Letter to the Editor: Reader calls for Walmart to return to normal operating hours

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Dear Editor,

As an educated health professional, with training in managing an epidemic, there is no mystery why our “numbers” are growing in the Gila Valley. The paramount key to managing an epidemic is fresh air and social distancing.

When Walmart chose to limit their hours they increased the density of the shoppers.  When Walmart limited the open doors they inhibited the flow of fresh air.  

Upon visiting there in the afternoons, I found the store crowded, and the check out resembling a mob. Many shoppers had aggressive behaviors, few masks, and no social distancing. Some were coughing and sneezing.

I am calling out to Walmart – open all your doors, place large fans near doors, and turn up the AC! Return to your regular hours. Clean the store throughout the day and night; Safeway and Basha’s are.

When hundreds of shoppers are self-checking out – and there is no disinfecting – it is easy to see how the virus is being shed. 

Walmart is a global corporation, but that does not excuse their responsibility on the local level. But then again, they are selling the same amount of products – with limited hours. So, this is about their bottom line. Their profits are up! Their shoppers are becoming ill, some dying. Perhaps Walmart would consult with our local health department?  

Suzanne C. Smith R.N. Safford