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Don’t Blame the Kids

By Staff | Jul 15, 2020

During a press briefing on July 6, Governor Jim Justice signed an order making face masks and coverings mandatory in indoor public places where social distancing requirements cannot be met. The order went into effect beginning at midnight on July 7, and remains in effect at this point in time.

His announcement was the result of recent surges in COVID-19 cases in the state. While locally our area has been relativiely low in cases. A young adult party at a New Martinsville resident, on Saturday night June 27, sent panic through the area when several attendees tested positive.

As a result, cases in the area started to spike. Most of those in attendance did the right thing and reported to the local heath department about the situation and followed up with testing and quarantines.

The party received much attention, but it is almost certain that it wasn’t the only culprit responsible. One would only have to take a look around to see social distancing was not being followed by many in the communities including some of our most trusted adults. Last weeks Wetzel Chronicle displayed a front page picture of city council holding an oath of office ceremony. Not one face covering can be seen.

Parties were held all over the area during the fourth of July weekend, including a rather large gathering among boaters on the river. Before we start blaming kids out for a good time, we should take a look at the example we are setting to keep this virus under control. When social media openly exposes the partying actions of respected citizens, some you hold high offices in the county, with disregard to the rules, guidelines, and regulations proposed, you can only expect the younger population to follow.

It has been no secret for sometime that gathering together in close proxmitity to others is dangerous. Even the old age custom of shaking hands has been off limits, and we all know social distancing requires six feet seperation.

So, why were these things ignored? Some ignor them because they have a right too, and they have different opinions of the valitity of the virus. I choose to wear a mask, not because I’m forced to, but because I believe it to be effective.

Yes public gatherings in West Virginia allow up to 100 people, but not without following the guidelines. Now we must all do our best to try and bring this back under control in the immediate area. Justice said face masks or coverings must be worn in all indoor public places were social distancing isn’t possible. That’s not a harsh requirement considering the positives it brings about.

Because of a few irresponsible people (not just young adults or teens) we all have to take extra precaution. We just returned to somewhat of a normal life. Local sports teams were back to workouts, some baseball was being played, and there was hope that fall sports might make a comeback. All of that is certain to go by the wayside, unless we take this serious and get it under control.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that people wear cloth face coverings when in public settings and around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public settings and practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people).

Everyone knows by now that the most effective way to prevent the spread is to use masks, social distance, frequent hand washing and sanitizing. This does’t seem like to much to ask, and except for the masks it should be practiced most of the time anyway.

I want to stress that being a young person especially a teenager or young adult at this time would be extremely difficult. I know I would probably have been one of the first ones to the party and the last to leave. I would be searching for places to go and things to do. I don’t blame the young people at all. What I do see are adults trying to act like kids and setting bad examples for them to follow.

Now the question is; can anyone force you to wear a mask? I say no, not according to our 1st amendment rights, but I also believed the decision to wear seatbelts and motorcycle helmits belonged to us as well and you see where that went. I do believe masks and socail distancing are the right things to do, and from what we know, they’re the only things to do to slow the spread, other than quarantine.

However, we have to continue to live our lives according to the way we want. We can’t be free if we are Lorded over and contolled. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I will take the precautions I feel necessary to protect me, my family and everyone around me. What you do is up to you, let’s just respect each others right and we’ll be fine.

Thank God we live in a country where we have these rights, even if we have to fight to protect them. Ed Parsons, editor@wetzelchronicle.com