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Letters, Nov. 17

County commissioners’ failure

Flabbergasted would be an understatement in describing my response to County Commissioners Dyer and Roberts refusing to support mask-wearing, while simultaneously expressing concerns about the negative effects of coronavirus on businesses. It displayed a deep misunderstanding of both public health and economics.

The economy is driven by consumer confidence, which the pandemic has impacted in two ways. First, saving rather than spending is natural if one believes that another round of shutdowns might impact employment. Second, and more important, consumers will not go into businesses if they don’t feel safe. We all strive to support our local economy, but not at the expense of our health.

We had more cases last Thursday in the United States than Japan, a densely populated country of 126 million people, has logged in total since the very beginning. Why? Masks are not mandated in Japan, but they have consistent messaging regarding how important they are in combating an infectious respiratory disease. As a result, they mask almost universally. Japan made some minor adjustments to control gathering sizes but otherwise did not close their economy.

Lockdowns are not a desired or sustainable pandemic management strategy. They are the absolute last resort to prevent hospitals from being overrun. If the commissioners are concerned about the impact of the virus on the economy, they would be wise to listen to the public health officials and strongly encourage universal masking. Otherwise, we should be prepared to wallow along watching our local businesses shutter themselves one after another.

Michael Hoyt

Ashland

Recall science deniers

I am completely appalled by the reported remarks by our Jackson County Commissioners Colleen Roberts and Rick Dyer. Despite the soaring rates of COVID-19 in Jackson County, in Oregon, and in the U.S. overall, they refuse to make any public announcement encouraging the wearing of masks, washing of hands, and social distancing. This despite the unquestionable proof that such measures in fact lower the transmission rate and ultimately save lives.

Roberts thinks that proactive support for mask-wearing would be a detriment to the success of local businesses. She instead proposed that people be encouraged to take Vitamin C. Dyer said he would only back a statement supporting the hard work of health workers. Both these commissioners are obviously adhering to the highly politicized position that their support for preventative measures would imperil people’s “freedom” to transmit the virus whenever and wherever they like.

This level of irresponsibility has no place in our elected officials. I would support an initiative to recall both of these science-denying commissioners and replace them with people who truly care about the health of Jackson County citizens.

Maureen Hicks

Ashland

Local COVID cases

As our community watches our local COVID-19 cases continue to rise, all of us in health care worry about where our rate of infection will peak. Will COVID cases overwhelm our local resources?

All of us have a role to play in ensuring the health of our whole community from young to old. We are so close to having a vaccine and if we can come together to turn back the surge of infections now, it will save many lives.

Follow the CDC recommendations:

1. Wear a mask when indoors and in outdoor crowded spaces.

2. Keep 6 feet of distance.

3. Wash your hands.

Nathan Funk

Ashland

Reckless endangerment

Reckless endangerment is a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn’t required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions.

Evidence garnered by the CDC and other medical investigators has shown that those who refuse to wear masks during this pandemic can be statistically proven to be guilty of reckless endangerment.

Ted Gibbs

Ashland

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