Health Commissioner Persichilli defines Central Jersey (Opinion)
Judith, come on! I’ve had great respect for you up until now. Your steady hand during near daily coronavirus press briefings has been noticed and appreciated. Sure there was that one wobble where you claimed you would get it and everyone would get it. I gave you a pass as I think you were likely just being folksy in that moment; being Judith and not State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
But claiming there’s a Central Jersey and defining exactly where it is? Hubris!
On Wednesday, she explained how officials have broken the state into three regions in tracking the spread of this deadly virus. Look, I don’t care if it’s to track a deadly virus or to decide if you call them jimmies or sprinkles or some other strange thing, there IS NO CENTRAL JERSEY.
But, as NJ.com reports, according to her, North Jersey is defined as Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.
South Jersey is defined as Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
So Central Jersey is being defined as Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties.
That’s right, one virus from the other side of the planet and now the Garden State is making official proclamations. Sure, Gov. Murphy had declared a Central Jersey exists on Twitter back on December 9, but, you know, how can you take it seriously? It’s Twitter. Sorry Trump.
But this is urgent business folks. Tracking a pandemic. And this is what they’ve decided.
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No for those who staunchly defend a Central Jersey, may I gently ask why the €#¥%! we never had one before? Allow me to be get-off-my-lawn guy for a moment. Back in the day, there was a North Jersey and a South Jersey, and even then there was nothing official. The secessionist movement of the late 70’s when I was a little kid did not speak of any Central Jersey. There’s no identifying jargon to indicate a Central Jersey (subs v hoagies, bennies v shoobies, etc.).
Basically people who want to believe there’s a Central Jersey are prejudiced. That’s right, I said it! They’re prejudiced against the Sopranos accent and swagger of North Jersey and they’re biased against the laid back rubes (in THEIR minds, not mine!) of South Jersey. In short, people who insist on a Central Jersey think they’re better. The rest of us are beneath them, if you will.
So take that Judith! (Who by the way was born in New Brunswick and grew up in Dunellen. Gee, no wonder she wants to believe in a Central Jersey.) Love your work. Keep keeping us updated. Appreciate everything you do. But a Central Jersey?