News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 5/13/20

To the Editor:

Re: May 6, 2020, “Communications is Key as Sisters ‘reopens’ by Mayor Chuck Ryan and City Manager Cory Mosley.”

The last paragraph “ ...that businesses... must follow which again will be dictated at the State level.”

Since when are we living under a dictatorship?

John Morter

To the Editor:

I must have struck a nerve.

In successive issues of The Nugget, a letter was published criticizing my recently published letter challenging the April 15 opinion piece of Tom Donohue on the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately neither responded to the substance of what I wrote.

Dale Streeter asserted that in my “venting,” I “declared that those opinions (as expressed by Mr. Donohue) represented the general views of 33 to 50 percent of the population.” I neither expressed nor implied that. I don’t know where he got that wide range of numbers. I did say that the four positions espoused by Mr. Donohue, none of which either letter mentioned, were the current right-wing talking points. I did so because they are. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been watching Fox News, reading right-wing Internet sites, watching the pronouncements of certain Governors or listening to the current occupant of the White House.

There has been and continues to be a coordinated disinformation campaign on this issue almost exclusively from those with a political agenda and no health care training.

In response to my statement that I will follow the recommendations of health care professionals, Dale Streeter criticizes me for “virtue signaling.” I’m not sure what that means but I sense it is a pejorative like “showing off.” As an adult, I have tried to avoid unnecessary risks and potentially very harmful results (I wish I could say the same about my youth). Would Dale Streeter wish I act contrary to the best scientific evidence regarding this pandemic and thereby risk infecting others, including him and his family?

Without any hint he recognizes the irony, he calls my criticism “left-wing talking points” and states that his version of “Conservative values…are values that all citizens should support regardless of political affiliation.” He ends with “We are all in this together.” That was exactly my point: Suggesting that we can ignore science and do whatever we want in this time of pandemic is dangerous talk.

Gretchen Honen chastises me for using the phrase “right-wing talking points.” See above. She apparently missed most of my letter that specifically rebutted Mr. Donohue’s points as contrary to current medical science and therefore dangerous to us and to others. I also highlighted his view that up to “a few million” preventable deaths may be a price we have to pay “for the needs of the many.” I am not willing to pay that price. Are you?

Michael Wells

To the Editor:

Some of your readers may have read “ The Eyes Of Darkness” by Dean Koontz (1981).

It was a very pricey required reading in a creative writing class I had at California Lutheran University. (My professor said it was an example of how a bad author could eventually write something good).

Toward the end of the book, Koontz refers to a virus that originates in Wuhan, China, that had similar characteristics to COVID-19. His story explains how the virus infected millions of people around the world, causing many deaths, and went away as suddenly as it appeared in the world, only to mutate and resurface 10 years later with a vengeance.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Koontz was the “Nostradamus” of the 1980s, but historically, it is an amazing prediction.

On social media recently, I noticed an increase in people referring to this virus as not that serious, often referencing the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2002 that also originated in bats spread to 26 countries, and had a kill ratio of 10 percent. MERS, (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) 2012, may have originated in Saudi Arabia from bats, to camels, then humans. There were two cases in the US, with both surviving. MERS was said to have had a kill ratio of 34 percent.

While it is true patients have been surviving COVID-19 infection, I am concerned with people being too complacent, too early. I personally think our numbers are down because we have been cautious and practicing social distancing.

The newest, similar to, but, mutated virus that infected several children recently is alarming. I am very optimistic that science will be able to create a safe vaccine. It is not an easy “Dr. Kildare” or “Ben Casey” fix, and it’s all better (yes, that dates me!)

Be safe.

Bill Anttila


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