What Pandemic? Nothing Has Changed For Small Towns


Photo Credit: Kaiya Kearns

Idaho City residents gather together for a festival. A small community is taking big steps during this pandemic.

Kaiya Kearns, Reporter

No masks, sitting with friends, enjoying festivals – sounds like a lifetime ago ago. But small towns all over Idaho are still getting those privileges. Boise County is not required to wear masks and businesses have quietly reopened. Going to Idaho City is like a step back in time. Bars open, live music, school and sports are in session. And, the remarkable thing is their cases haven’t surged. This has many people asking why.

Covid-19, Coronavirus, pandemic, even sometimes apocalypse, are terms that are used over and over again to describe what is going on. All of the safety guidelines have been taken to heart especially in Idaho City. This small town now seems like an oasis to many of us in the Treasure Valley. From the surface it looks unsafe and scary, which in some ways it is, but it definitely doesn’t mean the county isn’t doing anything. They are still limiting a number of people in places and are highly encouraging the use of sanitation materials. Gavin Wood, a Junior at Idaho City High School said:

“ I am glad to be going to school again and playing football. Masks do have to be worn a majority of the time while we’re in class, but besides that everything is pretty similar to last year.”  

The locals are definitely excited to be having their normal lives back, because even in a small town when this pandemic hit in March, everyone was trying to be prepared and safe.    

Small towns are all over Idaho. They make up a majority of the state and provide a lot of freedom. There is a lot of nature and places to be explored. Which is a positive because being outside lowers the chances of getting Covid. Small towns are wanting to keep things as normal as possible but also very safe. In Kamiah, Idaho, the locals have been getting stressed with the bombardment of people. DawnMarie Johnson of Kamiah stated:

“People have come from all over. California, Washington, Oregon and it is definitely the most people I have ever seen come to Kamiah. Campgrounds were so crowded, people were parking on my neighbors’ lawns!”

That goes to show how badly people want a normal life back. From the interview above, it seems even being able to go camping now in these times is an almost impossible task. 

Living in a smaller town definitely has its benefits especially in this new world, but could possibly have very serious consequences if rules are broken. It also opens the town up for more people to come in which for businesses is a necessity, but even with the freedom of not wearing a mask and just staying six feet away, there are quite possibly mishaps to occur. This is quite eye opening to some Treasure Valley residents, and can possibly help calm their nerves about these strange times. When you look at these small towns and listen to people, it really shows how strong most of these communities are. You can tell how they want to keep their town and families safe, but still have somewhat of a normal and fulfilled life.