Ken Powell: Kindness and understanding will work better
I’m a second home owner/occupant in the North Tahoe area. My wife and I are here so much that we’re regarded as “local” by people and businesses in the area (thank you). Even with the stress of the novel Corona Virus we still are — at least to our faces.
But I’m reading an undercurrent of “us vs. them” in the local press and in the recent “Truckee Tomorrow FlashVote Coronavirus Impacts” survey. Like suggestions to stop traffic on I-80 and check driver licenses in local stores before allowing ingress or purchasing. Also the sentiment: “TFHS (the hospital) is for locals and overwhelmed by visitors” and such.
Some truth there, of course, but just a few points:
“By the Numbers” (Sierra Sun, April 3) shows more confirmed CV19 cases in east Nevada County (18) than west county (8).
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According to Harry Weis [CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System, Sierra Sun, April 3) “There’s something about people who live in ski resort towns not liking to shelter in place, and not doing it well.” I see people congregating indoors at West Shore Market; don’t know if they’re locals or not.
Even though the hospital is here, it’s not just yours. I don’t know what funded Tahoe Forest, but I imagine TOT and property taxes contributed. I pay more tax to Placer County than I do for two other properties in California combined.
Toilet paper is not hoarded by tourists nor locals. It’s depleted because we’re all staying at home using retail TP while the commercial TP supply is in excess. That’s the TP we used when we were at our workplaces. No worries, Tahoe House will sell you some commercial TP.
It’s understandable that, in stressful times, it’s easy to think “It would be better if they all disappeared.” True, but kindness and understanding will work better. The shelter-in-place order was not a “stay-at-home” order. We were already here in beautiful Tahoe when the order came down.
We will be leaving soon, anyway, as infection rates appear to be higher at Truckee/Tahoe than even those in the Bay Area. My wife is vulnerable and the trip will be risky for us.
Peace and compassion to everyone.
Ken Powell lives in Palo Alto.
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