Letters to the editor — Aug. 19, 2020

Mayor’s trip to Sturgis could be health threat

At the beginning of the Sequim City Council meeting of Aug. 10, as attendees exchanged greetings and remarks, Zoom listeners overheard the comment that Mayor William Armacost was absent due to his trip to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

On the same day, the WebMD medical website reported on worries that the Sturgis rally, drawing as many as 250,000 to the small town in South Dakota, could become a “super spreader” event for coronavirus outbreaks (www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200809/sturgis-bike-rally-draws-thousands-amid-pandemic).

As we know, a large percentage of older residents, many with serious ongoing health conditions, live in Sequim.

Clallam County Health & Human Services recommends a 14-day quarantine following out-of-town travel, but Mayor Armacost returned to work at his Sequim hair salon the day after he returned from Sturgis.

Especially given the fast-climbing rate of COVID-19 infections in Clallam County, why is the mayor ignoring professional medical advice intended to protect our people?

Marsha Maguire


Editor’s note: We asked Mayor Armacost for a comment regarding this letter. Here’s his response:

First I wish to thank the concerned citizen who pointed out my recent trip to Sturgis, South Dakota in connection to potential risks I may or may not be bringing back to the Sequim community. I would also like to thank the Sequim Gazette for allowing me to respond to the letter.

Fear is a natural characteristic of the human condition. It is an essential passion that can inhibit us from engaging in dangerous behavior. Like all human passions, when fueled by social isolation and the reckless voices of an anonymous herd, it readily can become an addiction. Like any other addiction, fear has its rewards for seeking out and engaging its appetites and its penalties for refusing its urges. Panic builds on fear and can soon become a stampede. Although every animal charging in a stampede is going in the same direction, there is no unity, no leadership. Nothing is built, only destruction ensues.

Love demands that I take reasonable personal precautions on behalf of my fellow citizens. In my shop. I have implemented common sense protocols for the protection of my customers and the community. Love also requires that I refuse to enable the addiction of others. The addict commands that others indulge his or her addiction in the name of caring or compassion. Love commands that I refuse the addict of the passion so craved.

It has been demanded that I self-quarantine for several weeks in response to my trip out of the area. Respectfully, I decline. It is not required of me either by science, regulation, experience or custom.

Now is the time to advance with clear heads, not a time to regress into a pit of panic. As more knowledge of the COVID-19 phenomenon becomes known, it is time to leave the fears of uncertainty behind and to move forward together, in unity as a community. I intend to lead Sequim in that path with resolve and confidence.

Confidence is the opposite of fear. It can be spread just as effectively as panic. A certain friend of our community now starts every meeting by saying “No fear” and offering to shake hands. That may not be your style but at this time in the pandemic, it is something to ponder.

William Armacost

Mayor, City of Sequim

Mask technique is critical

The photo of the YMCA member at the weight machine in your Aug. 12 edition (“Peninsula YMCAs open this week,” page A-7) made me cringe. I have seen this misuse of masks many times in this town. To leave the nose out of the mask is a futile attempt to follow the rules.

In addition, the article goes on to state that masks will be worn except during strenuous exercise. It seems to me that if a person is doing strenuous exercise they are breathing heavily and expelling even more droplets.

None of these “rules” make sense and we wonder why we are not getting a handle on this epidemic.

Claudia Serafin


Time to rebuild

After finishing Greg Mitchell’s new book, “The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” I had this dream.

I dreamed that FDR had lived to see the end of the war in the Pacific and that it ended without atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that resulted in the loss of 200,000 souls, men, women and children and FDR continued in office with Truman as Vice President while both served out their terms.

I write this as our country today is approaching a similar toll exceeding 168,000 deaths from COVID-19 while approaching 200,000 deaths and beyond.

Unfortunately my dream did not end with the fourth year of a Hillary Clinton presidency. No, the current occupant of the White House is still there as the pandemic rages out of control coupled with his lies, belligerent behavior and callous disregard for the families who’ve lost loved ones to this disease.

The end the war in the Pacific with atomic bombs and the ongoing pandemic with the novel coronavirus have left us a legacy pain and death causing families in each case to be forever changed.

Words and actions of our government matter. The truth matters. Elections matter. What would have happened had FDR lived? What would have happened if Hillary Clinton had instead been our president rather than the one who has led us to this unparalleled time of economic distress and public health mismanagement?

We are now in position to change the story and rebuild for the future. Is it the beginning or is it the end? Let’s vote to restore the soul of America! Let’s begin again.

Roger Briggs


Cooper once again polarizes

Our resident rambler Bertha Cooper prates on and on column after column, ad infinitum and rarely, if ever, comes to a point, while we lowly, run-of-the-mill pencil pushers are limited to 250 words.

One must, however, agree with our editor (paraphrasing), that if one cannot make a point in 250 words or fewer, one likely doesn’t have one.

Her present column (“An impossible year, part II,” Aug. 12, page A-14) is a continuation of the left’s politicization of the Wuhan Virus to the point of obscenity.

My advice to Bertha: When you go out Bertha, please wear your mask — the Blue one with the democrat jackass printed on it.

Ethan Harris