We reopen

Businesses in our region started to reopen last Friday. It began to feel almost normal today, for the first time in a while. The weather was warm, there were cars on the road again. I walked into the village and saw three people I knew. I chatted with each of them from a safe distance.

This afternoon, the county public health department announced three new confirmed cases of Covid-19. That may not sound like a lot to you, but the last time Delaware County saw a spike like that was April 22. It’s a very rural county. Only 3.37% of the population has been tested.

I knew when we reopened that we and other upstate regions were the canaries in the coal mine. We’re the test cases.


This is a red county. There are pockets of progressive voters, but the Trump signs wave proudly from many homes. “No more B-S” they read, but they spell it out for you, which I will not.

Those Trump voters think masks are for sissies. They think kids getting sick from a virus-related disease is fake news. They are convinced that Democrats are hyping a pandemic to try to oust their guy from Washington. They blame downstate visitors for the virus. They don’t connect their own behavior and the infection rate. And they hate, hate, hate Andrew Cuomo.

How is it in the coal mine? Kind of dark, to be honest.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

There are 2 comments

  1. Carol A Bergman

    With thanks, Susan, for this commentary. It’s hard to know what to do when there is no enforcement and we are hearing admonistions to be safe and responsible, yet many people are defiant. I suppose the most we can do is continue to look after ourselves as best we can and steer clear of “the defiant ones.”

    As for being canaries, alas this may be true, but is it intentional I wonder? In other words, if the spike comes on quickly because of the defiance, within two weeks say, a more stringent lockdown will be both necessary and justified.

    Hard to say where all this will lead. Right into election season is your implication. I do hope, and know, that many Trump supporters are equally concerned and responsible as you are. But it only takes a few to make life dangerous for all of us. Actually, it only takes one.

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