President’s behavior is not safe

To the editor:

CDC Director Robert Redfield recently told a Senate committee that a coronavirus vaccine will likely not be widely available until the middle or latter part of next year. He also said mask wearing is vital in fighting the spread of the disease.

Almost immediately the president contradicted all of Mr. Redfield’s important points. This is not new behavior for the president. 

The U.S. intelligence community has told us that Russia has interfered in our elections and that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of U.S. service people. The science community has stated clearly that climate change is real and manmade.

Meanwhile, the president has said he believes Putin over the intelligence offered by our experts. Mr. Trump has declared climate change a hoax. Actually, on a list of issues too long for this letter, the president regularly contradicts the facts. 

I suppose we could all discuss why or what motivates the president to constantly contradict the experts, often people he appointed himself. But the important point here is that, for whatever reason, this behavior is not safe.

The government’s job is to protect the people. We as citizens need good information so that we can all do our part to keep this nation thriving. Currently we are under threats to our election system, our environment, our economy and to our health.

We need a president who can lead us through this minefield. Mr. Trump is not that person.

Tom Rowley,

Willow Springs

Actions affect community, do what’s possible to protect it

To the editor:

Take this as you will, but this is how the pandemic and those who deny its dangers are affecting those of us who are at a higher risk of severe complications if we catch COVID-19, and it needs to be heard:

I'm going to say this, because it needs to be said, and I hope that some of you who disagree with me on the controversial subject of the novel coronavirus pandemic actually hear it and try to understand where I’m coming from. I don’t pretend to assume that anything said here will change your mind — but I’m hoping it might speak to some small piece of your heart.

I wish that those of you who are healthy, who do not live with the constant struggle of a serious chronic illness, knew how lucky you were to have your health. The past few months have indeed been difficult and lacking all sense of normalcy for any of us. Believe me, I understand the frustration of not being able to do all of the normal things that you are accustomed to doing. I know because I've lived with that very frustration for over 20 years — long before the coronavirus was a concern.

I can no longer walk on my own, and I watch in envy as people do something as mundane as walk across a parking lot. A machine cleans my blood three days a week to keep me alive. It impedes my freedom, but, without it, I would die. And because I have been a dialysis patient for 20 years, my bones are so brittle that I've broken a hip just walking up a flight of stairs. But, as it has been previously mentioned to me, I cannot live in a bubble — and I don’t. And I am one of the nearly 50% of people in this country who are at a higher risk of severe complications if we catch COVID-19.

I envy those of you who can blatantly ignore the risks this illness poses because you feel certain that you'll have no trouble surviving if you catch it. But I cannot be so indifferent. And the real rub is that my chances of catching it do not rely solely on me — they also rely on those in my community doing what they can to try to slow the spread of infection.

I also find it ironic that the subject of suicide brought on by the pandemic’s loss of normalcy has been raised as a reason for ignoring public safety guidelines in response to the coronavirus. I say that because, over the past five months, my husband (who is in emergency healthcare and has been dealing with COVID patients nonstop) and I have had more conversations on the subject of suicide than anyone would probably believe.

We talk about it because, on one side, you have those that argue a continued lack of social interaction and subsequent freedoms increases the potential for suicide. But, my husband and I are living on the other side of this argument — the side that is struggling with the fear every day that I will catch it, or that he will catch it and pass it on to me. My husband and his colleagues have suffered from the mental and emotional strain of death, after death, after unnecessary death … and even more difficult is that we have to take a stance against those who do not believe in the danger and/or do not care about the threat it poses when, really, we are just so tired of fighting for my (and others’) right to live.

It’s impossible to not let those thoughts creep in when the people of your own community act so callously and completely ignore the reality that their actions put you in danger and, yet, they are more concerned with being able to attend public events, gather in large groups, and not wear a mask than they are with the possibility that their actions could kill someone. It makes you feel like no one really gives a damn if you live or die — so why wait?

I don’t intend to take away anyone’s freedoms. I don’t intend to blindly follow media information without asking questions of my doctors and other informed sources. And, I am not asking for anyone to put themselves at an increased risk.

So, why are all of these things expected of me?

Does having a serious chronic illness automatically mean I am worthless?

Some may assume that, due to my condition, I contribute nothing to our community … but would it surprise you to know that I head a board of a volunteer-run nonprofit? Where I dedicate all my free time and more than just a little of my meager income to support programs that benefit adults and children alike? That works to conserve our regional history so that future generations will have pride in their Ozarks roots? That has been working overtime to create programs that will help alleviate some of the burden on homeschooling parents? That just wants to give back to the community that so many of us call home?

This community does mean a lot to me. I guess I just wish that people like me meant anything to our collective community. We aren’t asking that much. We just want you to care that your actions can and do affect others —and do what you can to help protect all of us.

We are asking you to take precautions seriously. Do you realize what you are asking of us?

In short, everyone wants things to “get back to normal,” but did you ever stop to think that maybe you should just be grateful that your “normal” doesn’t include a serious chronic illness? You want the freedom to be able to enjoy your life? Maybe you just need to change your perspective because I’d certainly enjoy trading places with any one of you who has the luxury of a clean bill of health — even if that meant taking extra precautions that were meant to protect others more than they were meant to protect me.

What a selfish, selfish world we live in. SMH.

Please, if you care at all, wear a mask. Keep your distance. Help me stay alive to see the end of all this and the beginning of much brighter days — for all of us. That’s all I’m asking for.

With sincerest hope,

Vicki Warren-Martin

West Plains

A pledge to do better

To the editor:

Many of you know my dad, but for those who don’t, he served in the military for most his life. He was wounded during his second tour in Afghanistan just about 11 years ago. We were very lucky to get him back.

The medical personnel that kept him alive on his arduous journey back to the states are heroes and angels and I’m sure you all would agree. The huge turnout he received by our West Plains community when he arrived home was so amazing and heartwarming. It meant the world to him and our family.

Last Saturday, my dad waited four hours in the OMC emergency room with a brain bleed. Services were at capacity due to the number of people in there sick with COVID-19, so they had to find somewhere else for him to go. Mercy hospital in Springfield was also full and couldn’t take him. He was finally airlifted to Barnes in St. Louis.

Now listen up and listen good: I don’t care what your political affiliation is and neither does the COVID virus. If you are making some kind of political statement by not masking up, or you’re simply just tired of it, I want you to think about why.

If you just can’t stay home anymore and have to go to church or the game or a restaurant with zero precautions, I want you to think about why.

Why can’t you? My dad did his part for his community and country. You can do yours and it won’t cost you nearly as much.

Do not think that it’s no big deal if some people get COVID. They will be taking away medical services for those other kinds of accidents, illnesses and emergencies that come up. Listen to those same medical personnel who are telling us how to best protect ourselves and our country.

This isn’t politics. This isn’t a game. Do these small things as a gesture of good will for my dad as a veteran who has health issues, for a grandma or sick kid.

Please join me in a pledge to do better. We’re all in this together.


Andrea Ingalsbe

West Plains

Vote carefully, lives depend on it

To the editor:

It is outrageous that Trump has been lying to the American people right from the start of the pandemic about the seriousness of COVID-19. 

Even though we have been relatively safe in our Ozarks, our daily numbers of people infected with COVID continue to rise. 

For those who had the chickenpox virus, it lays dormant in your body and for some people it shows up later in life as painful shingles. 

COVID-19 is a virus and once you get the virus, it lays dormant. The CDC reports that there are long-term side effects showing up for millions of people who have been diagnosed with COVID, but not sick enough to be hospitalized. The unknown long-term side effects of COVID are very scary — it can affect every organ of your body as time goes on. 

Wearing masks and social distancing is relatively simple — “just do it.”

Trump has done many things to disqualify him for re-election and lying about this deadly pandemic, putting everyone’s lives on the line is unforgivable.

Please think really hard and long about who you vote for because your life (and everyone’s) depends on it.

Maxine and Ken Horgan

Mtn. View

Reader calls president’s character into question

To the editor:

Donald Trump is a pathological liar. Nonpartisan fact checkers have documented more than 20,000 lies Trump has told since his election. He averages 23 proven lies per day. Even his sister is appalled by his BS. There are thousands of video and audio tapes of Trump making statements that he later denied ever saying. Some of his lies have killed people (Hydroxychloroquine).

Trump is a cheat. He has cheated on his wives and cheated many of his business associates. He illegally paid hush funds to silence a porn star, and a former Playboy Playmate, among others. Trump refused to pay thousands of contractors and suppliers for their completed work on his properties.

Trump is a con man. Trump University paid 25 million to settle students proven claims of fraud. Trump Vitamins was fined as a Ponzi scheme that made numerous fraudulent claims.

Trump is a crook. A court ordered Trump to return $2 million to veteran’s charities and banned the Trump family from running a charity, after it was proven that Trump misused donations for personal gain. Trump associates with criminals. Trump was financially intertwined with Wilbur Ross’ Bank of Cyprus and Deutsche Bank, both of which were deeply involved in money laundering for Russian criminals. More Trump appointees have been indicted for crimes than any President except Nixon. By contrast, the Obama/Biden administration had zero appointees indicted.

Trump is an inept businessman. All of the American banks refuse to give Trump companies business loans due to his defaults and multiple bankruptcies. Trump bankrupted the Taj Mahal casino, which had also been fined for laundering criminal money.

If you knew someone was a liar, cheat, crook and con man would you let them take care of your house? Of course not? Then why let that person run your country?

David Calhoun

Willow Springs

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