To the editor,

On April 3, 2020, the Oswego County Legislature urged residents to adopt voluntary travel restrictions by making essential trips outside the home only during the days of the week corresponding to their birth year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals born in odd years are asked to make essential trips on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while individuals born in even years are asked to make essential trips on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. All individuals asked to remain home on Sundays.

While this seems like a good idea, as it helps limit the potential for additional human to human contact, which will limit the spread of COVID-19, flatten the curve, save lives, and end this pandemic sooner, it has introduced some inadvertent inequities. This is because this travel recommendation was not coordinated with local businesses, and is not widely known. For example, some local businesses have adjusted their hours of business to be only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during this pandemic. Other businesses provide discounts to seniors who shop on Wednesdays and Sundays. While I am not aware, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn of other examples that benefit only those who should travel on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

I encourage us to implement good, creative ideas on how we can best implement measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. These examples above illustrate how good coordination with all stakeholders to identify and address the unintended consequences of these creative measures will improve community acceptance and compliance, helping us all.

I encourage our local government and our local businesses to continue to embrace all public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, while also adjusting their policies to make public services and shopping opportunities fairly available to all, including those of us who are abiding with the birth year travel restrictions. If we all do the best we can to take every measure available to stop the spread of COVID-19, this pandemic will end sooner, with the least loss of life.

Fred Ringwald

New Haven

(1) comment


Pragmatism alleviates the problem of seniors born in the wrong year. To take advantage of "Senior Day" when it's not "your" day, go anyway. The mathematical increase will be about 10%, hardly a stampede. Common sense solves unintended consequences.

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