It comes as no surprise that a few officials in the city of Washougal are pushing for people to “move on”’ from the COVID-19 pandemic even as news that the incredibly contagious delta variant, which is now causing COVID rates to spike in 45 states, has made its way to Clark County.
After all, this is the same city council that wrote to the governor to push back against statewide COVID safety precautions less than two months after the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, saying then that the state’s safety measures seemed better suited to the big city of Seattle than the little town of Washougal — as if a deadly airborne virus might prefer the Space Needle over the Columbia River Gorge.
We saw what happened when restrictions loosened last summer and people started to let their guard down — meeting in groups, not wearing masks and acting as if the pandemic had passed — after COVID rates skyrocketed in the fall and prevented local students from returning to in-person classes throughout most of the school year.
Rates are, thankfully, dropping again now, thanks to extremely effective COVID vaccinations, and state restrictions have, indeed, loosened for those who have received the vaccine. Unvaccinated individuals are still supposed to be wearing face coverings in public, but since many of those who are refusing to be vaccinated are the same people who fought the mask mandates, it’s doubtful there is much compliance.
As rates drop, Washougal leaders are back in the spotlight again, calling for people to “break out of the negativity and fear” over an illness that has claimed more than four million lives since March 2020.