Letters, March 21
Finally, Donald Trump has decided to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously.
Given the undue influence the media seem to have on his decision-making process, I’m wondering if he now considers CNN and MSNBC to have more credibility than Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
Engage in social distancing
We need to start engaging in social distancing starting now. Here’s why:
There is now 1 death and 66 cases linked to COVID-19 with known community spread in our state. While symptoms appear two to 14 days after contracting the virus, it can be spread before symptoms appear. Testing is so limited that by the time someone has tested positive they have likely spread it to others. Therefore, I don’t believe it’s a big jump to assume that the virus could already be circulating in our region.
Reports from Italy, (which experts believe is 10 days ahead of us in this crisis) document that elderly patients are going untreated and people with pneumonia are being turned away because hospitals can’t treat everyone. If we don’t act now we will face the same predicament.
Unless it’s absolutely essential, stay at home. When out, keep a distance of 6 feet from others.
Decisions leaders and the public make today have an impact on how the spread of the virus will play out in the future. By acting now we can support our medical staff so they can safely save as many lives as possible and protect the most vulnerable.
Celebration of life
Few of us get to live into our 90s. I’m 97 and still going strongish. I’m also curious how much longer I have to live. Of course, there’s no answer.
So, I may as well continue to live fully every day.
My main purpose is to bring joy to others. One way is with my Hi! Club (only one member, me). I say “Hi!” to everyone I pass by, except in large crowds. All acknowledge me, some more than others. Silently, I send loving messages to them. It feels good to relate to everyone, and it may be helpful to a lonely person. I do this to drivers too, everyone I see.
Instead of waiting till I die to celebrate my life, I’ve decided to have a going-away party while I’m here to enjoy it. Part of the party is what I call my “hasta luego/see you later burial sheet” — a white bed sheet, lots of colored pens, and everyone is invited to write goodbye messages to me on it. When I die I’ll be wrapped in that sheet and tucked into Mother Earth. Just think of all those lovely thoughts surrounding me. Mmmm.
Hasta luego, my friends.
Support each other
This is a weird and frightening time and we all need to pull together to get through it. It’s important that we do what we can to support one another right now.
One way to do this is to shop at the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, which is still taking place Tuesday and Saturday in Ashland and Thursday in Medford. Farmers and crafters can’t get unemployment, even if no one buys their product! If you receive food benefits, you can use them to buy groceries at the market.
Another thing to consider if you are able is buying gift cards from businesses that are closed or severely curtailed. Many local stores and restaurants make gift card purchase available online.
As a bonus, consciously choosing to help someone else can ease your own anxiety. A recent headline in The Washington Post said it best: “You are the hero we are waiting for.”
Let this moment bring out the best in each of us.
Thoughts on the pandemic
It would be judicious for the federal government to provide funding for the scientific community so research on a vaccine could be sped up. I’d much rather see that than $1,000 to each individual American.
Also, this would be a good time for all grocery stores to provide biodegradable gloves in produce departments for customers to use when making a selection. In addition, signs should be posted encouraging customers not to handle produce except when choosing to purchase it, and above all, not to smell it!!
Karen R. Foster