After retiring recently I accepted a part-time job at one of Burke County's Waste Convenience Sites. As an "essential" worker you learn quickly that your health and the health of your community is not a top priority of Burke County citizens, nor Burke County government officials. The employees at these sites are in constant contact with residents assisting elderly citizens and others with underlying health issues.
A county employee came to the sites back in the summer and posted a large (paper sign) with social distancing guidelines. These signs have long been washed away by the weather. The only signs and precautions that we have now are the ones posted and paid for by the site employees. Back in the summer when an upper Burke County official stopped by to drop his trash off, we asked why mask and gloves weren't provided by the county. He replied that he had put in for several gallons of hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves for each Convenience Site. Then he said when he checked to see if it had been approved, his request had been denied and removed from the county's system as if he hadn't even entered it.
Then we read articles saying the county had used $400,000 for automatic door locks for county buildings to reduce people touching doors. I hope there's a Federal oversight office that ensures proper distribution of these funds.
Now onto the citizens Burke County, this week while dropping off their trash, two separate citizens told us of their battle with COVID-19. The first one looked like death warmed over, said he had tested positive 14 days prior. The second resident said "he had just tested positive but wasn't feeling that bad" -- he didn't even have a mask on! As employees of the county we received word through the grapevine we were not to assist residents with removal of their trash or assist with their recyclables. That's hard to do when you see someone having trouble just getting out of their car. I printed new laminated signage to that effect and posted them. But like others we have posted no one pays any attention to them. Citizens will step on one another in a hurry to move on, disregarding everyone's safety. Truly we are not all in this together.