About a month ago, Mr. Van Noy, 60, was discharged from a hospital in a wheelchair after a Covid-19 infection brought him to the brink of death. But while that scare ravaged his lungs and rattled the church, it has done little to alter the growing sentiment among many people in northern Idaho that the coronavirus cannot be stopped and efforts to contain it are doing more harm than good.

“I think we just open up and we just let it take its course,” said Nancy Hillberg, 68, as church members mingled after the service. “Just let it be done.”…

In northern Idaho, which is facing record cases and hospitalizations, the local health board last month repealed a requirement that people wear masks in Kootenai County, where Candlelight Christian Fellowship is.

“I personally do not care whether anybody wears a mask or not,” Walt Kirby, a member of the board, said at a public hearing on the issue. “If they want to be dumb enough to walk around out there and expose themselves and others to this, that’s fine with me.