The Whidbey News-Times reported Saturday, April 4, “Carrier Landing Practices Next Week air OLF Coupeville,” that the Growlers are flying nonstop all week long, Monday through Thursday at night, meaning until 10 or 11 p.m., and then all day Friday. That means a continuous, disruptive week of often unbearable noise to further stress corona-19 virus impacted lives with more disruption and lost sleep.
To make matters much worse, people cannot really leave their houses as required by the shelter-in-place order. So the combination of the noise and threats of the virus compound the shelter-in-place stress people are enduring. And even if they could leave their homes, where would they go? They could not go to a friend’s home or go to any place where they might congregate. So the Growler noise is especially impactful to cooped up families with children, and even more so to those who are physically and mentally ill, and actually to all who must cope with the noise itself.
In spite of claiming to be good neighbors, the Navy has often put its interests ahead of the lives of the people. The decision to schedule night flights during the time of the pandemic and a shelter-in-place order is another example of their disregard for the health and welfare of the people they claim to be protecting.
Given the Navy’s history, we can only ask for mercy from the Navy and to either postpone or cancel the flights, or possibly move them elsewhere. I understand military orders are meant to be obeyed, but I also wonder what level of discretion Commander Capt. Matt Arny has over the Growler scheduling. I would ask him to carefully consider the misery the jets will cause at this time and use his discretionary powers to stop the extremely harmful — and frankly — unconscionable imposition the night time flights especially will have on the good people of central Whidbey already so deeply affected by the COVID-19 virus.
I regret that on top of the life and death issues related to the virus, the Growler situation now becomes an additional stress for so many people living under the jets.