Monday, October 26, 2020
Goggles for Docs Gathers Momentum
Kelli Lusk took this picture of the Goggles for Docs drop-off site outside River Run Lodge and the Brass Ranch.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Sun Valley Resort has joined in on the donation drive to collect ski goggles for doctors.

The drive was initiated on Monday by Stacey Erlinger and Dr. Brock Bemis at St. Luke’s Wood River.

A nationwide call for goggles is going out via Goggles for Docs, with goggles even finding their way into states like Louisiana that don’t even have a ski hill in the interests of providing protective equipment for doctors and nurses.

Local donations are currently going to local needs, said Kelli Lusk, spokesperson for Sun Valley Resort.

Goggles can be especially useful when doctors are putting breathing tubes in patients on ventilators to keep droplets containing the coronavirus from flying into doctors’ eyes. They can also be used by those testing patients and cleaning facilities.

To donate your old goggles, wash your hands, then wash goggles and straps in warm water and dishwashing detergent. Rinse thoroughly, dry and put in a Ziplock bag and drop in basket outside the Brass Ranch at River Run. Or, wash in a mild solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per 1 gallon of water. Medical facilities will disinfect the goggles, as well, according to their protocols.

The setup outside the Brass Ranch also had disinfecting Clorox Wipes, Lysol and Ziploc bags.

Several readers have asked if swim goggles count. Not really, as doctors are looking for something that covers their faces.

Meanwhile Wood River Valley Fire and EMS agencies have been overwhelmed with offers from local individuals and businesses wanting to donate or manufacture personal protective equipment for Blaine County responders.

And that’s good, as masks, face shields, hoods and gowns are nearly impossible to find in the normal supply chain right now. British doctors and nurses, lacking protective gear, are reportedly holding their breath when close to patients

Donations for local health care providers may be taken to the Wood River Fire Rescue at 117 E. Walnut St. in Hailey during normal business hours.

“If you have the time and talent and resources to manufacture PPE for our people, we want to encourage you to do so,” said Dr. Terry O’Connor, Blaine County medical director.

WRFR Fire Chief Ron Bateman said he’s been awed by the number of individuals and businesses reaching out.

“The expertise in Blaine County is wide and deep,” he said. “It’s really difficult to forecast what we will need going forward. In the past three weeks there have been ebbs and flows to the 911 call volume and the need to transfer patients out of the valley for care. We are happy to collect what people have made and incorporate it into our plan going forward.”


A number of Eye on Sun Valley readers got to see St. Luke’s Dr. Brent Russell on CNN Monday morning talking about how the virus is affecting small rural communities. Russell noted that his hospital—St. Luke’s Wood River—was able to transfer critically ill patients to hospitals in other cities. If they had not be able to do that, they would have been quickly overwhelmed.

“Unlike 911 and other international crises, we’re all soldiers in this war and we need to be doing our part to win it,” he added.


Three new deaths were announced on Monday--two in Canyon County and one in Payette County. The three bring the total official toll to 13.

Idaho has now confirmed 1,173 cases of coronavirus, up from 1,105 the day before. The number of cases per day had slowed for three days but is still climbing.

Blaine County now has 423 confirmed cases, many of whom have recovered. The county had 410 on Sunday. Ada County has 419.

Thirty-three of 44 counties now have at least one confirmed case.

Statewide more than 11,000 people have been tested and at least 77 hospitalized at some point.

While the nation's surgeon general has predicted this will be the nation’s worst week, Idaho’s is yet to come according to Dr. David Pate, a member of the governor’s task force on coronavirus. That said Idaho health officials say it appears as if social distancing is paying off.

Idaho Governor Brad Little says it's likely things will never go back to the way they were before, however. Some things will change, much as increased security was instituted following 9-11.

Deaths per day in the United States are expected to reach their peak on April 16, the day after what would have been Tax Day if that hadn’t been postponed. The projected peak: 3,130 deaths in one day. But some health officials predict the nation could have a daily death toll has high as 8,000 before things turn around.

By the end of the first wave predicted to come in June, 97 percent of U.S. citizens will still be susceptible to the disease. So, Americans need to stymie the second wave with mass screening, contact tracing and continued quarantines, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation of University of Washington.

Contact tracers interview people who have come down with the disease to see who might have been exposed. Those who might have been exposed are warned to watch for symptoms. This helps officials determine how the virus is spreading and who might be at risk nest.


Local seamstress Kerry Morgan says she has some she has been working on that she will be happy to give people who cannot find them.

Even the Pentagon has ordered all its workers to wear facemasks.

 “I was thinking of letting people take them, try them and, if they feel like they work, then perhaps they could make a small donation towards supplies for the 5B Sewing Revolution, which has been making masks for seniors and other vulnerable populations,” she said.

To arrange for a mask or masks, email

Those testing facemasks for use by the general population say the best material for masks are those with a tight weave that don’t let light shine through. The absolute best masks are made of two layers of heavyweight quilters cotton with a thread count of at least 180.  Lesser quality fabrics perform well if they have a layer of flannel involved.


The Idaho State Board of Education has voted to extend the soft closure through the end of the school year. But, officials said, that could change if local health districts say it’s safe for teachers and students to return to physical buildings.


The mayor of Mountain Home has apologized for posting a lengthy Facebook message in which he chastised residents for treating grocery stores as social hangouts. He said he would not shut everything down as he had threatened without consulting with other city leaders.

Actually, he was pretty light handed compared with a European mayor who threatened to shut down graduation parties with flamethrowers. Or, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who warned that anyone flaunting lockdown orders could be shot by the police or military.


Even tigers don’t appear to be immune to the virus that has become Public Enemy One around the world. A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19—the first known infection in an animal in the United States. The tiger is believed to have been infected by a zoo employee and is expected to recover.

A few tests of animals in Hong Kong have detected a low level of the pathogen in dogs and cats who have been exposed by their owners. There is no evidence at this time that suggests animals can spread the virus to people, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • A Pennsylvania biotech, which received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, began testing an experimental vaccine on 40 healthy volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City Monday. If it’s proven safe and effective, they hope to produce a million doses by the end of 2020. A Massachusetts biotech started a trial in mid-March
  • Washington State, which began social distancing in early March after recording the United States’ first coronavirus case on Jan. 20, is returning 400 ventilators it received from the federal government as health officials believe they’ve reached their peak need for resources.
  • A ton of food meant for athletes training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs will instead go to food banks around Colorado.
  • The state of Vermont has ordered Walmart and other stores that sell food and prescription drugs to stop the sale of clothing and other nonessential items within the store. Non-essential purchases instead must be made online or by telephone with delivery and curbside pickup to reduce the volume of people shopping.
  • As small communities try to prevent people acting as if the pandemic is a vacation, residents in Skamania County near Portland have spray-painted signs “Stay Out--Locals Only,” writes Anne Helen Petersen in BuzzFeed News. Community members will follow around any car they don’t recognize that enters the neighborhood.

Locals in a small town in Maine tried to forcibly quarantine three interlopers by downing a tree across their street because they had out-of-state plates.

Though lodging-restricted motels in Hood River have posted No Vacancy signs, they’re still getting knocks on the door each night. And locals in Marfa, Texas, and other towns across the West complain that people are renting out places under the table.

In Whitefish, Mont., a vacation rental company recently sent an email blast advertising the area’s low population to help with social distancing.The owners of an Airbnb in Bozeman listed it as “The Last Best Place to Quarantine.” It later reconsidered at the insistence of local officials.


~  Today's Topics ~

‘War of the Worlds’ Shapes Up as Pandemic Theater

SVSEF Wild Game Dinner to Include To-Goat Dinner

USS Idaho Gets a Look as It Gets Closer to Commission

















Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:

Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(208) 450-9993
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
The largest online daily news media service in the Wood River Valley. We are the community leader, publishing 7 days a week. Our publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles/video content articles and the Eye On Sun Valley show 6 days a week on COX Channel 13. See our Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340

© Copyright 2019 Eye on Sun Valley