A motto for our county: Just say it ... don't spray it
In case you missed it — and, if you did, let’s just say I’m more than a tad jealous — the Jackson County Board of Commissioners have decided they can’t support issuing a statement asking their constituents to follow the recommendations of medical experts for preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
This, despite a spike in cases, locally and across the state, that has led Gov. Kate Brown to put the county on a “pause” from social activites and the all of Oregon under a “freeze” in an attempt to stem the current wave of COVID-19 in the weeks before, no doubt, thousands of our family, friends and neighbors gather against the advice of medical experts for the year-end holidays.
Commissioners cited personal freedom and what they have called overly-strict guidelines set down by the governor — who, after all, is a Democrat and therefore is not to be trusted to do anything for the health and well-being of the people she serves.
Heck, even President Donald Trump — who has voiced his own wavering views on the nature and seriousness of COVID-19 — held a press conference Friday to a) show that, contrary to popular belief, he was still the president; and 2) announce that a vaccine would be available to the general population by the beginning of April ... when, contrary to his belief, he most likely will no longer be president.
This reluctance on the part of our highest-ranked county officials, meanwhile, has flummoxed and frustrated those who don’t believe this virus was some political maneuver, conspiracy theory or exaggerated illness no worse than the sniffles.
As the Editorial Board of the Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings phrased it so succinctly Friday, when eloquently chastizing the commissioners for their reluctance to support limits on businesses and public events:
“(H)ow many times does it need to be explained that mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing — along with avoiding social gatherings — are the only way to control the spread of the virus so those activities can continue?”
I, on the other hand, had a very different question come to mind.
When in the name of God’s Green Earth did Jackson County — philosophically, at least — get annexed by Florida?
I lived and worked in Florida from 1989 to 1994 and folks, let me tell you ... those were the longest 10 years of my life.
I worked with Florida Man. I knew Florida Man. Florida Man was a friend of mine. And, having myself shed that sunbaked sheath, you don’t want to be Florida Man.
Now, as must be said, the reaction to the stance by our elected officials hasn’t been universal. There are those among us who believe that this pandemic is overhyped, overblown and/or just plain over.
“(They) have more important stuff to worry about,” one Facebook poster commented in response to Friday’s editorial.
Well, certainly, Jackson County is knee-deep in muck at the moment. Then again, no one is asking the Board of Commissioners to come up with a cure here.
A statement in favor of taking precautionary measures has got to take ... what? ... 10-15 minutes, tops? Less if a staff member writes it up and they just have to give it their official okee-dokee.
Therefore, as an alumni of Delta Tau Chi fraternity — philosophically, at least — I decided that I was just the one to carry out another futile and stupid gesture.
This isn’t succinct or eloquent, but it should do the trick.
“We, the (your board here) ask that residents of Jackson County — even those who believe the Earth is flat, all Democrats are alien lizard people, and there’s a secret military installation beneath the floor of Crater Lake — follow the advice of those who listened in high school science class and went on to become medical professionals, as it pertains to preventing the spread of this current outbreak of the common cold ... err, the coronavirus.
“We realize that washing your hands is a burdensome chore you have resisted since childhood; and that wearing a mask prevents the free exchange of pulmonary particles and phlegm; and that, by golly, if you are tempted to stand next to a cluster of obtuse oddballs ... remember keeping your distance might help you get through Thanksgiving dinner.
“Speaking of turkeys, if you are victorious in the wishbone pull, we trust that you will have wished for an end to this madness — so that we can return to our normal lives, the state will get off our backs and, oh yeah our family, friends and neighbors won’t get sick ... or, you know, die.
“We (your board here; use same as above) do hereby endorse this recommendation made on (day/date/year).
“So help us God.”
Copy and paste as needed ... especially that last part.
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin will wash his hands after reading each email sent to email@example.com.