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LETTER: The last thing we need is a parade during a pandemic
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LETTER: The last thing we need is a parade during a pandemic

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What better way to spread a little Christmas cheer than spread a pandemic?

The “Christmas Parade Sponsored by Sheriff Scott Jenkins” scheduled for December 6 will spread across eleven blocks of downtown Culpeper with an anticipated turnout of 900 people, according to the sheriff’s Application for a Permit to Use Public Grounds.

Yet the Governor’s Phase Three Reopening directive limits social gatherings to 250 people or less and the Culpeper Renaissance board endorsed the parade on condition of strict adherence to CDC, state and local health guidelines for social gatherings. Festively wrapped math workbooks just might be the perfect gift this year.

Failing to convince the town to cover his expenses with taxpayer money, the sheriff conceded to raising the estimated $4,500 needed through donations. So in the spirit of giving, instead of raising a little Hanukkah funds for needy children, perhaps a little public relations funds for an elected official?

While what to one’s wondering eyes may appear to simply be an optional one-night-only event during this magical season—also flu season—the danger doesn’t end when the parade ends.

These 900 revelers will be buying groceries, shopping, and dining throughout the community in the weeks to follow, endangering essential workers and those who opted to stay safe at home. Many of us have made an added effort to support local businesses during this pandemic but may need to rethink the risks for the rest of December until the after-effects of the “Christmas Parade Sponsored by Sheriff Scott Jenkins” are fully known. These potential spreader events can take several weeks to bloom.

Every other parade has been canceled this year. On October 13, I urge the Culpeper Town Council to fill Sheriff Jenkins’ stocking with coal and the dustbin with his application.

Carolyn Walker


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