Keep our frontline workers safe during coronavirus crisis

Steve Lyon
A guy I’ll call Larry works at a local
gas station, one of the businesses
deemed to be essential under the
governor’s stay-home order.
He’s one of the frontline workers
manning a cash register during
the coronavirus crisis.
He comes in contact with the
public all night long.
Like all of us, he’s concerned
about catching the
easily transmitted coronavirus.
A simple sneeze or
cough can put the virus in
the air for all to breathe.
Coronavirus can cause a
really bad respiratory illness.
That’s scary for Larry, who
told me he has emphysema
from years of smoking and
also COPD.
There’s no way he can maintain
six feet of space between himself and
customers. Social distancing is a nice
thought, but impractical to actually do.
Many hourly wage earners like Larry
can’t afford to take a day off and stay
home, even when they do get sick. No
work, no pay, as they say.
Whatever we can do to lessen the risk
of exposure to grocery store employees,
gas station employees, the person delivering
the takeout and others in the service
economy we need to do.
Our own Ridley’s Family
Market is thinking about
seniors and how to protect
them from exposure to the
The grocery store is opening
early just for seniors,
who are in a higher risk
group for serious illness with
Public health officials
have said that people over
age 65 need to limit exposure
to others. They need to be extra
vigilant during the current
coronavirus crisis.
The special hours at Ridley’s allows
seniors to shop without mixing with the
general population. The store is open
for seniors on Monday and Wednesday
from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Thanks to Ridley’s
for thinking about older folks.
I was at a store in Ontario doing a little
shopping myself on Saturday. There
were a few people who either didn’t
know the rules of social distancing during
a pandemic or didn’t care.
As I was reading the label on some
item, a guy came up behind me to get
something off the shelf. He was like a
foot away, encroaching on my personal
I don’t know if there is a courteous
way to tell someone to maintain a little
distance, other than, “back off, buddy.”
You don’t want to be rude, but some
people don’t get it.
I’m at a loss for the proper etiquette
in enforcing social distancing. There is
always the chance that saying something
will provoke an unfriendly response. Do
what you can to stay safe.
From my spacious office in downtown
Weiser, the past few days have
been especially quiet. The governor’s order
to stay home has temporarily turned
the lights off at a lot of businesses.
The slim solace we can take is one
more day of the closure is one day closer
to getting this crisis behind us.
Steve Lyon is the editor of the Weiser
Signal American. Contact him at


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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