Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To Gov. Jim Justice’s administration for holding a closed-door discussion of COVID-19, from which the press was expressly barred. While medical professionals have advised caution and preventive measures (as should be in place during flu season, anyway) the prevailing sentiment has been that common sense is more important than panic, and dramatic measures such as buying up a bulk supply of medical masks are simply unnecessary. Why, then, would Justice and Co. be so dramatic about keeping the press (and therefore the public) from knowing what is discussed during a roundtable meeting allegedly meant to make sure everyone is on the same page in preparing for any potential threat? Sure, they held a press conference afterward, but if nothing else, it is a bad look. Rather than assure Mountain State residents, it fans conspiracy theories and prompts questions about what information they do not want the public to hear.

UP: To Billie Shutts, of Vienna, for her courage in speaking about an incredibly painful day for her family that sparked an attempt to do good. After the death of her grandson, Tristan Shulz, who was hit along with his mother by a person Shutts believes to have been a distracted driver, the family started Tristan’s Light, to encourage people to carry out acts of kindness in memory of the little boy, on his birthday March 17. But Shutts also reminds folks “It can wait,” meaning there is no text message or call coming across a driver’s phone that is worth another person’s life.

UP: To nearly $600,000 in federal funding coming to the Wirt County Health Service Association to help provide primary care closer to home. “Limited access to hospitals means that there’s limited health care if there’s not primary health care services in that area,” said Sarah Barton, senior projects manager for Coplin Health Systems. “We’re always trying to provide state of the art primary care to all vulnerable populations.”


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