Letters to the Editor — Nov. 5, 2020

An unexpected blessing

In this time of hopes cut short, plans changed and anxiety rising, good things can happen. I recently had to quarantine for two weeks after contact with a person testing COVID positive — which meant we had to cancel our social-distanced, early Thanksgiving meet-up with our adult son and fiancee near Anacortes, along with other disruptions.

Sunday morning after calling out son to say “no go,” I was quite sad. A knock on the door by a man I had never met before had him returning my driver’s license which I had lost on the Olympic Discovery Trail the day before. I had not noticed this yet and was so amazed and then tearful that I did not get his name — but I am sure it was something like Wonderful Person.

I did tell him he had brought happiness to a distressing day.

May we all be kind and respectful to each other in this time of mutual need.

Nancy Baer

Sequim

Don’t underestimate COVID-19 danger

Dick Pilling, in his letter in the Nov. 18 edition (“Pandemic perspective,” Sequim Gazette, page A-15), seems to be equating efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 to “cowering.” He compares the death toll from COVID-19 with that of past influenza pandemics and suggests that this one is no worse.

No one is saying that this pandemic is the “end of the world,” but there are good reasons to work together to slow its spread.

Pilling fails to recognize that this is not “the flu.” It is a new disease that we are just beginning to understand. It is much more deadly than the flu. It causes long-term lung damage, mental health problems, etc., in addition to pneumonia and more familiar symptoms.

As each month passes, doctors learn more about how to effectively treat it and we get closer to having a vaccine available. In those areas where it has been allowed to spread rapidly, hospitals are overwhelmed and hospital staff are burned out and woefully short of masks and respirators.

“Only” a quarter million Americans have died so far, but it should be noted that most of those died between flu seasons. Flu season is when colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses do the most damage.

We are now entering our first flu season when COVID-19 is widespread.

The death toll can easily double this winter, if we each do not do our part to slow its spread. One of the lives you save may be your own.

Ted Lund

Sequim

Advertisement misrepresents truth, crosses line

We were surprised to find an advertisement in the Peninsula Daily News (Nov. 22, page A-7) that gave erroneous information on COVID-19 and mask wearing. The advertisement misrepresented the position of the World Health Organization on the efficacy of wearing masks.

This is a public health issue. Lives are at stake. Correct referenced information should always be included as you require in citizens’ letters that you choose to print. Would you run an ad stating that there was no relationship between cigarettes and smoking? Would you run an ad supporting racial intolerance? Have you changed your paper’s policy because there is money to be made in advertising? Hopefully not.

My husband and I have subscribed to both the PDN and the Sequim Gazette since we moved here 12 years ago. We realize the plight of small newspapers and the importance they play in rural communities in connecting and informing people of local issues when there is no mass media produced in small towns. We appreciate the fact that you must walk a fine line as you have attempted to do so in reporting on controversial issues. But this is a major health crisis in our county, state and nation.

We urge you and owner of the paper to reconsider the guidelines you are using for advertising in your publications.

Carrol Hull and Alan Clark

Sequim

Seat belt safety starts with us

“Drive safe.” It’s something we say to friends as they depart. It carries an implicit care for each other. Before the car even starts moving, driving safe means putting on a seatbelt, and most of us do just that.

In Clallam County, we tend to wear our seatbelts more than the state average (Washington state’s rate was 93 percent, according to a 2019 observational survey). But in a five-year study from 2012-2016, 9 percent of traffic fatalities in our county were people who weren’t wearing a seatbelt. That’s 12 lives lost in our community; deaths that may have been prevented with a seatbelt.

I know almost everyone reading this already wears their seatbelt, so I encourage you to do two more things: make sure that anyone who rides with you buckles up, and if someone tells you they don’t wear a seatbelt, kindly let them know why you wear yours.

Your reason might not be exactly the same as mine, but I bet it’s similar. We wear seatbelts to keep ourselves safe, to make sure we get home to our loved ones, and to be there for people who depend on us.

Wearing a seatbelt is what happens when we care about each other. And we can all use a little more of that.

Josh Ley

Clallam and Jefferson County Target Zero Manager

Council should give Qanon views, too

It has been some months since Sequim mayor William Armacost was called out for believing and encouraging others to look into the Qanon movement. For those who need a refresher about Qanon: “QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal” (Wikipedia)

And there’s more. Much more.

Forget the Mayor. He is a true believer.

But what about the Sequim City Council? Make public where they stand on Qanon, or tell us it’s not their job which means they are complicit by default. It’s expected they thought if enough time went on, it would just go away.

Prove us wrong.

Dennis Hamner

Sequim

PC fast track program worthwhile

I recently read an article in the Sequim Gazette about the fast track AA program at Peninsula College. I think this is excellent!

Access to education in a variety of forms is truly a blessing for students like myself.

I am enrolled in the multimedia communications program at PC. I searched for several years to find the right online program in Washington until I finally landed at PC. If they did not offer this program with an online option, I would not be able to attend school.

I applaud PC for recognizing the needs of today’s students and providing real opportunities. The instructors are very competent and truly want their students to succeed.

I do not live in the peninsula area but I would recommend PC to anyone, locals and distance learners alike.

I have been so impacted by my experience at PC that I am considering moving to the area. If anyone is considering school but is unsure where to start, just give PC a call; it could change your life.

Angela Miller

Pasco

Trump misses opportunity with COVID response

I’ve been giving thought to results of the 2020 election and the frivolous lawsuits of Trump’s lawyers. In a previous letter, I wrote Trump had the sequential recovery of the national economy backwards. Though the Dow now exceeds a record high of 30,000, many businesses are closing (or have closed) forever, unemployment is still high, many schools are closed and any followup stimulus is still being withheld.

Trump did — and still has — recovery sequences of the economy backwards.

When asked by a reporter if he had presidential responsibility in suppressing the COVID pandemic, Trump could have said, “Yes, and here’s what I’m going to do” — to wit: “I will continue to provide stimulus payments to small businesses, unemployed workers, and schools for safe openings; invoke the Defense Production Act for health care/hospital needs, and let science (CDC, FDA, HHS) issue necessary COVID healthcare guidelines nationwide — and wouldn’t have had to do anything except sign a few executive orders and make a few phone calls. He could have played golf the rest of his term while Congress was submitting stimulus and other bills for his signature, let epidemiologists oversee development of COVID vaccines. He probably would have won re-election.

Instead, Trump was “smarter than anyone else” on every subject, chose not to govern in the last year of his four-year term and, ironically, became his own worst enemy.

Moral: A good manager hires people smarter than he/she is, with more applicable experience, and listens to them.

Dick Hahn

Sequim

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