake’s depth was 10 kilometers.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean tweeted out “Boise, yes you did feel an #earthquake. City officials are checking all our facilities and public safety officers are conducting structural checks downtown and in our neighborhoods.”

A 4.6-magnitude aftershock was felt after the earthquake throughout Boise and the Treasure Valley.

KTVB contacted several gas stations in Challis, Stanley, and Cascade and they said there was no severe damage to buildings or property there.

The Boise Police Department tweeted that they have not received any reports of damage.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office told KTVB that they have no reported structural damage at this time.

This is a developing story and this article will be updated when further information is made available.

Egg Pancake

March 28, 2020

Just learned about this from my quarantined friend in Italy; helps your egg supply go a little further.

(Apparently this was popular during the Great Depression.)

1 egg…whisk in some water…whisk in 1 tbs of flour until smooth…butter in a pan…cook like a pancake.

More filling, too.

Thanks, Jan.


Please, stay away.

Sun Valley, Idaho: ‘No One Should Come Here’

NPR/Kirk Siegler

Blaine County, Idaho, which includes the resort town of Sun Valley, has one of the highest known rates of COVID-19 cases in the West.

‘To hear year-round Sun Valley, Idaho, residents like Justin Malloy tell it, town right now is as crowded as you’d expect to see it in the peak Fourth of July or Christmas seasons. The small airport is packed with private jets. And then there’s the parking lot at the Atkinsons’ Supermarket, one of only two in town where bread and essential cleaning items are particularly hard to come by.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of Washington plates, a lot of California plates, their cars just full of all of their stuff that they’ve brought from out of state,” Malloy says.

This has fueled outrage on social media, and on unusually crowded hiking and ski trails, where locals are wondering aloud whether rich people are fleeing cities to seek refuge in rural Idaho, and unknowingly making the public health crisis here even worse.

“It seems likely that people were fleeing other places and not recognizing that they were then bringing the disease with them from Seattle, or other areas where they might live part time,” says Dr. Josh Kern, vice president of medical affairs for St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum.

While resort towns like this can typically house a lot of tourists or second- and third-home owners, that doesn’t extend to St. Luke’s, which has only 25 beds. The hospital has had dozens of COVID-related admissions and officials warn there are likely many more cases in the community than what’s been diagnosed.

That’s leading to some impassioned pleas to take the recent, strict self-isolation orders seriously.

“No one should come here,” says Dr. Brent Russell, a local emergency room physician.

Russell should know. He has COVID-19. He’s been very sick, so can’t work at this critical time.

“We have a really high percent of COVID spreading among the population here,” Russell says. “If you come here, that is putting your life at risk and it’s putting other lives at risk.”

The hospital is part of a regional health care system, St. Luke’s, so for now, support has been coming from hospitals in Twin Falls and Boise where there aren’t as many known cases. Yet.

Blaine County COVID rates rival NYC, Wuhan

News analysis: Comparisons are difficult, but the valley has one of the nation’s highest concentration of coronavirus cases

Idaho Mountain Express/Mark Dee

The raw numbers may pale compared to major cities, but Blaine County had the nation’s highest concentration of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation yesterday, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

And, its calculation is an underestimate.

So, what do you do with that information? “Take this seriously,” according to a group of eight St. Luke’s Wood River emergency physicians. Self-isolate and abide by the shelter-in-place order designed to stem the spread of the disease.

“We want you to know, given the community spread, that you should not wait for the test or test result,” Drs. Terry O’Connor, Malie Kopplin, Deb Robertson, Jim Torres, Brock Bemis, Keith Sivertson, Terry Ahern and Brent Russell wrote in a letter to the Idaho Mountain Express published Wednesday. “There are measures you can take now to protect yourself, your family, friends, neighbors and way of life. Self-isolate. Don’t leave the Wood River Valley to recreate elsewhere. It’s well known that we have a very high rate of infection; 5B plates are not going to be welcomed outside of Blaine County. Moab and Twin Falls don’t need our virus. Stay home. Save lives.”

Blaine County Deals With Coronavirus Hot Spot As Other Rural Idaho Communities Prepare For the Worst

Boise State Public Radio/Rachel Cohen

St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center suspended normal operations last week. Coronavirus screening sites, a walk-in-clinic and the emergency department remain open.

If a patient needed to be hospitalized for symptoms of coronavirus in the Wood River Valley today, they’d most likely be transported — by ambulance or helicopter — to a hospital in Twin Falls an hour and a half south, or one in Boise two and a half hours west.

Blaine County — home to Sun Valley, with a population of about 22,000 — is the epicenter of Idaho’s coronavirus outbreak.

“So currently any patient who would be that sick would not be maintained up here. We would be transferring them either down to Magic Valley or Boise,” said Dr. Frank Batcha, a family physician at the St. Luke’s clinic in nearby Hailey.

Patients seeking care for routine check-ups, cancer screenings or caesarean sections are also being directed to other hospitals.

“Are we concerned about not having enough resources? Absolutely. And that’s why we’re trying to conserve what we have right now, particularly our manpower,” said Batcha, who, these days, is typically clad head to toe in personal protective gear as he screens patients for COVID-19 in the parking lot of the Ketchum hospital.

St. Luke’s Wood River is part of the statewide St. Luke’s Health System with seven hospitals, which means staff and supplies can, and are, being dedicated to the Ketchum hospital.

“If we were an isolated, rural hospital, we would be crippled right now, because we have so many people who are out with the illness,” Russell told Boise State Public Radio’s George Prentice.

But strains extend beyond the hospital. Bill McLaughlin, the Ketchum Fire Chief who also oversees EMS services for the north half of the valley, said around a quarter of his paramedics are out because they have coronavirus symptoms or have potentially been exposed in the community.

“We only have a couple paramedics on each day, and if, for some reason, one of them gets sick, then that entire shift would be knocked out for 14 days,” McLaughlin said.

Many volunteers who used to help out are staying home, too.

[full article]



March 24, 2020

‘April 1st is an important date for the census. It’s the date you should use as a reference when completing the census — that means filling out information for anyone who lives in your household as of that date.

It’s important to make sure your household is counted! The data from your community is used to determine how many congressional districts your state will have for the next decade. With 435 representatives across the country, states could gain or lose a district based on population changes.’

Get counted! Fill out the 2020 Census here:

Pandemic vote.

As our country continues to be ravaged by COVID-19, states and political leaders are trying to secure the safety of our elections. In Idaho, we can now request an absentee ballot for the state primary for May 19th. COVID-19 is changing daily, hourly. Confirmed cases grows exponentially. Social distancing and increased infections could compromise our voting locations.


Protect Yourself. Protect Your Neighbors.


IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3.

Ballots will be sent no earlier than 45 days before the May 19 Primary Election.
Please allow 10 – 14 days for your ballot to arrive once they begin to be sent out.

While you wait, feel free to share this page with your friends and family.
Make sure you use the #VoteEarlyIdaho hashtag.


To secure your vote for the primary follow the link:


“Transcending time and space.”

March 22, 2020

A friend once shared with me, “Music is the art of now.” Indeed.

Thanks, Tony.

“Needs are evolving rapidly.”

Wood River Valley, Sun Valley, Idaho

Spur encourages donors to give directly to the nonprofits they love and who are serving on the frontlines of this crisis. If you have more to give or if you are unsure where your dollars are most needed, please contribute.
The Community Response Fund. Spur will make sure your generosity has a powerful and strategic impact.’
Community Response Fund

Spur has opened a fund to receive charitable donations that will be directed toward urgent needs in the community arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The Community Response Fund will distribute grants to local organizations providing important services to those impacted by the virus.

Spur will make sure your generosity has a powerful and strategic impact.


March 19, 2020

This includes Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, Bellevue and Carey


‘Social distancing is isolated solidarity.’

March 18, 2020

Ketchum Town Square
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
Posted by Mother Lea at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey, Idaho.



City of Ketchum

March 16, 2020


March 16, 2020
COVID 19 – Slow it Down, Do Your Part
A Message from Mayor Bradshaw

We are experiencing unprecedented times as COVID-19 impacts our community. The City of Ketchum has taken numerous actions to address the pandemic, but we have two requests of our community: Slow it Down and Do Your Part.

Slow It Down
I urge everyone to consider their actions, exposure risk and contagion risk from the perspective of the larger public health impact of a rapid spread of COVID-19, versus a more gradual spread. Medical resources in Blaine County have a better chance of meeting the needs of our valley if the rate of spread is gradual and not rapid. We all can help slow it down. Our efforts in this regard will save lives.

Slowing it down gives more time to treat the cases we have and more time to ramp up our testing capabilities as well as other areas of preparedness.
We can slow it down by:

  • Washing our hands
  • Keeping our distance from others
  • Covering our cough
  • Avoiding group gatherings
We must discourage friends and visitors from coming to town. For a town that is used to welcoming visitors, this is hard to do, but we must reduce the number of people visiting our area. As well as the threat of introducing infected persons into our area, it will put additional strain on our medical resources. The message is clear, this is not a place for a virus vacation.

Do Your Part
We are all in this together; we all benefit from taking individual and collective responsibility.
As such, we are encouraging the following:

  • Non-essential businesses should limit operations.
  • Restaurants to close or restrict to take-out only.
  • Shop thoughtfully. Please leave something on the shelves for others.
  • Keep your distance but be there to support your neighbor.
  • Monitor your health.
  • Be kind to those around you – let us know when you have seen an act of kindness with the hashtag #KetchumKind
City Leads by Example with Proactive Steps
We are limited in what we can legally mandate for private businesses. Our approach is to lead by example. As such, we have taken the following steps for our operations and staff:
  • Cancelled city events and restricted large gatherings in public spaces.
  • Closed all city recreation programs.
  • Closed public access to city facilities – those that need to file a permit, pay a bill or seek assistance will be asked to deposit their paperwork in a container outside City Hall.
  • Customers will be encouraged to call, email or conduct business on-line.
  • All non-public safety staff that regularly interact with the public outside of city facilities (Community Service Officers, Parks and Recreation, Facility Maintenance) will be assigned to office duties.
  • For city staff – all out-of-state business travel is cancelled. Employees traveling out of state on personal travel are highly encouraged to cancel their travel plans.
Remember, we are resilient; while it is hard to see right now, I am confident that we will come out of this pandemic stronger and wiser. We will learn what is essential and what is not, we will learn how to prepare better for the future and we will learn not to take anything for granted. Finally, we will learn to celebrate what every day brings, and not what it takes away.

We will get through this and we will remember to support our local restaurants and businesses when we return to normality – for they are suffering and will need our help to get back on their feet. In support of our local businesses, we will be doing all we can to secure federal and state funding.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these difficult times. We will be placing posters around town to raise awareness and remind everyone of the message to Slow It Down and Do Your Part.

Neil Bradshaw
Ketchum Mayor

100 Years.

March 12, 2020

The local celebration actually started during Hailey’s Fourth of July Parade.



‘The Idaho Women’s 100 Kickoff Event will take place at noon Friday, March 13, in downtown Hailey. Another will take place in Ketchum at the same time.

The event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving most women in America the right to vote.

The Ketchum event will start at noon at Ketchum Town Square.

Hailey’s event will also start at noon. Participants will gather in front of the Hailey Public Library and  march to the Old County Courthouse where a Governor’s Proclamation celebrating Idaho Women’s Day will be read.

Speakers will also speak to the occasion.

At 12:30 p.m. participants will ring bells, including the large bell at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. The bell ringing is a symbolic gesture that unites all Idahoans in commemorating the right of women to vote.

“This is a big day for our country and for all the women who make it great,” said organizer Bob McLeod, president of the Blaine County Historical Museum. “We hope everyone takes a moment to join us in ringing a bell to celebrate.”

Numerous events commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment will be held around the state during 2020, organized by the Idaho Women in Leadership and the Idaho State Historical Society.  Among them exhibits on Idaho’s “First, First Family” and “Miss Fletcher’s Botany Expedition” in the Idaho State Capitol.

Questions? Call the library at 208-788-2036 or the museum at 208-788-1801.’

If you attend, please remember pandemic social distancing guidelines and keep three feet apart from each other. -dayle’s-Right-to-Vote/

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