OPED page

An important community service

I was struck by the Editorial and Op-Ed pages of the Gazette on Tuesday for illustrating aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. In letters, Ted Mische and Christina Tursich shared perspectives on the government reaction (and restrictions) associated with efforts to contain the spread of this highly infectious virus. They also called out the irrational “panic buying” by our neighbors who have become afraid for their own welfare and that of their family and friends.

On the facing page, your editorial illuminated the lack of informed political leadership in addressing the real health care crisis — a growing shortage of caregivers and medical facilities. Some pundits have chosen to criticize the administration for a failure of imagination in missing the clues about the emerging pandemic. Yet, for this citizen, it has been the decades-long pursuit of more government controls over virtually every aspect of health care that has contributed to our shortages and lagging response.

Basically, expanded access — through the “Affordable Care Act”, increased enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid — merely increases demand for a limited resource. Concurrently, federal and state regulations slow the development and adoption of new medicines, vaccines, and equipment, ostensibly in the interests of patient safety. The result is public anxiety on the wellness and economic fronts, with few tools to solve the crisis quickly and fully.

As we “self-quarantine” and practice “social distancing,” let’s keep our dialogue going to help define what needs to be addressed when we are clear of this novel coronavirus. The Gazette performed an important service to our community with what appeared Tuesday. Keep it up.

James Moore

Colorado Springs

Crazy reaction to virus

I see the ACLU wants Gov. Jared Polis to release prisoners to help alleviate COVID-19. As I see it, keeping prisoners in one location is what would truly help to alleviate the virus. I am of the belief that this is way overblown, but be that as it may, panic is here and we have to deal with it. The prisoners in one location is synonymous with home or self-quarantine. My dad in the 1930s had tuberculosis. They, at that time would require (euphemistic for force) one to be sequestered to a facility until the physician would pronounce you “cured.” These facilities were dubbed sanitariums.

My dad spent two years in one and my uncle spent 10 years in a sanitarium. My point is keeping prisoners sequestered is better than turning them loose on the public, even though this COVID-19 is blown way out of proportion. There has been 106 cases of COVID-19 reported in Colorado as of Monday. As of that same date, there have been 1,735 reported cases of the flu reported in Colorado. This is crazy as to how we are reacting.

Leo Jones

Colorado Springs

Selfi

sh reaction to restrictions

Lately, I’ve seen in the Op/Ed section of The Gazette, individuals complaining about the closing of many venues such as: bars, restaurants, sports, gatherings of individuals, schools, churches and the list goes on. And those of the Generation Y and Z groups are complaining about our president and governors declaring these closing to protect U.S. from contacting the coronavirus sickness that is affecting the world.

How selfish these individuals are. Don’t they understand the magnitude of this virus and the probability of dying and the losses of lives, family members and friends? They are also criticizing our leaders for taking these actions, because, in my view, they have to stay at home with mommy and daddy during this time, living in the basement and they cannot get out to party or mingle at bars, enjoying the good life we have here in this great country of ours.

I can remember back in the 1950s when a great doctor, Dr. Jonas Salk, manufactured the Salk vaccine that gave protection to all mankind from the dreaded polio virus that crippled and killed. I don’t remember my parents or anyone else, demonstrating the hateful voices of rejection.

The government told the U.S. we had to take these shots or face the consequences of contacting the polio virus. That’s why we took the polio shots — if I remember, more than two doses. Now our leaders of today like those of the past are making the right call by stopping the virus from coming in contact with individuals whom are exposed with the virus. These measures by our governments are to protect all of us. So, to you generations of: We want everything free — college, food, rent, transportation, stipends, also, I don’t want to work, I’ll live with mommy and daddy:

Grow up, take responsibility, stay at home for the time being. It’s only going to get worse, but, there are many scientists trying to help you and me to combat this unfortunate virus that has taken over the planet.

If you want to criticize someone or country, start with yourself, for being selfish because you were told to stay home for awhile.

Will Shipley

Colorado Springs

Negative impact for private sector

I read in The Gazette this morning about the vote to give 50 hours of paid time off for temporary and part–time employees of the county that normally are ineligible for benefits, and an additional 80 hours of PTO for full time employees of the county on top of what the individual employee accrued.

As a provider of youth and family services for 37 years to this county, I am extremely concerned by this move.

I suppose I should not bemoan the generosity county comissioners have provided for employees from Public Health, DHS and other county employees. But while county employees seek the safety of their homes with more paid time off, small businesses and nonprofits, who still need to operate during this time without the easy vote for more PTO, have fewer government employees able or present to work to help us carry out the tasks still needing to be done in our community.

Mark Waller, as a fiscal conservative, I assume you understand from where the additional tax dollars come to so easily to add wonderful hours of PTO on the backs of the local taxpaying private workforce? While they take more unearned PTO, we will lay off good people and shut our doors.

I am saddened about the negative impact for the private sector that does not have the same opportunity to be supported and protected like the government sector.

Jim Hinkle

Colorado Springs

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