Be honest. Did you know who your county health director was four weeks ago? Of course not. Unless you are some type of super government nerd, you and I both have no idea where all of these “officials” came from. You just liked looking at the restaurant inspection reports to see who had roaches.
Until April of 2020, I had no idea they issued press releases, held press conferences and shut down economies and such.
Pandemics have this odd way of exposing your weaknesses. The layered approach to our government might be one of those instances. Missouri has 114 counties and approximately 955 cities and approximately 10,000 Home Depots and Lowes. That is a lot of power centers.
Anyway, it seems that nearly every county and city has held a pandemic press conference in 2020 and most of us are still looking up who the county health director is. I don’t know how to tell government big wigs this, but most people do not even know who you are. We’re impressed by your Facebook Live presentation that explained hand washing, but we also enjoy random Tik Tok sessions with strangers; so, don’t get carried away.
My point is that there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen currently. We have health departments, mayors, commissioners, governors and presidents giving us advice on everything from hand washing to surviving economic collapse of the world; it’s a lot for the average guy to ponder.
Perhaps, some of the government entities could defer to a higher level and step back into daily political squabbles, or at the very least, add some entertainment to your press conferences.
For some reason, I quit reading conservative vs. liberal insults on social media to check out an article in the New York Times this weekend. Thank God the East Coast journalists have arrived in “rural” America. The “click bait” headline proclaimed that rural America was about to be hit by the virus and many of us were “nearly a half hour drive” from the nearest hospital.
I laughed out loud. People on the coasts just have no idea how we live. Heck, 30 minutes to the hospital is pretty quick to many of us. In an emergency, how long does it take you to get out of 50th floor apartment, to the street and to the hospital in New York? I’d trust most of you getting me to a “rural” Midwestern hospital in the back of a Ford pickup truck quicker.
Let’s also consider the advice that has been handed out ad nauseam by all the experts. If you’re sick with the “rona,” they have instructed us to call our local doctor or health officials. They don’t advise you to wake up one morning and drive as fast as you can to the hospital like you had a stroke.
Yet, the New York Times is acting as if this “30 minute” distance is some type of problem for us to deal with on this pandemic that will cost us our lives. It’s another journalist malfeasance that creates a divide between reality and perception that does not help.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or holding a press conference on hand washing techniques)