48 hours before Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will be moving back to stage 2, more than 70 Idaho business leaders published an open letter urging the Idahoans to take more personal responsibility in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“As fellow Idahoans, we urge you to listen to the doctors and use good old Idaho common sense,” the letter reads. “With respect, we ask you to join us in helping defeat this deadly foe."

The letter directly speaks to those who believe that taking certain precautions such as wearing a masks, is a political matter. “Those who oppose taking simple precautions to contain this deadly virus say they infringe on their freedoms and violate the Idaho Constitution. As business leaders, we believe strongly in personal freedom, but we also realize that with freedom comes personal responsibility." The letter continues, "Even the preamble of the Idaho Constitution says the document is intended to promote the 'common welfare' of Idaho's people."

The reality of COVID-19 her in Idaho is outlined in the letter with facts to back it up. The letter mentions Idaho having a much higher positivity rate than all its neighboring states. The death count in Idaho is higher than Utah's and nearly as high as Oregon's yet Idaho has a smaller population than both those states in comparison.

"Wearing a mask, safe distancing, washing your hands, and avoiding large crowds" are described in the letter as the "only weapons we have right now to fight this virus, keep our hospitals operating, and protect our people." In addition, these precautions are what is allowing businesses to remain open and workers to stay employed. Adhere to them.

The letter concludes by asking Idahoans to do these things at the very least for the people they love most - wives, husbands, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, and grandchildren.

This is beyond us as individuals. It's about one another.

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