Delegates work to help communities during pandemic despite not being in session

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Legislature’s members are working diligently to help their communities during the pandemic.

Dr. Margaret Staggers, a representative from Fayette County, is currently the medical director for all 911 centers in the area and helps coordinate volunteer work. Although she is helping where she can, she believes the country is vastly unprepared for the pandemic.

“Taking away from this experience is the fact that we were completely unprepared. We knew in December that China was having a big crisis. I tried to order a mask in January, they were already sold out,” Staggers said. 

Staggers mentioned that some members of the legislature had thoughts on a special session to pass emergency laws, but that idea was shot down by many others. 

“The legislature at first had an idea of let’s have a special session so that we all could come down and see if we can infect each other, but that was dropped quickly.”

And although the legislature isn’t doing much legal work to help at the moment, people in the community can still help. Staggers encourages citizens to call their local public works organizations to find ways to volunteer. 

Staggers also recommended people still take social distancing seriously, even if they go out to volunteer. As the consequences of not doing so could be deadly. 

“You may not get anything but ill and painfully short of breath, but you could bring it back and kill your mother or your grandmother,” she said.

Volunteers can help in many ways like delivering food to those that can’t leave their homes, or even just checking in on a neighbor to see if they’re doing okay. 

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