Time to act is now

Our community’s response to novel coronavirus disease needs to intensify.

As of this writing, many people, including general employees at WSU, are still going to work. Washington State University has just advised students not to return to Pullman after spring break. This is a welcome development.

We have seen or are seeing the disease wreak havoc in Wuhan, Iran, Italy, Spain, western Washington, New York, and elsewhere. The number of cases initially increased exponentially in all these areas. There is no reason to expect that will not happen in our area.

We are short of personal protective equipment for health care workers in the area, and testing for COVID-19 is still limited and slow. The Palouse has no more than a dozen or so ICU beds, and we can expect that our local hospitals’ ability to manage critically ill patients will be quickly overwhelmed. Transfer of critically ill patients to Spokane might not be possible if hospitals there are at or over capacity. People might die for lack of ventilators.

Advising students away on spring break not to return to Pullman is a good step. Although young people seem to tolerate this infection better than old people do, many young do get quite ill and some need hospitalization. In addition, they can of course spread this to the more vulnerable.

At WSU and elsewhere, only essential employees should come to work. Nonessential employees should work from home. At work people should practice frequent handwashing and social distancing. Meetings should be canceled or done remotely. Libraries and other nonessential facilities should be closed.

If these measures are taken, the death toll in our area will be lower than it otherwise will be. The time to act is now.

Dr. John Horstkamp


Like asteroids and hemorrhoids

The coronavirus will be ubiquitous by Easter. Like the asteroid that could wipe us out next week or in 2 million years, no one can avoid exposure. The world’s billionaires have had it with Trump and he keeps threatening them with his incompetence. This pandemic will cause less and less product and service. Who’s going to fix the gulfstream? Is my villa safe? Where’s the beef?

The stock market is the pulse and BP of earth. Every time Trump says something stupid the market crashes then he lies and the market goes up then he undermines his staff and the market sinks. Nobody likes ‘market firsts’ every few days. Never mind the idea Trump will not accept defeat or will try to stop the election.

The 2,500 billionaires that own our planet will not endure him four more years. No more grovel fests. He needs massive cheers and applause. You can tell this from his curt press briefings. He pauses for applause that never comes and it drives him nuts. It won’t be long. Despite advice he will have a rally. The usual tight camera shot so the hundred or so drones including the same three paid token minorities that make it look like a crowd. Remember, contagious disease, like asteroids and hemorrhoids, don’t care what you got.

Richard Strongoni


Thoughts on electibility

How many of us have said to ourselves “I don’t belong in this time?”

“Why vote?” we ask ourselves. A candidate runs for office and the first thing he does is spend his resources on sending thousands of letters asking us for money to get him in office. When a bad man gets in, the first things he (or she) does is to sell us out to big business for his own benefit; when a good man gets in, he is hamstrung in his efforts to benefit the people and the environment or worse, corrupted.

I get letters from candidates about how they succeeded in their private life but there is no mention whether or not they have selflessly risked their own reputation to take on a cause for the wellbeing of a community or any downtrodden sector. And they ask for money from me to put them in office. They have proved nothing to me but their ability of self-survival.

People who are not in debt and who live within their income are rated equally with derelicts because we prefer to pay cash and avoid the outrageous interest rate inflicted on people who borrow. My goodness. We are depriving seat polishers of their monthly pound of flesh.

Half the trouble in the world is caused by good-thinking people who keep their mouths shut instead of speaking out about what they know from their own experience to be true.

What do you think?

Nancy Parry


Doing what they do best

King Jesus Trump has been personally profiting through the power of the presidency. Citing two examples, immediately upon ascending, he doubled the annual membership dues at Mar-a-Lago, to two-hundred grand. Next, Jesus has been charging government employees $650 dollars per night (N.Y.Times). Apparently, these workers have no choice on overnight arrangements when working out of town. The NSA obliged, but was ordered to remain hush, thus keeping Jesus’ money flowing.

Trump is not alone in profiting. According to CBS News, so too have Baltimore slumlords … Ivanka and Jared Trump, whose properties in “Kushnerville” have helped them rake in about $80 million, working as Jesus’ senior White House aides.

Now we’re in the middle of a health crisis. First, Jesus Trump said not to worry, the disease will burn off in the April heat. Next, he said Covid-19 was a Chinese and Democratic hoax and plot to oust him. This week, Jesus declared a national emergency. Seems to me, Trump doesn’t know the difference between a hoax, what a pandemic is and an empty hole.

The Republican king cut a pandemic assistance program for one simple reason — the program was Obama’s. Now, we must put up with another hypocrite, something named Pence who is the go-to charlatan for the coronavirus disease. Thus, “Dr.” Pence’s team of bought-and-paid-for “doctors” must clear all findings with him which are, of course, “edited for content,” before allowing public access. “Edited for content” is a euphemism for lies, cause that’s what Trump and Pence do best.

Jim Roach


Tip of the hat to Daily News

Congratulations to the Daily News for their commitment to informing the readership about the local changes that will or have transpired due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Normal community functions are changing and the newspaper is a great forum to turn to for information. Craig Staszkow’s article of March 17, “Committed to staying agile, keeping readers informed,” was reassuring and the Community Bulletin Board on page 2 of that edition very helpful.

I look forward to seeing similar updates. The COVID-19 outbreak will strain our system and its resources for many months to come. And I fear the worst is yet to hit us.

There will be a need for volunteers and hopefully the Daily News can help by acting as a forum to coordinate volunteers with areas/groups/agencies that require help. Moreover, there will be people who have lost work hours and are in need of money and are eager to offer their services. For example, yesterday at the Daily Grind in downtown Pullman we were told by the counter person that their staff is available to be hired to make deliveries and the like. This announcement of people wanting to serve in different capacities needs to be disseminated to a wider audience than those who happen to trickle into the store. I look to the Daily News to help make such announcements happen.

Lastly, I urge all that have the means to frequent local businesses and employ the underemployed. We want these businesses to be around for us after the outbreak and therefore we must support them as much as possible during this difficult time.

Larry Fox


Appreciated column

Back on March 10, when columnist Peter Haug wrote on the nature of civility, he was rightly concerned about the discord that divides us. Now with the COVID-19 plague amongst us, his concern is especially timely. I agree with Peter that the practice of the virtue of “trust,” especially in times of crisis, is of key importance, and too often the first to go missing.

I am a member of the Christian community and Haug’s view that the social virtues that enable concord and civility were given to men before Jesus is accurate. God gave to all men wisdom, says the scripture — Confucious, Plato, and others — and they gained insight into the nature of things. Without the knowledge and practice of these, however imperfect, human social life would be impossible. Notice, though, that with the coming of Christ, we are called to a higher standard.

Yes, we must practice the social virtues that lead to civility, but our instruction is to “love God and our neighbor.” There is a standard that must be enabled by grace. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He said, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He knew intimately the discord of human life, and yet “went about doing good.” Then He died for the sins of the world, partly that we might begin to see the heavenly city.

For now, the practice of good-will and trust toward our neighbor can begin in our households, neighborhood, place of work, church and town. Encourage one another, and pray for the authorities above us.

Thanks to Pete Haug for the column.

Fred and Lynaire Banks


Struggles without guidance

The Trump administration has yet to issue clear guidance to federal employees nationwide on whether they can work at home as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.

The result has been an ad hoc mix of policies that varies by agency and has left many workers across the country with conflicting instructions about when and how they should report to their offices and if they can telework. The civilian federal workforce consists of about 2 million people, not counting the United States Postal Service, with about 15 percent based in the Washington, D.C., area.

Americans need to remember that their social security checks, medicare payments and other programs come from this workforce and appreciate that they are struggling to keep the processing going.

Kathy Graham


Depends on the newspaper

I have just finished reading this morning’s paper and want to thank you for keeping the paper going in this difficult time. I live out in Garfield and I truly depend on the Daily News for my local information. It is invaluable.

Mary Ann Storms


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