No one was surprised that rural Utah thinks the COVID-19 response is an overreaction. But there was one short clip that was both stunning and perfectly understandable. "A lot of our economy is tourism ... that's not by our choice," Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock told KUTV News. No, this is not about the virus at all. It's about change, progress, if you will, and of course, government. They really don't like government messing with them down there and they're just holding their nose at the realization that tourists—strangers—are shoring up their economy rather than the old standbys of farming or mining. Still, even though they don't feel our pain, we should feel theirs. They could just do their own social distancing thing—as long as they don't leave their county or let anyone in.
Red (Party) Scare
Oh that Kimmy Coleman, esteemed legislator, congressional candidate and sadly uninformed tool of the right wing. Yes, she stands by her comment that we should just end our reliance on Chinese goods because they're made by really bad communists who are totally to blame for COVID-19, according to ABC4 News. First, it's all but clear that the party itself is to blame for covering up the extent of the virus. Forbes magazine notes that local party bosses might have been the first-line problem. That said, China buys more than $165 billion worth of goods from the U.S. and accounts for about 21% of our imports. Is it worth tossing out trade and diplomacy when our economy is already hurting—and China is the second largest world economy? And what does the blame game really accomplish? It doesn't change China, but it does set up a scenario in which anyone with Asian ancestry in the country can become the targets of racist vigilantes.
Proof Distillers Rock
Imbibers in Utah have to give the Legislature just a little bit of credit, even though they still don't get it. It looks like Utahns will be able to join out-of-state wine clubs and even bring in some wine on their own without penalty, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Don't get too excited, because there's still that awesome 88% markup. But now you can be legal! Bills also brought a little common sense to our liquor laws—not requiring large type for alcohol content and not asking someone suspected of drunken driving where they imbibed. Oh, and finally it might be easier to buy a bar license from an existing owner. Lawmakers also might want to note recent contributions from the liquor industry. As City Weekly reported, Ogden's Own Distillery is producing "The Five Wives Sanitize" hand sanitizer to fill the void left from all the panic shopping. "We'll do it as long as we have containers," Ogden's Own CEO Steve Conlin said.