How will state provide economic relief?

Jerry Moore

Watertown — Between suspending NHL games and postponing the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival due to concerns over the proliferation of COVID-19, what’s a guy with facial hair supposed to do to amuse himself these days?

The good news is that half of this particular conundrum has been resolved. After word spread that the Irish Fest wouldn’t be held this weekend at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, Time Warp Tavern owner Ian Primmer announced he would host the Donegal Beard Growing Contest.

It’s not that I attempted to grow a Donegal beard, mind you. But who wants to see such finely crafted masterpieces go to waste?

The loss of hockey action, however, continues. When will it return?

NHL players have no doubt already begun working on their playoff beards. Will they ever get to show them off?

The NBA stopped its season, and the MLB will delay its opening. The NCAA first wanted to conduct its March Madness tournament in empty stadiums. But reason finally overcame officials, who canceled post-season play.

Perhaps the only sport safe enough to participate in is bubble soccer! Players are surrounded by plastic, so spreading germs is highly unlikely.

OK, these are some of the less serious issues regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic. Not being able to watch athletic events pales in comparison to the anxiety caused by the uncertainty of this condition.

Numerous people worldwide are scared they may become sick. Health authorities are worried about how many people will eventually be identified with the disease.

Investors have watched the financial markets tank day after day. Government officials fret that the uncontrollable outbreak will make them look really bad right before the election.

It’s alarming to see how quickly the list of canceled events gets lengthier.

The Masters golf tournament has been postponed; multiple St. Patrick Day parades are kaput; major cultural institutions have closed; travelers must rework planned vacations because of new restrictions. And worst of all if you play video games (which I don’t, but I know some people who do), the annual E3 conference scheduled for June 9 through 11 in Los Angeles has been nixed!

Putting all these events on the shelf is sobering. It raises the issue of where we’re heading and what kind of future we’ll confront.

The situation grows murkier as the hours tick by. As I’m writing this column Friday afternoon, a news alert declared that Louisiana has postponed its presidential primary from April 4 to June 20.

It’s only a matter of time until other states follow suit. Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio have primaries coming up Tuesday. Will any of these be put off for a few months?

New York’s primary is April 28. The folks who oversee this election must be fighting the temptation to pull the trigger. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a popular trend.

Caution is necessary when dealing with a virus we know so little about at this time. Yes, it’s like getting the flu. You’ll cough and have a fever and feel like crap for a while.

Most people will get eventually over it. That’s the good news here.

The bad news is that its mortality rate is substantially higher than that of the flu. So more people will likely die from the disease if they become infected. Those who are at higher risk must do whatever they can to avoid exposure.

So it stands to reason that some events need to be canceled. Getting large groups of individuals together invites spreading the virus in short order.

But that being said, we can’t let terror overwhelm us. We have to live our lives and carry out the daily tasks of moving society forward.

This means we’ll have to interact with others. That’s an unnerving prospect given that we don’t know who’s infected and who isn’t.

But when we start talking about delaying the electoral process as has happened in Louisiana, that puts democracy in peril. Some functions are too important to postpone because of our dread of this disease.

Engaging in life involves risk, and risks must be taken if we are to succeed. We all should be as careful as possible to prevent infection. But we can’t let fear put the world on hold.

While Donegal and playoff beards are nice, these are easy sacrifices to make. Far too many Americans have died, however, securing our access to the ballot. Even when we feel woozy and want to lie down, there are times when we must take a stand.

Jerry Moore is the editorial page editor for the Watertown Daily Times. Readers may call him at 315-661-2369 or send emails to

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(11) comments

Holmes -- the real one

A re-read on this one is just embarrassing for our area.

As is the editorial attacking Cuomo for not including financial assistance in emergency measures.

This is what Anthony Fauci has to say (echoed by the Governor):

Cuomo: “These provisions will be enforced. These are not helpful hints.”

And there is a REASON for that.

Ignorance and bravado is not a good substitute for expertise.

Here is a glimpse of what we are looking at if we foolishly follow the recommendations in this editorial:


Mr. Moore has chosen the wrong horse to ride on this errand.



Ohio has joined Louisiana, Georgia, and Puerto Rico in postponing primaries today.

Florida, Illinois and Arizona are proceeding with theirs.

In my opinion, the mandate to "stay home" will call into question the legitimacy of the primaries held today. It's one thing to encourage continuity in the electoral process. It's another thing when extraordinary circumstances exist that will effectively delegitimize it.

How is "Vote, today!" in sync with "STAY HOME"?

Mr. Moore, a lot has happened between last Friday when you wrote your column and today. Has it affected or changed your opinion on the matter?

Holmes -- the real one

Good morning, zeitgeist.

I'm guessing that many who are voicing opinions on "should I stay or should I go" (I still like The Clash version best) are simply unclear about the compelling reason for participating in these social distancing directives.

Out in the community it seems that few understand the reason for working to "flatten the curve" of the rate of infection so that the health care system is not overwhelmed. Here is a link that I have found is helpful to people:


The numbers behind this disease are irrefutable, over one hundred million Americans will be infected at some point in the future. The game is this, delay the infections of the millions a few months, develop a vaccine or treatment or both and treat the population. The more you delay, and the quicker you can treat and vaccinate, the maximim death count will diminish from a raw number of over 1.5 million. By staying home, delaying the infection count over time, the chances of getting the treatment increases, thus the population at risk 50 to older and comprimised patients will have better odds of survival. It appears those who are obese also are at risk. Stay away from people, wah your granny and fat Uncle Barny.


"... some functions are too important to postpone because of our dread of this disease."

Never mind that esteemed medical professionals informed the decisions made in Louisiana, Georgia, etc. to postpone presidential primaries.

Never mind that sharply limiting public life and practicing social distancing prevents the virus from spreading and peaking to the extent that it overwhelms our healthcare facilities and workers.

Never mind that, should we proceed with the electoral process in spite of well-advised postponements and"best practices," a conceivably enormous number of voters practicing social isolation, in quarantine or sick will be unable to exercise their right to vote.

Never mind that the Americans who died securing our access to the ballot had brains, were capable of compassion, and would never want or expect folks, today, to take "risks" or crawl out of their beds to behave patriotically and vote when, in the midst of a pandemic, they have symptoms or feel under the weather.

Never mind that the public is told over and over that the present crisis is not political and is removed from the domain of politics, which should include the electoral process. When the electoral process is exaggerated, as it is here, the danger is that it dangerously diminishes the viciousness of the disease and the task before us to stem it and save lives.

Never mind that, right now, upholding and ensuring democracy has decreased in range and dwindled down to a single focus-- ensuring the health and well being of each other.


It's simple. Issue everybody absentee ballots. No ifs ands or buts.


Since Covid 19 appears to spare kids and kill infirm elderly, could it be God's answer to solve social security solvency?


God will judge you for your comment, hopefully he'll be kinder than me.


gasgun - with parents in their ninety's and having to live more isolated and homebound now with the fear of even family visitations... your comments lack any sensitivity and are beyond crude... Here's hoping your parents are safe from Corvid19 and you..

Holmes -- the real one


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