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.