Editorial by Seth Dukes
I hate going grocery shopping. But, last weekend, I hated it even more because Meade Countians do not seem to be taking the Governor’s recommendations seriously.
As I rolled through the aisles getting the essentials and trying to leave as quickly as I could, shoppers were constantly around me. They’d roll up behind me and “squeeze past me” to grab an item they needed. They’d make absolutely no effort to distance themselves from me. I made it a point to get away from people as much as I possibly could, even if that meant I spent more time in the store. Sometimes, I would have to wait in an empty area for an aisle to be clear. When possible, I would just move on to the next aisle if there were people in the aisle I needed to go down. You should do those things too.
People were shopping in teams. Some of them had their families and children with them. Many of them were jovially chatting and laughing as they walked around, spreading germs from their mouth as far as the air would carry them. I understand that it’s not always possible to stay away from every single person, but it seemed that my fellow shoppers, and my fellow Meade Countians, were not even making an effort.
Meade County, we can’t be doing that.
We do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Meade County right now. The operative word in that previous sentence is confirmed. You need to behave like the virus is already in Meade County (as it likely is). That’s not my opinion; that’s the recommendation of both the Governor and various healthcare officials. Don’t assume that because no cases have been confirmed here that you can rest easy. You need to be vigilant.
I don’t say this to scare anyone. We will make it through this. However, the only way we’re going to do it is if we do it together. The economy is suffering because of this, and if you don’t take it seriously, it will all have been for naught.
I know that many feel the mandates put in place are an overreaction. Some get on a microphone and spout about it twice a week during your lunch break. You need to listen to the experts. And right now, the experts are saying that you need to limit physical contact with others as much as possible. If you are one of the people either downplaying the situation, or not following the guidelines, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Once we are through this, you can talk about what a disaster it was all you’d like. Until then, you ought to keep your mouth shut, in my most humble opinion.
I want to commend the Kroger employees. They are doing absolutely all that they can. As you enter the store, you see the employees sanitizing carts as quickly as possible. They also have spots marked off in the check-out lanes showing where to stand to maintain a safe distance between shoppers. I worked at Kroger in college, and I know that these employees are not getting paid what I would consider “enough” for quite literally risking their lives to make sure that you and grandma Sue have your bread and toilet paper. The absolute least that you can do to thank them is to not frustrate their efforts and time by ignoring the recommendations of Gov. Beshear.
The people at Kroger, or any business for that matter, are not your mother and father. They’re doing what they can to protect you, but at some point, you have to take some personal responsibility and exercise your brain a bit. These are not things that we’re doing for fun or out of paranoia. These are things that we absolutely must do to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
Yes, this is very difficult, different, and in most cases, uncomfortable and not fun. Still, there is no excuse for skirting these practices. It is your duty as an American, a Kentuckian, and a Meade Countian. I practice all of the recommendations as much as possible because I don’t want to see a single death here as a result of this virus. I love this community and the people in it. Do you? If so, prove it.