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

Snohomish

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