America’s national parks are still open during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s causing revolts among staff members who say they and their communities are being put at risk.
The Daily Beast reports that staffers at the Grand Canyon National Park are begging their bosses to temporarily shut down the park until the worst of the disease has passed.
“We feel our boss is not meeting up with our pleas,” one Grand Canyon ranger tells the publication. “It’s political, to keep up the image… I feel people’s idea of the Grand Canyon is that you can isolate, but there’s two entrances. They are all going to the same view stations and same trails. It funnels people to the same spots.”
Dustin Stone, a former human resources employee at Alaska’s Klondike Goldrush Historic National Park, tells The Daily Beast that he resigned his job because his boss was not taking the threat of the virus seriously.
“Being told over and over again that, ‘The system is working, trust the system, it’s taking its time,’ was like being given the middle finger over and over again,” Stone explained in an interview. “There is no time for bureaucracy right now when hours are so important.”
The National Parks Service says that it has so far found at least seven of its employees have been infected with the virus, although the agency in recent days has grown more secretive when it comes to confirming cases.
“Smoky Mountain National Park Spokesperson Dana Soehn on Saturday said she could no longer confirm the coronavirus case she had previously confirmed… citing the new policy,” The Daily Beast writes.