Letters to the Editor

Open Letter:

Kudos to Ruth Bland and Terrence Beam on the Graduation Bus.

What a way to recognize our seniors as publicly as possible.

I was excited watching and applauding from my front porch as it stopped at the Alderman House in Hillsboro.

Hopefully, the class of 2021 will be able to graduate in the traditional manner, but the class of 2020 will hold the record for most unique for a long time. 

Congratulations to all,
Michelle Jeffers
Hillsboro 

Editor;

The number of coronavirus cases in Pocahontas County, very low for a long time, has recently been rising at an alarming rate. And the summer tourism season is starting just as Governor Justice has relaxed restrictions put in place to protect West Virginia citizens.

The potential impact on rural tourist areas of uncontrolled access is alarming: “In Blaine County, Idaho, population 2,200, an outbreak spurred by the annual influx of wealthy tourists seeking ski slopes turned the resort region into one of the first rural hot spots. The infection rate soared and was, at one point in late March, the highest in the nation.” (Washington Post, May 25, 2020)

As the summer tourism season starts, and we start opening up, is Pocahontas County ready to protect the health of its residents?

What role is the county commission playing?

At a special meeting May15, the commission appointed a committee to make recommendations on “The need for the county to set local rules, guidelines or best practices about how businesses can safely provide lodging to guests from outside of the county” (Times article May 21).

The committee is made up of six Snowshoe connected people, a condo owners’ rep, CVB Director Cara Rose, but no motel owners or B&B operators. And the only public officials are representatives from the health department and emergency management.

But there are no medical providers in this group. Where are doctors like John Eilers or Bob Must? Where is the hospital? I know this is an economic problem, but is it not fundamentally a health problem?

And will the commission be considering possible action on the impact of an influx of visitors from all over the east on other local residents who work with the public? Are regulations needed to protect those who work in stores? What about restaurants? Should food service workers wear masks? What about store clerks? Should shields be required at check out counters? I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I hope the commission seriously considers these matters at their next meeting.

Let’s not risk having Pocahontas County become another Blaine County, Idaho.

Gibbs Kinderman
Union

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