Electrosensitive people find peace, conflict in Green Bank, West Virginia

When your small town in the mountains is home to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory as well as a National Security Agency telescope, even the most minor of electronic signals can throw off the system. That’s a mild annoyance for most of the residence and a huge benefit for others.

The “others” in this case are “electrosensitives,” people who are affected by electronic signals ranging from Wi-Fi to certain types of light bulbs. The condition, not recognized by most governments, is rare and those who have it swear that it affects their lives daily. Around 40 of them have moved to the tiny town of Green Bank, West Virginia, accounting for about 1/4th of the population.

The problem is that many of the original townsfolk don’t appreciate the migration to their sleepy haven. This is causing strife, albeit at a mild degree. Still, it’s interesting to know that there’s a town in America without cell phones, wireless internet, or other electronic items that are so commonplace everywhere else.

According to the Guardian:

Where the locals might have been happy to tolerate one or two of the sensitives, the mass migration was beyond the pale. Another sensitive who moved to Green Bank was reported to have flown into a rage at the library, denouncing the “dumb hillbillies”. “People tell me to stop encouraging others to move here, and to stop bringing them into stores,” Schou confirms. “The hostility continues.” People would walk towards Schou with concealed electronics, in an effort to provoke a reaction. A meeting she and her husband organised to help educate the others about electrosensivity descended into a slanging match. Schou, who has called herself a “technological leper,” said the ill will went further: “I had a visitor staying, a fellow refugee, and the air was let out of our car tyres overnight.”

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