The Pinellas County commission today adopted this resolution which orders a wide range of measures and restrictions on people and businesses in Pinellas County. The order will put many people in Pinellas County out of job and impose poverty on a large percentage of them.
This Tampa Bay Times article covers the blow by blow of today’s meeting, which can be seen here on Youtube. What was striking at this coronavirus emergency meeting is that public sector employees largely didn’t practice the 6 ft social distancing requirement they now wish to impose on others.
For example, on the right is county emergency management director Cathie Perkins touching Florida Department of Health Director Dr. Ulyee Choe (video). Perkins’ action is not only “one of the most conspicuous forms of workplace sexual harassment,” it also placed her well within 6 ft of Choe.
In order words: the county’s top emergency management official doesn’t comply with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines that are in effect during this pandemic.
We e-mailed Perkins pictures and asked for comments on her actions, but received no response by our publication deadline.
We also e-mailed Dr. Choe and asked whether it is “ever OK to touch someone without first obtaining their affirmative consent?” We asked if he felt sexually harassed or violated in any other way by Perkins’ unsolicited touching. Like Perkins, Choe also did not respond to our e-mail.
Choe, who is the state’s top public health official in Pinellas County, presumably did not feel harassed because after being touched, he chose to continue to stand well within 6 ft of Perkins while she spoke. See picture on the left and see the relevant portion of video here. The only way they can be standing 6 ft apart is if they’re 12 ft tall.
As you will see, this Perkins Choe disease dissemination duo were not the only public sector employees at this meeting who seemed completely oblivious to their own social distancing dumb-dumbery.
The county’s highest ranking employee, county administrator Barry Burton, also joined in the oblivion.
Burton, as shown in the picture on the right sidled up next to Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri while he was speaking (video). Burton did not adhere to the very 6 ft rule that he asked the commission to impose on every person present in Pinellas County.
Just two minutes later, county attorney Jewel White walked up behind Burton, touched him on his left shoulder blade,. White then spoke to him at close range (video).
Burton then in turn touched White on her right shoulder blade.
The only public employee in the video who seemed to make any effort to stand 6 ft away from others was Pinellas sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
It is often said that leadership starts at the top. So does cluelessness. Burton seems to not know (or care) that others are able to observe his own blatant disregard for the social distancing regime he himself asked the county commission of elected officials to impose on every person present in Pinellas County.
Even setting Covid-19 aside, county employees should know not to engage in this kind of touching to begin with. Pinellas County’s existing pre-coronavirus anti-harassment policy already prohibits “unwanted physical contact” in the workplace.
If prior consent was not obtained, then the contact was unwanted, as any fourth wave feminist knows. They might even call it “literally rape.”
The physical contact initiated by Perkins and White was clearly unsolicited, as it came from behind and without the recipient/victim seeing it coming. Therefore, no affirmative consent for it could have been obtained beforehand.
As for Burton, the video shows that he did nothing to obtain consent before placing his hand on White’s shoulder blade.
Apart from the harassment aspect of all this unwanted touching, it clearly doesn’t meet the CDC requirements involving social distancing. There is a new word for people who don’t do social distancing correctly. That word is “covidiot.”
As our county imposes restrictive authoritarian policies on the citizenry on pain of fine and imprisonment, we here at the Guardian seek to hold covidiot public sector employees to policies already applicable to them. The full 8-page order you are expected to abide by is here.
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