Mount St. Helens’ eruption offers COVID parallel

Recently I saw a TV interview with a woman from May 17, 1980, who was saying how ridiculous the government regulations were that were keeping her from visiting her vacation home near Mount St. Helens. She said that anyone with common sense would know danger from the mountain was negligible. The next day 57 people lost their lives when St. Helens erupted.

Only three of those people were in a government exclusion zone, which had become much smaller after widespread anti-government protests. If the blast had not come on a Sunday, hundreds of loggers who had successfully argued in favor of being allowed to go to their normal work sites despite science-based warnings would have been killed.

Does this seem like the protests today? Why do so many people think common sense trumps (pun intended) good science? One of the main reasons is lack of patience. Many lives are lost every year by impatient people who ignore safe driving laws. The tragedy is that they kill many innocent people in the process.

The number of careful people who will be killed by Covid-19 this year due to uncareful people will far exceed the staggering death toll from auto accidents this year.

Richard Guthrie


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial: Retain Peterson, Ortiz-Self for 21st LD, House

The past experience and effectiveness of both lawmakers warrants their reelections.

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, July 14

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Editorial: Reopen schools in fall, yes, but do it safely

Rather than bully schools into reopening, the president should secure funding to protect students.

Editorial: Woodard, Paul for state House’s 10th District

The Herald endorses: Suzanne Woodard and Dave Paul for the ‘purple’ multi-county legislative district.

Editorial: What history is owed through our monuments

The decisions regarding whom we honor in our public squares require deliberation and consensus.

Commentary: How Fauci, even when wrong, built public’s trust

He changed his earlier position on masks but, unlike Trump, was candid and explained his reasoning.

Commentary: For sake of health-care workers, wear a mask

Medical workers, facing shortages of PPE and overcrowded hospitals, need our help to slow the surge.

Comment now on Everett’s council districts plan

City Council districts for Everett are taking shape under the direction of… Continue reading

10th LD, House: Bruch will turn tide in Olympia

In the last few years I have become increasingly alarmed at the… Continue reading

Most Read