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Letters: A Plea for More Room
Keep your social distance
March 17, 2020

e are living in strange times. Not everyone knows or is following the new etiquette of social distancing. Readers are writing in.

In response to Doug’s letter- I think social distancing is very important, but commenting on what is going on in someone else’s home is a stretch!

Ken Reed
Oriental, NC

On Tuesday I went out for a walk around the Village as a way of managing my sanity and a need to get outside to do something more physical. It was a beautiful day and the other walkers I encountered all gave me plenty of space as we passed each other. That is one of the reasons Pamlico County still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

But, as I walked I passed a home in Oriental with five or six cars parked in front. I have been inside that home and know the space does not lend itself to social distancing. Maybe these folks were doing something really important or maybe it was just a social gathering. I don’t know, but these gatherings put all of us at risk. We all shop at the Piglet. We all touch the door handles at the post office.

Who knows if there was a an asymptomatic coronavirus carrier coming in and out of those same places? Any one of those at the gathering could have been exposed to the virus. If we are going to survive this crisis, we all have to abide by the social distancing recommendations. This is a scary time that requires all of us to abide by the safety recommendations!

Doug Sligh
Oriental, NC

This is a plea to write a piece in Towndock about Social Distancing and possibly other measures to contain COVID-19, as I just don’t think people have got the message.

I was in the Piglet this morning and when we got to the check-out line I stood back from the lady in front of me by about 6’ and waited until she had finished her order and was departing before moving up to the cash register. While we were unloading our goods onto the conveyor belt a couple came up behind us until the woman was literally almost touching my husband. After shooting her a couple of looks I asked her to please move back, under the circumstances. Eventually after I asked her again she moved back about 6”. She clearly did not understand what the issue was or why I was asking her to move.

This sort of ignorant behavior is what will get us into problems and facilitate the community spread of this disease. If it gets into a community like Oriental, with its elderly, compromised population, the results will be deadly and catastrophic. Right now the measures put in place by the state and government, such as social distancing, self quarantine, closure of businesses and travel restrictions, are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID -19. Without these measures, the number of cases will spike dramatically and our healthcare system will be totally overwhelmed. As there are woefully too few ICU beds to cope with the number of people, mostly elderly, who will need ventilators and ECMO, death rates will soar, even beyond what has been reported from China.

I am not normally a scare-monger. However, this is a situation beyond anything seen since the flu pandemic of 1918, and everyone needs to understand the gravity of the situation and get behind the measures that are being imposed.


Ros Cheetham
Oriental, NC

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