Ann Rivers.jpg

Sen. Ann Rivers

As a former science teacher, I’m puzzled by Gov. Jay  Inslee’s brand of “science.” 

The latest data about the spread of COVID-19 in our state suggest it’s become safer to be seated inside a restaurant or shopping in a grocery store than it is to be at home. 

In that sense, it would seem the governor is making people less safe by prohibiting them from indoor dining and limiting the number who can be inside a retail establishment. I also wonder if he considered what all these forced business closures will mean to the single women and mothers or minority communities who probably will be affected disproportionately — especially at this time of year.

I’ve been in regular contact with leaders in the health-care sector since the pandemic began, and at the moment their concern isn’t about hospital capacity. 

What they need is a reliable supply of nurses. 

There are things the governor or the Legislature can do to help — like come up with a way for nurses to move from state to state in response to a pandemic, the way firefighters from Washington can go to California or vice versa to fight wildfires.

Considering 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths fall into the 60-plus age bracket, and more than half of the deaths are connected to long-term care facilities, I’m also concerned about the cut in Medicaid funding to nursing homes the governor made during the summer.

So are the people who are trying to protect access to those facilities. 

This is one of the many reasons the Legislature should meet in a special session now instead of waiting until January. 

We need to restore that funding, along with pushing federal relief dollars or money from the state rainy-day fund to restaurants and other small businesses harmed by all these shutdowns.

The governor’s plan to restart the state economy in phases, county by county, was frustrating in its own right, but at least many businesses had been able to reopen and had reason for hope. 

Now he’s chosen to fall back on using what amounts to a blunt instrument, with statewide shutdowns of certain businesses. 

It seems misguided, like he’s confusing motion for action. 

The science indicates the COVID-19 of November may be more contagious but less lethal than the virus was during the spring — and we certainly know more about how people can protect themselves and others.

I get no sense the governor is accounting for that, and it’s disappointing.


State Sen. Ann Rivers is a Republican from La Center. 

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(6) comments

R Human

Ummmm… What? So scary that she's representing our area with mindset. Thankful she's no longer teaching our kids directly.

W Roberts

It is frightening that a science teacher can get elected as a state senator and believe and spread this kind of misinformation. Specifically, Sen. Rivers' belief that you're safer from COVID in a restaurant or grocery store than staying at home. The reason you're more likely to catch it at home is because one member of the household contracts it at places like restaurants, gyms, churches, hotels, etc., where they're exposed to other people who have COVID, and then that person brings it home to the rest of the family at home where you're in constant exposure in close proximity. If you quarantine at home, how can germs get into the house??? THINK, Sen. Rivers. Germs don't just float into your home and infect your family while you sit on the couch. You should be embarrassed for believing such utter nonsense.


Thank god you are a "former" science teacher then.


These types of comments are unhelpful and needless. They assumes bad faith, pretend to be empathic, and fail to address the speaker’s arguments. I even suspect some of these originate from burner accounts used by the governor’s office. While not illegal, it’s never a great idea. This type of speech furthers the political divide and emotionally traumatizes those struggling with real issues.

It is not the job of a science teacher to teach about COVID-19. They are instead to present the class material and ensure that students meet proper benchmarks as determined by the state and federal government. A more valid criticism would be that being a science teacher in the past does not make you a credible source on public health issues. However, this would require the commenter to think a little, rather than belching back the Inslee propaganda line on COVID-19 lockdowns.


I get her logic though. I've been saying for years that seatbelts should only be required within a mile of your home, since that's where most accidents happen. That sentiment seems consistent with using the fact that people are more likely to spread Covid at home, where they spend a vast majority of their time and contact tracing is easiest. I hope she is simply being disingenuous to score political points, but fear otherwise. Poe's Law makes being sure impossible.

W Roberts

Uhh, what??? Most car accidents happen close to home because literally every time you drive, you have to drive through that 1 mile radius from your home, meaning it's your most trafficked area. There's nothing inherently dangerous about the 1 mile radius around every person's home. Wear a seatbelt anytime you're in a moving car.

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