Thanks, Judge Jenkins, For Giving Dallas County Residents A Sense Of Comfort With Your Quick, Pragmatic Handling Of COVID-19 Safety Responses.

Dear Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins,

With each passing day in these turbulent times, it seems more and more like the leadership in this country is failing us — and that really sucks.

We’re only just beginning to feel the grave affects of this deadly pandemic, and the anxiety we’re all feeling is becoming harder and harder to fight off as these hours of self-isolation tick away.

What we can take a little bit of peace away from, though, is knowing that you’re committed to keeping all of us in Dallas County as safe as possible.

As we have all come to realize pretty quickly how serious this pandemic is — well, not counting the dicks out there who are having trouble following social distancing practices — you have carefully listened to the concerns of health care professionals and scientists, who have made it abundantly clear: Flattening the curve is the only way for long-term stability on all fronts.

We take a great deal of comfort in knowing that you have our best interests in mind.

The math stands on its own. Even in the best case scenario, the economy is going to be fractured from this regardless. We know that you know this. But what you’ve also shown us is that the lives of Dallasites are not to be considered collateral at the expense of making money. You understand the only way to truly get through this, and to return us all to a stable life — and stable economy — as quickly as possible, is to enact serious preventative measures before it’s too late.

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Know this: The people of this country — us here at Central Track included — are struggling to trust our government as every election cycle comes and goes, and it’s not exactly often that we stan a political figure. This is not a time for partisan strategy; It’s a time for action.

At a time when it seems like your contemporaries have convinced themselves they’re serving the public by only doing the bare minimum (if even that), you are out here refusing to see which way the wind blows before getting shit done.

And we’re here for that.

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pretends to be a champion of public health safety despite his sluggish response to act with caution, you are showing North Texans what meeting this moment with hands-on leadership looks like. And in a moment when we need guidance from the top, you are the leading charge and setting an example at the back.

The best leaders make decisions that might not necessarily be the popular choice, but because they serve the greater good.

Unfortunately, in what seems to be a move made to look out for his own political future, the governor has said he would leave the decisions up to local officials, perhaps with the hope they would be proactive in making calls to for their respective counties themselves. And yet, leadership in surrounding counties such as Denton, Tarrant and Collin are looking to him to take the reins and shut things down. This ongoing circle of hesitance has left our just-as-anxious neighbors in other North Texas counties to continue facing dangerous situations, such as the allowing of non-essential businesses and public spaces to remain open well past your own actions.

Meanwhile, you’re out here bearing the brunt of people who are worried about the future of the local economy — frustrated about the survival of small businesses, the job losses and the measures taken to ensure we’re staying the fuck home. To be cure, we aren’t invalidating such concerns, as we share them, too. But while you’re likely receiving a lot of backlash from people who have yet to understand the sheer importance of practices like sheltering-in-place, we know you’re doing it with our lives in mind.

The truth is, we haven’t had to deal with a public health crisis like this in modern history, and we can imagine, just as it’s difficult for us to come to terms with how this is altering our own day-to-day lives, that it’s not any easier for you to play the “bad guy” in the eyes of the people too stubborn to understand what’s at stake.

All of which is to say that we’re happy to have your pragmatic foresight leading us through these tough times.

We know you might not be feeling the love from everyone right now, but there are plenty of us who see the bigger picture alongside with you, and who share your vision of making it out on the other side of all of this — and with our friends, grandparents and co-workers still around to see it, too.

Good looking out,
Alec Spicer and the rest of the Central Track staff

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