How to help a health care worker

To the editor:

This morning on the news, a health care worker said, “I am begging you; please do all you can to stop the spread of this virus.” I got to thinking about health care workers. 

Picture this: A health care worker with two school age children and grandparents who help a lot with nurturing and supervising the children. The children go to school where teachers are trying to maintain mask wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing. The parent is going into a situation where they have a very high level of risk of exposure to the virus.

A child at school becomes infected. The children are quarantined at home. The grandparents step in. They do a good job of being careful around the children and the children do their best to keep masks on around the grandparents. So far, so good.

Then the health care worker contracts the virus. 

How is this family going to cope? Picture yourself in this situation and imagine the decisions you would have to make.

Who will look after the parent? Who will parent the children while the health care worker recovers? The grandparents seem to be the obvious choice. The grandparents are at higher risk of complications than the other family members and everyone in the family knows they are risking the grandparent’s health, but they have no choice.

Now the health care worker cannot work. The health care facility loses a staff member.

You come to receive services and service is slow, or, perhaps not available at all because other workers are sick, or because of the flood of COVID patients using up all of the resources.

This is actually happening in our community where our hospital is struggling to find space for everyone who needs it. Staff are getting sick, putting the extra burden on fewer people.

What can we do about this? We can follow CDC guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. We can wear a mask to reduce the chance that we will catch the virus and pass the virus on. We can practice social distancing and practice good hand hygiene. 

While we are washing our hands, we can think about the people we are protecting. We can list them in our heads. We can pray for them if we are so inclined. We can know we are doing something that will actually help the health care workers and their families. We can make a real difference.

Elizabeth Hykes

Willow Springs

Voters: Stay vigilant

To the editor:

To quote President Gerald Ford, "Our long national nightmare is over." Almost. We have a couple more months of suffering to go.

It was gratifying to see the majority of voters embrace civic responsibility and ethical behavior and decide to reject lying, chaos and incompetence.

Hopefully, the future will bring government that adheres to reasonable norms and that the people can trust.

However, the Trump movement is not over. Undoubtedly, another unstable personality will run for office in the future, espousing nonstop lying, attacks on the free press, white supremacy, wacky conspiracy theories, disbelief in science, destroying affordable health care, ruining Social Security and Medicare and all the other atrocities we have been exposed to over the last four years.

So, decent citizens need to stay vigilant and vote against these candidates whenever the need arises. The future of the Republic depends on it.

Loren Robinson

Willow Springs

Response to mask ordinance

To the editor:

Holy cow, this is straight out of Orwell's 1984! Where are the protests, the torches, the tar and feathers?

I hear everyone say, "I'll give up my guns when they pry them from my cold dead fingers." I say hogwash! If we can't protest this freedom-stripping mask ordinance violating our liberty to make a simple choice, then we'll be handing over our guns just as quickly. 

How about some backbone? How about some protests? Let this be a practice run for when Biden and Harris come for our guns, and they will! 

For those afraid of COVID, let them self-quarantine, don't punish the ninety and nine for the sake of the one. Whatever happened to the land of the free and home of the brave? We've turned into a nation willing to take anything the government hands out at all levels, including what the West Plains City Council dishes out to us. 

What's become of the free American spirit that made this country great? What happened to the spirit of independence that built this nation and Missouri?

We've betrayed not only the men of the Boston Tea Party, but all those who fought in the Revolutionary War to secure for us the freedoms we used to enjoy. 

If we don't protest against this ordinance, there's no telling what they'll do next.

Bob Warrick

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