We have sheltered in place, washed our hands raw, kept social distances, isolated in our homes, been responsible, and gone without necessities in an effort to keep COVID-19 numbers in check in the western part of our state. Our economy has taken a low blow, but we are not the only state that suffered this setback. It would seem that all of our precautions and sacrifices could be in jeopardy if we are to play host to hundreds of thousands of people from all points of the globe in August, with our gates open for the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The economy seems to be of greatest concern to decision makers who are making plans to, “keep our visitors safe.” How do the residents of every community in the Hills stay safe during that time when we are supposed to open our arms to thousands of strangers for the Rally? Social distances will not likely be kept; resources will be in shorter supply than they are now; air pollution and other environmental distress is inevitable; and out medical caregivers will be overwhelmed with 2-wheeled incidents. This seems to negate the careful habits we who live here have adopted. The economy is, of course, of vital importance, but so is the risk that human lives will be taken.
A decision to host the rally is to be made June 15. Is this date a stratagem to create false hopes of cancellation? Those of us who continue to live here, pay taxes, and support and love our communities need to be given consideration. We are trying to hold an unknown threat at bay, but to invite the assailant in to ensure visitors a party and good time seems to be defeating our efforts.
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