An Open Letter To The State Health Officer of Alabama

Alabama Department of Public Health, ATTN: Dr. Scott Harris, PO Box 303017, Montgomery, AL 36130–3017

Dr. Harris,

Good afternoon and please allow me to say thank you for reading this letter. I fully recognize that the state health officer will likely never read this letter, but I certainly hope that my words will make an impact worthy of some type of movement in a new direction. As we look around the current state of affairs, we can clearly see how poorly this pandemic has been handled from the beginning. This is the purpose of this letter.

Let me start off by saying that I am not a doctor, nor am I any kind of epidemiologist. You’ll be able to tell that right away, I’m quite sure. However, I am a citizen of this country and a resident of the state of Alabama. I have ears and eyes that can see the world around me. And with my observation skills, comes a terrifying realization that your state health department has handled this crisis absolutely terribly.

During the early days of the pandemic, you were quick to shut down small businesses like restaurants, gyms and hair salons. But you failed to intervene with the operations of big box Retail Stores. Some examples include Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. I watched from a distance as thousands of people crowded into the stores without any masks or any concept of social distancing. You shut down churches, but failed to shut down hotbeds of contamination! To this day I have no idea why you did the things in this manner.

Even now as things are slowly starting to reopen, the big box Retail Stores continue to crowd hundreds of people inside of their doors. Walmart has decided to shut down an entire entrance so that thousands of people are forced to walk past one another as they enter and exit the store in the same area. Instead of using one entrance area for people to come in and using a separate area for people to exit, they have decided to combine those areas. They are keeping count of people entering the store, but no one is enforcing social distancing once inside. Can you explain to me how this helps with the pandemic that continues to harass the good people of Alabama?

You should have shut down all stores at the beginning. You should have forced the big box Retail Stores to do curbside only service just like you did with restaurants. You should have encouraged healthy habits that build the immune system, instead of forcing a mask mandate that is largely ignored by millions of people across the state. Your failure to understand human nature has likely jeopardized the lives of thousands of people and has already had a negative impact on the economy.

One has to wonder, did you receive compensation from Walmart? Does Home Depot send you kickbacks in the mail? Do you hate the gathering of God’s people on Sunday morning? Your actions of this department and the recommendations you are likely giving the Governor are nothing short of ludicrous. You should apologize to the people of Alabama and immediately resign your position as state health officer. The results of your decisions are in plain sight and you should be held responsible.

Small business owner and US Army Veteran with thoughts on business, culture and relationships. Let's connect and learn from each other.

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