News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor… 4/22/20

To the Editor:

I would like to take a moment to thank you all as a community for the love and support you’ve given to the Health Care system during this COVID-19 time.

As an ICU RN I find myself overwhelmed with appreciation and joy from all the support through donations, thoughts, letters, masks, prayers and just your smiles. It truly brings us peace and strength as we walk in to do what we are all honored to do.

I hear often how thankful we are as caregivers the respect our community has given for the Stay Home request. As we see on the front lines, this has made a difference and I want to thank you for that. You are a part of this fight for the health of us all.

I am proud to be working for St. Charles. They have been very supportive through this time emotionally, financially and physically. For that I want to say thank you to them for all their hard work to keep the care team safe.

Please know, community, we as caregivers will give all we can to care for you no matter what. We are honored to care for all that are in need. Thank you for loving us and supporting us, it truly makes our shifts even more possible than it already is.

Stay Healthy and THANK YOU!

Emily Kroytz

To the Editor:

Recently you ran a ‘Commentary’ piece “Visiting Thailand before pandemic,” in which you show a photo of a couple riding an elephant.

As mentioned in this article: (, riding of an elephant is extremely harmful to these amazing creatures and in order to do so they are put through extreme torture including a “bullhorn” (basically a giant metal hook), which is used to hook the elephants by the ears to get them to turn as you can see the person controlling the elephant holding the handle to a bullhorn.

Obviously, I assume as always that this is just simply due to being unaware, so in this instance, “the more you know.”

This message does not come from a place of negativity, but simply a place of education and awareness.

J.D. Alex

To the Editor:

Under the guise of his “just ask’n questions,” Mr. Tom Donohue, who doesn’t identify himself as either a scientist or medical professional, wants his readers to believe:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic is like the seasonal flu;

2. We need to get back to work (whatever that means);

3. That going out in public without personal protective clothing in a pandemic is just like engaging in other risk taking activities such as driving a vehicle and flying in an airplane; and

4. The preventable deaths of up to “a few million” from a flu virus may be a price we have to pay for “the needs of the many.”

In other words, the current right-wing talking points.

I choose to act in accordance with the best judgments and advice from scientists and medical professionals regarding this pandemic. They tell us that the COVID-19 pandemic is not like the seasonal flu; it is far more lethal and has the same or greater ability to spread to others, including days before anyone feels any symptoms. The same experts tell us that ending social distancing must be preceded by widespread and accurate testing for infections, something that the current administration utterly failed to initiate or coordinate.

As to helping our small businesses, I prefer to listen to small-business owners like Jen McCrystal who writes in the same issue about buying gift certificates, an easy and safe way to help.

I will act in a manner that minimizes the risk to me, my family AND others from a slow and agonizing suffocation from this disease. To do otherwise would be irresponsible and dangerous.

Michael Wells

To the Editor:

Sisters, Central Oregon and, indeed, the Planet Earth all face seemingly insurmountable problems. Passionate advocates young and old cry out “save the planet.” Others with different beliefs will argue and all day long; fingers are pointed in the wrong direction.

At this time in history the Planet Earth is faced with only one problem. Man. The terrible impact made by the human virus can only be ended in one way. Controlled population growth needs to be the key that unlocks the door to the future.

Dave Elpi

To the Editor:

The Wall Street Journal mentioned in its April 17 issue a website designed by volunteer coders to facilitate the sale of gift cards for local businesses hurt by COVID-19 restrictions. The website is called

I purchased a gift card for a Sisters restaurant listed on the site, but only a handful of Sisters businesses are listed. My husband sent an email to a Sisters retailer to suggest the owner register to be listed on the site.

We are writing this letter to suggest that Sisters merchants hurt by travel and other restrictions take a look at the site and see if it makes sense for them to sign up. The site claims that 100 percent of the gift card purchase prices goes to the local businesses.

Jane Poss

To the Editor:

The world we live in today is more complex and nuanced than any time in human history. Most people only have a notional grasp of the systems and technologies that we rely on everyday. So, when we’re unable to understand our world and we’re scared, humans still reach for the same comfort blanket we’ve been reaching for hundreds of thousands of years: Mythology.

No, 5G does not spread COVID-19. No, Bill Gates is not trying to secretly microchip you. Yes, social distancing is saving millions of lives, particularly of those who have already-compromised immune systems. No, this is not a conspiracy to undermine U.S. politics.

Uncertainty is scary. This actually lies at the root of most common phobias. But, now is a time when it’s crucial for people to confront uncertainty by embracing science and strategic thinking, not mythology. Seek out information from reliable sources (scientists, doctors, non-partisan news reporting); question idealogues (politicians, religious leaders, talk radio entertainers).

Mythology is not a solution. Just ask the Dark Ages.

Josh Groves


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