WV The Last Man Standing during Coronavirus Outbreak

Many of us West Virginia Mountaineers shared in a joke or two this last week about why our state was the last to have the Coronavirus reported in our state. But many of us wonder about the underlying truth about why we are just now seeing reported cases. I suspect that we are behind in testing and the lack of a state lab that could process the test is also a factor. I think this should be a wake-up call to many of our government officials. It may sound great to be the last one to identify cases of the Coronavirus but is that actually an indicator of how poorly prepared our state is for future crises.

I don’t want to overlook the fact that my state has advantages for fighting an epidemic. Being rural and with less population-dense communities makes transmission harder. Giving us a huge advantage over large cities like New York City or Washington D.C. Generally we do not live or work in large crowded buildings where people come into close contact with one another. A lot of our labor force works outside and will have fewer exposer situations. We have less gathering places like large theaters, event arenas, or huge shopping malls. We also have less public transportation, restaurants, and smaller schools. We also may spend more time at home than the average American. Overall we have a lot of advantages, so if we also keep cleaning and sanitizing our rate of exposure and contacting the virus could be lower.  But are we prepared for an event like this?

My overall concern is not with just Corona but with a system that was behind in all areas of testing. Last week even our Senator Joe Manchin complained about the lack of available tests. At one point there were only 500 tests in the state… for a population of 1.8 million residents.

The following text is quoted from https://www.wvpublic.org/post/coronavirus-testing-limited-wva-its-population-high-risk-thats-why-we-should-distance

It’s not just testing supplies that are the problem – it’s that the labs don’t have the technology necessary to test. West Virginia’s state lab wasn’t set up until Saturday, March 7th (tests were sent instead to the CDC in Atlanta) and commercial labs didn’t get going until this week. Some hospitals are also hoping to be able to run their own tests soon but for now are having to send them off to external agencies.

So if we are also a state of the elderly, the poor and the sick (ranking number 44 in Nation Health Rankings) what will a poorly reported and tested community experience in the near future?


Our Communities are generally at high risk and our state is poorly prepared for the situation. Is it likely that we will be hit hard by the Coronavirus? I think it would be unwise to think we were ready for what is about to come to the Mountain State. We have just watched two hospitals close in the last 6 months, hospitals that could be preparing for the future pandemic that we are facing. We have a need for skilled nurses and our rural hospitals are small and under-equipped for a large outbreak. Let us hope that being last will be an advantage for preparation and treatments. Let us hope that our natural lifestyle choices will help to slow the wave just by our love of solitude.

In closing, West Virginia needs a better-prepared system moving forward. We have not even begun to see the darkest days of this outbreak and already we are failing our people. These mistakes are a very hard lesson to learn so late.

Ultimately, I have faith that God hears the Mountaineer on the ridgetop when he calls out to him. I have faith that our mountains and valleys protect us and that we will survive just like all the Mountaineers before us. I have faith that this too will pass.

man in hoodie jacket standing by the cliff

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Categories: About me, Coronavirus, Faith, family health, health, old age, Uncategorized, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “WV The Last Man Standing during Coronavirus Outbreak

  1. Sandra and Bob Gardner

    Good post.  I agree.


  2. Gretson

    Oh thank you for your evaluation of the heart of West Virginia in these unknowable times.
    Keep shouting from the highest ridge that we are West Virginians and will not fade easily into the more.
    God will not forget his people no matter what may befall them.


  3. I echo your wishes, JoLynn. Please do your best to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy. Also, please let us know how you’re doing.


    • So far so good Dan, Today was my last day at work for the foreseeable future. All of us are healthy and safe for now. I will share more later. I hope you, the editor and Faith are also well and safe. Life is such a surprise every day…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Connie Poe

    Hi Mountain Mama,
    All so very true. Very sad that it is this way.No, we are not ready for this or yet any other virus to come. WV has one chance to hold on to their faith and know God’s angels will protect them. As we were gone many years, we speak on why? No changes here at all? Nothing really moving forward in this area? The sad part no one steps up to get anything done for WV. Maybe if the public demands, something would happen here? Change needs to be for the mountains people not for the pocketbooks of the area.
    To protect the elderly and the future of our children, not to have the need to move away. To stay planted where God gave our children birth. To see our mountains being removed for “progress” Towns being built like towards West Union. I say it sure was not to help the WV people. Do not see any shopping centers there either? WV is being raped, no good will come to her people, as all will be gone. So much
    has a need to be fixed and so little time left, Mountain Mama. All will be gone even our roads. We must pray WV, for we are in God’s hands and mercy.All getting way out of hand here. Just because a lot think we as mountain people, we are really too stupid to see what is going on. The joke is on them, we all see no one knows what to do about it?


    • Connie I hope all is well with you and Jr. Stay safe and if you need anything please let us know we are happy to help out!


      • Connie Poe

        Your gift to share WV with all that read your blogs. Some travel with you, some live thru them, to sites they have never seen. Some remember their past. Keep the blogs going Jolynn. It is your gift from God. Most of all family sharing life together is a blessing to all. Something needed for many. Stay safe and keep in touch and thank you for your offer of, if we need you.
        Connie Poe


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