Feedback Loop: Coronavirus Reactions

Readers respond to the pandemic …


Dear Sirs,

I am again writing on behalf of myself and fellow restaurant (and other small business) owners.

The short version is that the provisions of the CARES Act do not address the needs of small businesses, particularly independent restaurants. At BEST, it kicks the proverbial can down the road.

As I read this, I see a couple of glaring problems.

First is that “help” is coming in the form of loans. Possibly forgivable. POSSIBLY. In the world of small business, loans and revenue are not the same thing. Unlike the government, we can’t simply borrow our way out of a problem because, unlike the government we can’t raise revenue by decree (taxation) or just continue to accumulate massive amounts of debt.

The problem is that you are asking us to bet our lives on what the world looks like on the other side of this. That’s a pretty big ask of a group of people who are suffering because of government edicts. If business doesn’t pick up where we left off … business owners are left holding the bag on these loans.

I ask again, why are the insurance companies not being asked to pitch in and do their fair share and sacrifice like the rest of us?

While I haven’t immersed myself in the details of the big business part of the CARES Act (as it certainly doesn’t apply to me) I am struck that the amount of money dedicated to that portion is larger than it is for small business. Here in South Carolina, Boeing has been the recipient of government largesse of epic proportions since the beginning. They have the audacity to come looking for more? I’d be more charitable in my characterization but Boeing’s problems seem to stem more from they built a line of planes that were programmed to fly into the ground and others that seem to have the build quality of a Yugo. I’d also mention that the people of South Carolina (via SCWORKS) is providing training to Boeing employees. Common sense would dictate that Boeing should be doing their own training. Where do I sign up to get some government employees come work in my business full time training my folks?

While I’m on the topic of how this “help” is being administered. The websites that are the point of entry for this “help” are absolutely unacceptable.

The SBA website is changing daily. I have no idea if anyone has seen my submission or not. Putting a message in a bottle and tossing it in the ocean might be my best option.

Online filing for state unemployment? The system is not user friendly even when it’s working. Business owners and employees are working full time just trying to file claims. My heart goes out to the folks manning the phone lines but why is the system so flawed to begin with? Lord knows when the claimants will actually get paid. If this doesn’t get fixed immediately (and problems with SCDEW are not anything new) heads should roll.

I understand that the priority should be keeping citizens safe. However, don’t look now fellas, but small businesses (particularly the restaurant industry) are collapsing. Many like me are looking at this and can’t see the logic in borrowing our way along in hopes of seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

As it stands, the government, at the federal and state level, is asking for small businesses to suck it up and take one for the team and it’s not right to ask us to shoulder the load here. The platitudes of “we are here for you” and “we are in this together” are just that, platitudes. Since I have no job, thanks to Gov. McMaster’s executive order, perhaps I’ll try and dry those platitudes out and fertilize my lawn with them.


Troy Dion
Charleston, S.C.


Dear Editor,

Given Jack West’s sad passing earlier this week and, given the high number of Covid-19 cases in Camden, and the general threat it poses to the citizens of Kershaw County, and the state of South Carolina in general, I hope that Governor McMaster will consider shutting down SC and issuing a shelter-in-place order to help minimize more such deaths in our state. This is a necessary action.

As a 66-year old Camden resident with life-long asthma I think this would be a prudent measure. You only get one life.


Don Aycock
Camden, S.C.


Dear Editor,

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump to be my Governor. I voted for HenryMcMaster. Trump got my presidential vote. Henry you should man up and do what’s best for our state. Stimulus money will not bring the dead back to life. Pull your pants up Mcmaster and act like you are for the safety our state. Money is not to rule over man. Your best bet is honesty at this point. Your hand-washing “like mama said” didn’t work too well. The hiding that we had no testing didn’t work either. Man up! South Carolina first is your job. Damn the Money. Hell will be full of the greedy.

Marc Nelson


(Via: Janis Denton)

Dear Editor,

(I) woke up to this image in my brain on Tuesday, March 17. Many hours and days later, looks pretty much like I saw the first time. Northern California artist Janis Denton. Acrylic on canvas.

Janis Denton


Dear Editor,

International Paper should let all employees self-isolate for awhile and not be so greedy and money hungry. People are dying here, guys. Let that sink in. Cardboard will hold the virus up to 24 hours or longer.

Give employees the option to work or stay home till this dies down.


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