Nicole Barde

First, let me say that I fully understand the destruction that the shutdown is having on “C” Street…my friends are suffering…literally. It is happening all over and it is affecting everyone. We are living history on this one…..sadly so. The choices that need to be made are brutal and they are not popular…with anyone. Unfortunately, only time will tell which of these decisions were the right ones for the community as a whole.  For me, it’s about the fact that we really know nothing about this virus…are we peaking or just getting started? It seems that what we do “know” is wrong since every day new data comes out.

You can build immunity…uh no and no

It only affects the old and infirm…uh no and no

It has a low mortality rate…uh no.

If we test negative we don’t have it… uh no

It will die out in the Summer…uh no.

We have drugs to treat it…uh no.

We’ve flatted the curve so it is safe to reopen…hell no..and NO

From one of the above articles We won’t get to herd immunity in the near future. A miracle drug is not in sight. The only way to restart the economy, then, is to put a highly effective system in place to test millions of people, trace their movements, and quickly quarantine those who might have been infected.”

For me, it’s about understanding what it IS in order to do the right things because the stakes in lives and economic recovery have NEVER been higher.  Which is why I am stunned at the behavior of our Storey County elected officials recently.

Last week Commissioner Jay Carmona apparently jumped the gun and all by himself joined with Lyon County Commissioner Ken Gray to send Governor Sisolak a request to allow the rural counties with no/low COVID-19 cases to begin to reopen. You can read that letter HERE. In it, they note that the majority of cases in Nevada are in Clark and Washoe County and that “one size fits all” isn’t appropriate for the rurals. There was no plan in the letter on how to do this effectively….it was just a request.

Ok. I can see the point. The data indicates that the majority of the COVID-19 problem is isolated in other areas so it will never affect the rurals. EVER. And if it does , due to infected people coming in, none of our people will spread it to other counties…we’ll keep it to ourselves. We promise.

The letter goes on to say that altho “our counties may be limited on those some would consider health experts, but we do have a cadre of people who are sworn to be concerned with public safety”.

OK, I can see the point here. If you have people who care about Public Safety, and swear to care and be concerned about it that’s the same as medical/science professionals with experience and degrees and stuff…like healthcare workers and the CDC and other organizations not located in the rurals. We are really smart. Really, we are.

The letter also states that due to the unnecessary “one size fits all” approach “ many are less willing to co-operate as patience is running out with the “one size fits all” approach”

OK, I can see the point. People are unwilling to co-operate because they don’t like something and we need to give them what they want so that they can better co-operate under relaxed but still restrictive rules. They will co-operate better then. We swear….just like all those people visiting VC now who come in crowds and congregate cheek by jowl while they drink in front of the Red Dog . No social distancing, more than 10 at a time, are they even hand washing?


Not to be outdone, Carmona’s letter to the Governor was followed by yet another letter to the Governor from Storey County Commission Chair Marshall McBride HERE. He asked for “expedited partial reopening”  of VC businesses and it has a draft of a plan that is still in development and has not been approved by the whole Commission.

He notes that Storey County has zero cases likely due to “ sparse population, conformance with preventative measures, and effective regional management efforts”.   He stresses the need for businesses to open in order to survive the emergency.

OK, I can see the point. Having a letter come from the CHAIR of the Commission with an unapproved not fully baked plan shows that the Commission has been thinking about getting the VC economy going again but apparently not much else. Marshall also seems confident that opening the city up to out of towners, who may bring COVID-19 from the infected areas surrounding us, will not cause any of the VC residents to contract the virus since the tourists will take it back with them when they head home.

Marshall’s letter contains a seven-point draft “plan” to partially reopen VC for business. In nutshell, it looks like everything currently being done (communication and education,  social distancing, limited congregation, take out food,  masks, hand washing, additional toilets, enforcement of these rules) and adds outdoor seating for the restaurants, half capacity for indoor seating and monitoring of essential businesses. He also mentions the community testing that will occur in May…which I think is good.

I don’t see the material difference between what is currently being done to protect people and what Marshall is proposing. The only difference seems to be that non-essential businesses will open and people from infected areas will come to VC.

He promised that the Commission will do what they should have been doing from the beginning and inspecting the essential businesses to make sure they are complying with mitigation efforts. I just can’t see how enforcement will take place when the Sheriff is already stretched thin and the tourists will likely want to have fun after being cooped up so may not fully comply to our rules. I’m talking about “C” Street here….where we have trained our visitors to have a good time. Then again….maybe they won’t come at all.

Marshall’s plan is a rhythm method of prevention…. hit or miss… spray and pray…

SIDENOTEBefore the dawn of digitized biometrics…women armed only with their calendars and the hope of a regular cycle to monitor their fertility attempted to plan or avoid their pregnancies thru the rhythm method. Despite meticulous tracking it frequently resulted in “ surprises” . I, along with many of my boomer cohorts, were surprises. That’s basically how I view Marshalls draft / partial plan. VC seems to currently be protected due to lack of “intercourse” with the outside world….why risk a surprise with exposure?

Why would Marshall want to IMPORT COVID-19 into the VC Community?

He did a survey of the merchants… was there a survey done for the residents? What do they say? Many of the merchants while operating their businesses in VC don’t live there so how is the one survey a reflection of what the RESIDENTS want? Do they feel that there is no risk of infection by opening up VC?

What was the calculus used to weigh the benefits and risks to both the Merchants and the residents of VC for Marshall to assume that it was the right thing to do for the entire community? Just how badly does he need to open the Bucket?

I am waiting to see what Commissioner Gilman’s letter to the Governor will say about his need to reopen the brothel due to the economic emergency. I can only imagine what his PPE will look like….hazmat suits with strategically placed holes?

I must say that it’s a bold move by these guys since any and all COVID-19 infections and deaths after reopening VC will be on their heads. Remember, we now have zero cases. I think that until we have test, trace, and quarantine systems embedded statewide, reopening VC at this time is asking for another worse surge in the Fall. I would rather pay now than pay more later.

Here is one example of opening prematurely…..Hokkaido, Japan:

Hokkaido’s story is a sobering reality check for leaders across the world as they consider easing coronavirus lockdowns: Experts say restrictions were lifted too quickly and too soon because of pressure from local businesses, coupled with a false sense of security in its declining infection rate.

As I said in a prior piece HEREI believe that government should have a limited role in my life…….THIS is one of those roles….make the tough decision..”

Let’s wait to see what happens in the other states who are opening this week. WAIT AND SEE.

I would like to thank Joe Curtis and the Emergency Management Team in Storey County for doing a good job. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing and pulling people and resources together to deal with logistical issues required to respond to any situation.

I think that our Community organizations like Community Chest and the Senior Centers are beyond excellent in their full and total support of our residents and tireless efforts to do whatever it takes to help people in distress and protect the rest of us. BRAVO and thanks to you all.

I urge the residents of VC to voice their support or opposition to the reopening of VC by calling Marshall McBride at

775-847-0968 or email him at


11 thoughts on “To Open or not to Open…..that is the question

  1. I respectfully disagree. People have been shopping at crowded, large, stores for months. What’s the difference if a VC store only allows a certain number of people in at a time & the salesperson monitors distancing? If this disease was spreading so easily, people would have been dropping like flies long ago because people have still shopped & been in crowds. Some mass demonstrations happened weeks ago. Have you heard any reports of those people being hospitalized? If they were, you can be sure you’d hear about it. This also comes down to choice. If you want to self-isolate for the rest of the year – go for it! But, where is the authority for some someone to say you MUST stay at home, BUT, you can go shop at a tiny liquor or marijuana store, or shop at giants Costco or Walmart, not knowing WHO touched the produce & merchandise, yet regular merchants must stay closed? Those who want to keep the state closed down should NEVER be in the public then, if they think CV is such a mortal risk. I’m not saying open up everything & throw all caution to the wind, but this current mindset of the governor will ruin this state. Just wait till the next legislative session when, if the dems rule, there will be a GIANT property tax raise to cover Nevada’s shortfall. Please register & vote Republican!

  2. I agree that we should not rush into opening Virginia City. FOLLOW THE SCIENCE! We all know that VC is the “party town” for Reno and Carson. We do not need hundreds of people coming up here to infect us. Wait and see what happens elsewhere in the next two weeks. Is there going to be a Sheriff at each end of town to make sure no one has a temperture, everyone has masks and gloves? Can we really depend upon the goodwill of visitors to stay six feet apart? The Comstock has NO infections BECAUSE of the shutdown and the goodwill of people to wear masks/glove, stay six feet apart and stay at home. THANKS to everyone following the Governor’s orders. 60,000+ people have died and one million+ have been infected. Men, women, children, babies, nurses, doctors, etc. Don’t let their deaths be in vain. Yes it is horrible for the merchants – but THEY ARE ALIVE. Bodies do not come up from the grave. This could affect many people. PLEASE DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ALL! THANK YOU!!!

  3. TRIC seems sufficiently separate from VC, the Highlands, etc., to be of little consequence to us in the present circumstance. Let them have their own guidelines (note I don’t say laws, rules or regulations). Me, I’m ‘bugging-in’ by choice because it’s both too easy and convenient not to do so… NOT because the government is telling me to do so. PLUS, I’m a homebody, and not terribly social anyway, so I suffer nothing in this. Yes, I’m lucky and I’m retired. I’m inclined to have government advise and inform, not dictate how we, individually, choose to act in these circumstances. I can see some measures to protect our vulnerable populations (largely seniors, of which I am one, and ‘vulnerable’, but need no one protecting me), and rules, procedures, even laws regarding those who are PROVEN to be sufficiently infected and contagious to legally warrant ENFORCED quarantine.

    I’ll add one last thought: it seems to me that, at the beginning of this debacle, the people by and large voluntarily and without much prompting, pressure,or coercion, followed recommended guidelines in a cooperative social spirit of protecting not only themselves, but their communities at large. Much more could be said, but that’s enough.

    1. I don’t disagree with what you say. For me the “protective measures” includes widespread testing to ID and quarantine those who have it…with or without symptoms….until we do that it’ll just keep circulating…we can’t keep the vulnerable locked up forever..for them to go out at all requires additional measures than the ones we currently have in place.
      Thanks for the comment!

  4. So today May 3 tourists were visiting the town, I didn’t see social distancing, very few masks in place, at least one bar open. The highway sign at the south end of town said Wash Your Hands, Keep Your Distance, Enjoy Your Freedom. We are still under stay at home orders until May 15, are we not? Did I miss something? Be considerate of others, if you are going to walk around please wear a mask! Your freedom isn’t worth infecting someone who could die, or the health heros who will try to save you. PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS!

    1. I agree with you. The Commissioners and the Sheriff support skirting the Governors order ….there is no enforcement

  5. So we now have our first case of the virus in Storey County, a man in his 40’s. PLEASE WEAR A MASK!!!! It appears most tourists are not wearing them, we have to protect ourselves.

  6. It was on the local news last night…google first coronavirus case in Storey County

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