Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

What is essential?


April 2, 2020

Every member of this community has been burdened and in many cases been drastically impacted by the shelter in place and its associated consequences.

In the March 31st town hall meeting regarding Covid-19, the City Manager brought to light that the state has deemed that workers providing essential services, such as road construction and harbor expansion work, will not have to abide by the same protocol as the rest of this community. In other words, while we continue to be quarantined, workers from particular industries who have little connection to this community will be arriving in mid-April potentially exposing all of us to this deadly virus.

Should road construction on a highway that currently is functional and safe or long-standing upgrades to a harbor be considered essential at this moment of global pandemic? Isn’t our health more important? It is irresponsible to potentially add threats of exposure to health care providers, first responders, the fire department team, police officers, post office employees, or grocery store workers. To entertain a proposition that allows these exempt workers to bypass quarantine protocol is negligent.

If you deem life more essential than road or harbor work, implore members of the assembly to decide what is essential, not the state or the borough staff. Regardless of which side of the political fence you find yourself on, I hope that we can unite to stand-up for the health of this community and each of its members. This literally could be a matter of life or death.

Scott Ramsey


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