I'm a big fan of KnoxPages and fully support your efforts to maintain integrity in local journalism. However, I was furious upon reading your recent article, "Covid 19 Free Ohio Now Rally Draws Knox County Residents." In this article, your reporters failed to report: that involves reporting the news in context and presenting the facts surrounding a situation. This article bordered on mere stenography and did little but echo and legitimize unfounded, fringe theorists who claim that Covid-19 does not present a public threat and that ODH guidelines are somehow inhibiting their freedom. What hogwash. What a failing.
Your reporters have an obligation to state the facts: the guidelines set forth by ODH differ in no way from other impositions on our freedom-- do you want to eat chicken that is only cooked to 90 degrees because the line cook is a freedom-loving American who resents ODH meddling in his ability to generate capital by serving chicken medium rare? Do you want to shop at a WalMart where no one wears shirts or shoes, hell, pants either, lest us all be FREE of these absurd infringements on our beloved rights.
There is absolutely no valid scientific evidence for the claims set forth by these COVID-19 deniers.
The fact is that nearly 200,000 Americans have died because of Covid. Ohio was a leader in the nation, and our state's shutdown saved countless lives-- at great cost.
Knox County has been lucky in some respects: while we had a relatively small outbreak, I am disgusted by the number of people who do mental "acrobatics" and cling to false information rather than accept the facts: if you love America-- and I do-- and if you love freedom-- don't we all?-- then the right thing to do is mask up, social distance, and beat this virus. Conspiracy theorists and nutjobs like the ones who gathered in Ontario should not be dominating public discussion of COVID-19, and your news outlet should not enable them by giving voice to this nonsense.
We must all do our part to keep our neighbors, coworkers, children, and frontline responders safe. The facts are this: "anti-mask" nonsense is a slap in the face to the dignity and well-being of every American, especially the frontline responders and meical workers who labor to keep us safe no matter how stupid we are. Next time, I encourage your newsroom to contextualize and question such wild, unfounded claims so that we can get back to "normal" and let science guide us through pandemic, instead of the histrionics of fools.
Jamie Lyn Smith-Fletcher
Mount Vernon, Ohio