Rocky Ridge Collectibles is a flea market located on the Maryland side of the Masson-Dixon Line. They announced on Facebook yesterday that they are reopening today. The act is in defiance of the stay-at-home shutdown order directed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on March 23. This was because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of Maryland published a list of business types that were exempt from the directive. The type of business Rocky Ridge Collectibles engages in is not exempted from the directive. They had to close. The flea market seemed to recognize this fact at the end of March. They closed their doors on March 20.
This is what they said back then on Facebook:
Why does Rocky Ridge Collectibles think they are above the law?
I have no idea why the flea market believes it can open its doors in defiance of the law, but I have my suspicions. This is what they said on Facebook when someone correctly pointed out they’re not essential:
I thought about that answer. The only vendor that sells essential items is a booth that sells cereal and tubes of toothpaste. I think it belongs to one of these extreme couponers you sometimes hear about. I don’t remember seeing toilet paper or paper towels there or anywhere else in the flea market. My guess is if you go to Rocky Ridge Collectibles today looking for toilet paper or paper towels, you will not find any. They’ll probably tell you they’re sold out of that, but there are some nice Funko Pops on row four.
When I pointed out on Facebook that the health department will shut them down, they responded they’re opening with the health department’s blessing. At least that’s how I took it.
The way things work in Washington County, Maryland
Too often, the way the law is handled in Washington County depends greatly on who you know or who you’re related to. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rocky Ridge Collectibles owner goes to the same church as someone who works at the Washington County Health Department.
As an example of how things work here, I once watched a Hagerstown Police officer stop and wrote up a pickup truck. The driver parked in a handicapped designated parking spot. The truck didn’t have special tags or a rear mirror placard indicating the driver was handicapped. I enjoyed seeing someone who broke the law being held accountable. That was until another officer pulled up and stopped the original officer from writing the ticket. Why did the second officer do that? The owner of the truck was in clear violation of the law. I assumed the second officer was related to the owner of the pickup truck. That’s just the way things work here.
The owner of Rocky Ridge Collectibles is a COVID-19 sympathizer
We’ve been told we’re at war with COVID-19. Rocky Ridge Collectibles is not helping in the fight against COVID-19. By brazenly breaking the shutdown directive, they’re working on behalf of the coronavirus. If we’re at war with COVID-19, they are a COVID-19 sympathizer.
This makes me feel sorry for the other area small businesses that are abiding by the directive. For example, Beyond Comics in nearby Frederick, Maryland. They closed when they were told to. Before that, they limited business to curb-side pick up only. They were doing things right. Beyond Comics didn’t want to make things unsafe for their customers. They were doing everything they could to fight the war against COVID-19.
Rocky Ridge Collectibles clearly doesn’t care about the health and safety of our community. To reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic is irresponsible and dangerous. I’ll never set foot in Rocky Ridge Collectibles again. It was my go-to place for buying sportscard collecting supplies. I’ve been ordering those on Amazon since the pandemic started. I’ll continue to buy those things on Amazon.
I look forward to when Rocky Ridge Collectibles goes out of business. I hope the owner has to declare bankruptcy.
I found out how Rocky Ridge Collectibles was able to reopen when they did. The owner obtained a permit to operate as a food service facility from the Washington County Health Department. This allowed them to be classified as a grocery store, not a flea market. This move made them exempt from state shutdown orders. In my opinion, it was a deceitful and fraudulent thing to do.