The Sierra County Commission recently passed a resolution in favor of requesting a special exception for our county in respect to the state-wide public health orders affecting businesses in the prevention of spreading the novel coronavirus. For details, see the article in the Sierra County Sun.
Please write to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham if you oppose the commissioners’ decision. If this sample letter below motivates you to write, improve on it in your own letter rather than copying. Your unique wording is important.
The Sierra County Commission recently passed a resolution in favor of making a special exception for our county in respect to the state-wide public health orders and stay at home orders. Please don’t think it represents the people of the county. It doesn’t. They want to open for business sooner, because we have no detected cases of covid-19 in our county. They made this decision without acknowledging the concerns of constituents who disagreed or the science behind the objections. Instead, they relied on a flawed document put out by a coalition of New Mexico business leaders.
We have some citizens here who ignore social distancing already. Requiring it will be hard to enforce if we reopen on an arbitrary timeline with arbitrary capacity numbers. Deaths and infections are still increasing. Just because there are no detected cases yet in Sierra County, it doesn’t mean there are no undiagnosed cases. We’ve done only 119 tests in Sierra County (population 10,968) as of April 22. Will we be able to control the spread, realistically? Sierra County is a tourist destination. If we reopen for business too much and too soon, we’re inviting potentially infectious people to visit.
History shows, with the 1918 flu pandemic, that cities and regions that did social distancing sooner and kept it up suffered not only fewer deaths and illnesses but recovered better economically in the long run.
We are poor, rural, and have a high percentage of seniors in our population. Our small hospital couldn’t handle an outbreak if one occurred. The county commission wants to exploit our good luck—or lack of testing—to bring in money. In doing so, they could pop that bubble of good luck and destroy our economy rather than enhance it, by opening too soon.
For updates on state-wide covid-19-related information, go to https://cv.nmhealth.org/