A virtual meeting of Idaho's Central District Health Board was adjourned a few minutes after it began Tuesday evening, because in addition to the usual large mob of angry, unmasked virus enthusiasts outside the CDH building, groups of loud protesters had also shown up at the homes of at least three board members and scared their kids who were home alone. It's like what Thomas Jefferson said: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the tears of terrified children and their office-holding parents.

You can see video of the meeting going to pieces at the Idaho Statesman, because our platform won't let us post the embed, yeesh.

The meeting, which had already been postponed once due to protests, was called to discuss and vote on new public health measures for the district, which covers four counties, including Ada County, the state's largest. (Boise, in Ada County, already has a mask mandate, but it applies only within city limits.)

Shortly after the meeting began, Commissioner Diana Lachiondo said she needed to step away from her screen to call police after a neighbor let her know people were pounding on her front door. She then returned, interrupting pediatrician David Peterman, who was testifying about local effects of the pandemic. Lachiondo said, in tears, that she had to go home, because her 12-year-old son was alone with an angry mob pounding on the front door.

Just a few moment later, after Dr. Peterman said perhaps eight more words, CDH Director Russ Duke broke in again to say that he'd been contacted by Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee, who requested the meeting be ended in the interests of safety.

Dr. Ted Epperly, another board member, said protesters gathered at his house as well. He told the Statesman that about 15 people were outside his home, "beating garbage cans and flashing strobe lights through my windows. Two came up and knocked on my door during the meeting."

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting to a later date and seconded, and board members voted to adjourn shortly after Duke's statement.

"I am disappointed that we had to table the vote," Epperly told the Statesman.

So hooray for the brave child-scaring protesters! They delayed a mask mandate and some new business occupancy restrictions, and presumably church bells rang out across Idaho to celebrate the temporary victory over tyranny.

In a press release issued later Tuesday, Duke claimed — as tyrants always do — that the district health board is "working tirelessly to protect our community's health," if you can believe that monster. He also suggested that maybe the anti-mask protestors try a little fucking civility please:

We simply ask that those who may disagree with these difficult discussion points and decisions do so in a way that is respectful and does not endanger our staff, Board of Health members, and our law enforcement, all who are critical in this response."

OK, but these protesters had no choice, because basic matters of liberty, like the right to spew an incurable virus in public, are at stake.

Boise police said in a statement Tuesday night that it had called for the meeting to be ended because the police department was concerned it would be unable to keep order at both the CDH office, where several hundred protesters had gathered, and at the board members' homes. The Statesman notes that following the protests, "Investigators were working to secure warrants for the arrest of some of the protesters for disturbing the peace."

Gov. Brad Little, who continues to refuse to issue a statewide mask mandate despite the virus spreading out of control across Idaho, took to Twitter to say he was very sad about all of this:

He added that "There is no place for this behavior in Idaho. I urge calm among Idahoans so we can get through the pandemic together, stronger."

In unrelated news, remember when the entire right wing had a meltdown for weeks after a restaurant owner comped Sarah Huckabee Sanders's dinner and asked her to please leave?

In reply to Little, a smartass on Twitter pointed out that when nonviolent protesters silently stood in front of the doors to the Idaho Senate to call for LGBT people to be protected by the state's civil rights law, they were all handcuffed and arrested, not urged to please be more polite.

The Central District Health Board hasn't yet rescheduled the meeting; it will likely announce a new time soon, once it can figure out a way to hold a goddamned Zoom meeting without leaving members' families in danger from anti-mask lunatics.

[Idaho Statesman]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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