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Letters, March 19

Social distancing saves lives

We are in strange and disorienting times. The coronavirus that emerged in China at the end of December 2019 is upending all our lives.

We do not know the extent to which the coronavirus has spread to Southern Oregon. We do know, however, that the decisions we make today will make a big difference as to how the epidemic plays out in the valley.

Estimates are that between 40% and 70% of the population will eventually be infected with coronavirus. For around 80% of these cases the symptoms will be nonexistent to mild. However, for a relatively few they could be severe.

Those at the highest risk are the elderly and those with chronic health issues such as heart and lung disease. For Ashland this could mean 6,300 infections, 900 hospitalizations and around 300 would need ICU-level care. Anything that you can do to slow the rate of infection will help. If we all work together, we can change how many are infected and save lives.

Please follow the CDC recommendations.

1. Clean your hands often.

2. Avoid close contact with others.

3. Stay home if you are sick.

4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Nathan Funk, MD, FACC

Ashland

Thanks to Eagle Scout

While I am painfully aware of the suffering in the world I, personally, have days that fill me with gratitude. A recent hike on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail was one of those days.

It was a perfect day to enjoy nature and all its treats. And, when this old guy needed a rest, there was a simple bench to sit on with a great view.

Thank you, Austin Morgan, Eagle Scout, Medford Troop 7. According to the tiny signs on the benches, Austin installed them in 2010.

Dave Garcia

Medford

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