There’s a highly contagious, incurable disease in the world. Most of us in Watauga have been spared, due to our isolation and our compliance with health guidelines.

Now, the state university system has decided that 20,000 young people from all over should come to Boone in August. They will be living in close quarters, in crowded dorms or shared apartments, taking classes in small enclosed spaces, eating together, going to parties, hanging out.

Is ASU ready to deal with the health consequences for their students, faculty, and staff? Is Watauga hospital ready for a big increase of cases in the population of Boone and Watauga county?

I know we have to get back to ordinary life at some point, but I’m very afraid that this is the worst possible time and place to do it. I’m expecting ASU administrators to say all the right things, but I wonder what they really think. I hope they are as worried as I am.

Thomas McLaughlin


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Where are the Watauga citizens that understand that we must also have concerns and compassion for the businesses, business owners and all those unemployed that depend on those outsiders and part time residents that rent, buy goods and food from these local businesses. Yes, we need to remain safe, but we also need these businesses to be successful, profitable and employ so many of us! No, we don't want the COVID-19 or any other virus or cold, but our residents and business employees need to feed families, purchase goods and food, to keep our economy healthy. We cannot ignore the needs for a healthy economy and keep separations between people, have virus tests available, keep hands clean and sterilize things we touch. We need to be with our church families weekly and practice separation, sterilize seating and pray to our Father for His grace and mercy. Our children must be educated and teachers paid. Quarantine homes for the elderly and do all recommended safeguards to keep our most vulnerable people isolated and as safe as possible. When we have inoculations approved and ready to give to our citizens, then completely open our country to business as usual.

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