Perplexing Contradictions

By: Robin A. Holstein, Mountaineer News Contributor

Posted: April 7, 2020 | 02:18AM EST



Hinterlands of Eastern Kanawha County:


Is it any wonder law abiding citizens, and plain citizens who just don’t want to get sick, are skeptical of the instructions presented by government officials? The information provided by the government, at all levels, contradicts itself and reality.


First, masks. When the federal government started getting concerned about the potential for overwhelming the healthcare system they told the citizens that masks would not help them. Yet, the masks were needed for our healthcare employees. In fact, a friend of mine, a respiratory therapist in Roane County, and I had this very discussion.


How can the masks be of no use to the general public but be of use to her? Well, the point wasn’t that the masks were of no use but that people were hoarding them. That is a different argument. Our healthcare employees are working in an environment polluted with the virus, they NEED those masks.


So, now the government, federal and state, say the average citizen will gain some level of protection from a simple cloth mask tied around their face. What? If that is so then why did they not say that in February, allowing people to take a bit of solace in a bandana across the mouth and nose, reducing the urge to hoard N95 masks?


I watched the Surgeon General say they didn’t know a simple bandana type mask could help. Really? I call B.S. on that. Every prepper in the United States knows a bandana is better than nothing.


The Governor issued a stay home order. Citizens were asked to stay home but could go outside, walk, and exercise as long as they were not in groups of 10 or more and maintained “social distance” of 6 feet.


People found ways to observe the letter of the order and still socialize. For example, people met on parking lots, sat in or stood at the back of their vehicles and enjoyed some conversation as well as fresh air. Heck, even the mayor of Charleston closed down blocks of the Boulevard so more people could bike, walk, and run. No more!


Now, as of Saturday night, the Governor has revised his order and groups are limited to five maximum, and directed the State Police to assist with enforcement of local county orders. Here, in Kanawha County, the Health Department has ordered a limit of two people for every 1,000 square feet of public space. (I don’t know if that includes employees.) With a restriction of the number of people in public space the mayor of Charleston tells people to shop when stores are less crowded.


Stores have reduced the number of hours they are open, special hours are set aside for senior citizens or people with health issues, there are limits to the number of people allowed in at one time, and somehow we are supposed to shop when the stores are less crowded.


News Flash!! - Crowding is about to get much worse. We are going to see lines of people waiting to get in, with six feet of space between them.


Here in the Hinterlands, people have to drive 30 minutes just to get to a store in many cases on a normal day. The drive time does not change, but the shopping trip and exposure to others is now much longer. If you are sick with anything, trying to get to the Walmart pharmacy for your prescription, you are expected to wait in line just to get inside for how long?


Single parents can’t just drop off Jack and Jill at the daycare or grandma’s while they shop. How do you keep the kids from fidgeting and getting upset while standing in a line waiting to get into the store? Do you have to stand in the rain with an infant?


I understand many of our officials are flying by the seat of their pants on this, but they really need to get these things worked out and soon.



Robin is the owner of Holstein House and Robin’s Desktop.

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