A bar of soap
On Friday afternoon my two daughters, 13 and 16, walked into a local bank in downtown Moscow. They crossed paths with a lady, at the front entrance, who stopped and asked if they had masks. My girls responded, ‘no thank you.’ The business has no mask request or requirement.
The woman, who I assume thinks of herself as an adult, made eye contact and responded, “F-ing morons.” What? I don’t care what side of this mess you are on today or tomorrow. I don’t care about your source of news. Take nine booster shots or eat the horse paste. Live your life. But, please stop short of harassing kids with your filthy mouth. All of our children have been through enough. As for the lady in the bank, my mother would wash your mouth out with a bar of soap.
Feeling sadness and concern
It just occurred to me that the pandemic is likely to impact me very personally if COVID-19 numbers on the Palouse continue to rise. I’m scheduled for a much-needed knee replacement in mid-October. A bum knee isn’t life-threatening, but I’m in a lot of pain. If local hospitals are driven beyond capacity by COVID-19 patients, my surgery may be postponed for a long time.
The other impact I’ve faced is farcical. Never did I imagine that because of the COVID-19, I’d have trouble buying the dewormer I need for my horses. Ivermectin is an insecticide/helminthicide, and it is most likely NOT effective at controlling viruses. I’m aware of only one study which shows that ivermectin might — MIGHT — have some effect on COVID-19, and that data is weak. We want scientists to examine this possible treatment. That said, to anyone with training in pest control, using ivermectin for COVID-19 is a laughable misappropriation of chemistry, with dangerous effects.
Poor me? No. I’m truly grateful that I and my family and friends are otherwise well.
I could choose to be angry at the refusal of some of our neighbors to get the vaccine and wear masks; my natural inclination is to be judgmental. The response I’m cultivating instead is to feel sadness and concern for the unvaccinated/maskless, because they may not know who to believe, and they’ve been lied to.
I managed to find some ivermectin, although the current nonsense has driven up the prices. However, I’m worried about my knee surgery. Neighbors, please consider the impact that your refusal to vaccinate and mask may have on those who need hospital facilities for reasons other than COVID-19 care. That could be you or your loved ones.
I pray for our safety in this ominous time.
Bagram and Kabul
In his column of Sept. 1, Dale Courtney says we should have held onto Bagram Air Base, and evacuated people from there. I wonder how that would have worked. Would he please share his insight, given the below problems.
Bagram is an hour and a half away from Kabul, and the highway is notorious. How many armed factions would occupy squeeze points along the way, each deciding which document of safe passage it would honor? And how large a force would be required to defend the air base, given that no reinforcements would be available?
A lesson from Xerox
In reading back and forth between who is right on masks and vaccines I remembered a sales class I took in the early 1970s based on Xerox’s sales strategy which was to bypass the first objection a potential customer gave to their sales pitch. This was based on the observation that people typically keep their real reason in reserve. I think some of this is happening on the issue of masks and vaccines.
I suspect that for many people their real reasons for not masking and vaccine reluctance are they just aren’t that worried about COVID-19 or at least not worried enough to give up close socialization with each other and really don’t feel that strong about vaccines or masks either — they just think libs focus on both are silly. They know a lot of folks who got COVID-19 and are just fine. They feel they have been enjoying their lives while we are hunkering down and missing a lot of ours.
This doesn’t change my mind about these issues but it helps me find a little empathy for the women trying desperately to save her husband with whatever crazy drug she can find and those in intensive care now. COVID-19 is a terrible disease — blaming folks for getting it can’t be helpful.
Growth needs your attention
Another Moscow housing development comes up for approval very soon: the Woodbury subdivision near Slonaker Drive. The proposal is part of a multi-phase plan to build 270 houses on 83 acres south of Trail Road. The developer also applied for annexation, a move that would guarantee Woodbury residents access to Moscow’s dwindling water supply. Make no mistake, water is the single most critical issue; still, traffic also is a concern.
Construction traffic will enter the 83-acre site via Trail Road, according to the developer. But to access Trail, drivers must use Orchard Avenue or Mountain View Road. The pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers who use these roads (and surrounding streets) will face a steady stream of bulldozers, cement trucks, and lowboys hauling equipment. For how long? Ten years, the developer estimates, if all goes as planned. Of course, residents will begin to move into homes before the subdivision is complete.Post-construction, Woodbury residents will make an estimated 2,500 trips per day, causing traffic increases of 64 percent on Orchard, 50 percent on Mountain View, and 45 percent on D Street. These projections come directly from the developer’s engineer; if they underestimated current and/or future use, increases will be steeper. In any case, expect a longer, more difficult commute.
How many housing units have already been approved for construction in the last three years? Do we really need more? Moscow’s City Council hasn’t approved this project yet. If you prefer a more comprehensive approach to growth, speak up. If you think up-to-date impact studies should precede future housing approvals, engage with community leaders. Growth may be inevitable, but current residents deserve consideration in the process.
Write what you know
Dear Chuck Pezeshki, please write about something else rather than your anti-mask rantings. It is getting old, and when I buy the paper I want to read something enlightening and possibly new.
Try writing about the wolf killing legislation in Idaho, or maybe about how the new crop of students at Washington State University are looking. Anything else. Oh, and you’re a professor of engineering, not an epidemiologist. I think I will go with the scientists in the field on that front.