Policy that forces off-Island orders doesn’t make sense


To the Editor:

I am sending in a copy of a letter I wrote to the board of health. I understand the fear everyone is feeling at this time, but I am of the belief that some of the policies enacted are in fact potentially more dangerous and definitely illogical. I’m hoping to gather support for a change in local policy that supports the public’s needs in a way that reflects our unique situation here on the Island.

I’m  writing to express dismay at public health policy on Martha’s Vineyard. I fail to see the logic in stopping “non essential” businesses from delivering or curbside. It was when The Toy Box was stopped from doing deliveries, that the short-sightedness of the public policy became clear to me. I am someone who makes every effort to avoid Amazon and support local businesses. I called the town to ask why the toy store was no longer allowed to deliver orders.

I was told I could use the internet. This is illogical. I pointed out if I and everyone who was buying those same toys from off-Island, trucks would bring them down from the Amazon warehouse and deliver them. People may then have to travel to the Post Office to collect parcels. Even if the parcels are delivered to people’s homes, that is still done by a person. Why is it safer for that toy to come from Amazon? Why is it safer if a UPS driver or FedEx driver brings it to my door?

The governor’s statement says, “Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.” I fail to see how anything that was happening at the Toy Box or any other nonessential business still trying to meet the needs of their customers falls short of this order. 

I have to say that I never thought I’d consider toys essential before the lockdown. I think even the lady at the Toy Box was surprised at how important her service was becoming.

I wonder if we as a community need to rethink our approach. I  know many are concerned about the economic future and I would like to think we could support local businesses who are really doing their best to help during this time.

Roisin Ox
West Tisbury


  1. Had to read again and again.
    Thank you. It was calming to hear not everyone is completely ignorantly following the “doing it for the nurses” theory (I thank all the public service employees whose choice in careers are now at more risk, but as many of my friends in the fields say- that’s what we signed up for).
    Refreshing to hear common sense with thoughtful insight and fair assessment
    Thank you for taking your time.
    Thank you

    • One has nothing to do with the other. It’s not ignorant to acknowledge the facts coming out of our hospitals or to heed pleas for the public to help contain this thing by being extra careful. At the same time, the letter makes sense. Whether we receive orders from Amazon or local businesses, someone has touched them and has to deliver them. It’s no more or less dangerous if those workers are local.

  2. JustAThought, 1 Hospital Road does not have respiratory therapists so that people can choose to smoke. The trauma bay is not intended to accommodate those who want to drive drunk. Nurses are not proxies. They are not of there to absorb the physical consequences vicariously from those who prefer to act recklessly and let others field the damage. As one who is dodging these bullets several times an hour, I assert that I am not there to die for you. It’s not our jobs at risk; it is our lives.
    This rant being duly noted, I also agree completely with the points made of this letter.

  3. Bulkington:
    Please; You are NOT dodging any bullets. Do not disrespect the armed forces -who ARE willing to die for YOU, for us. You are dodging a virus, which has a potential to be deadly. And you are always at higher risk of catching random crap (especially now) due to your job: thank you.
    You also have a choice.
    I am appreciative of your work, for not turning your back on drunk drivers or smokers, or Corina virus victims. You are there to help, do your job; not to judge why they are there. Or am I wrong?
    My point is and was – we should do right by all walks of life. “Do it” for everyone. Do right by everyone, if we are “in this together”. Especially on island where we would be able to achieve this easier then on the mainland.
    Cronigs employees do not want to die for me either- certainly not what they signed up for!

    The children are the real victims of this. With consequences down the road.

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