Letters: Closing down non-essential businesses in Summit County was a difficult move but the right one
Bold action was warranted
How would you like to be put in the near impossible position of closing down all non-essential business, or waiting and hoping things aren’t as bad as the experts are predicting? Knowing the pain and impact the first decision would have on individuals, jobs, small business, tourism and the county’s economy, this path would be gut-wrenching.
Tom Fisher, Summit County manager, and Rich Bollough, Summit County Health Department director, took bold (and probably for some unpopular action) early in the coronavirus pandemic to institute age old public health intervention. Without drug therapy or vaccines, we are limited to social distancing, good personal hygiene and behavior, and sanitation. Shrinking social circles and reducing unnecessary public interaction is a critical piece to breaking the spread of highly contagious micro-organisms spread through airborne and settled droplets from talking, coughs and sneezes.
These are not easy times. I applaud and recognize our county bureaucrats (another op-ed: this term needs to be elevated in stature especially in these times of runaway politicals) for acting quickly and definitively. Who knows how much sickness and death they helped us all avoid.
Dean R. Lillquist
Bag reusable bags?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the use of reusable grocery bags has been banned in San Francisco. In addition the states of New Hampshire, Maine and Illinois have backed away from banning plastic bags for now, deeming it impossible to determine if they have been properly sanitized. Something to think about.
Libraries are still here for you
The Summit County Library is always adapting to serve the unique needs of our community. Even though we made the difficult decision to temporarily close our branches, our digital library is always open. We work hard to curate a variety of digital resources you can access from home. All you need is your library card number and pin number. Are you a Summit County resident without a library card? Not a problem! Sign up for one on our website and we will be in touch with your card number and pin.
We encourage you to visit our website at thesummitcountylibrary.org to learn about all of our digital resources. We are dedicated to bringing you free resources that will help you relax, learn, explore and connect. Unwind with access to digital books, audiobooks and magazines with Libby by Overdrive and RBdigital. Take a break and watch a film on Kanopy or binge a new TV show on Acorn TV. Explore new ideas and classes with The Great Courses, Universal Class and LearningExpress Library. Learn a new language with Mango or how to code with Prenda. Practice and learn arts and crafts from notable artists and experts with Creativebug. We have something for everyone!
Stay connected by following us on social media, where we share staff recommendations for all of our digital resources. We are also gathering a variety of free resources and fun activities, like Cabin Fever Story Time, that you can explore from home. If you need help or have a question, you can call your local branch, leave a message, and we will call you back as soon as we can. Alternatively, you can fill out our Ask a Librarian form on our website and we will email you back. We look forward to staying in touch online.
Summit County Library, Kamas Valley branch manager
A notable omission
In reading Mike Baker’s guest editorial from the April 7-10 edition, I couldn’t help but notice that he omitted any reference to Bill Clinton’s lack of military service during the Vietnam conflict when he mentioned the military service of other presidents. According to The Washington Post, President Clinton agreed to join the Army ROTC but later reneged when he received a high draft lottery number that permitted him to avoid military service. This was a big issue during the 1992 campaign that had a lot of public attention. Mr. Baker should explain why he omitted any reference to it.
In some ways I think this guest editorial is more of an attack on Republican presidents than a call for unity. That is unfortunate, because we need unity and careful civic-minded behavior. In addition, I want to thank our medical workers and the public servants who are exposing themselves to the virus while serving the public. I also want to thank workers at our grocery stores and the other public facilities that serve us. I don’t know how we would be able to survive without their sacrifices.
F. Joseph Feely III
It pays to do homework
I write regarding Russell Schwartz’s recent letter to the editor in which he wonders whether we would be in “this situation” of the coronavirus pandemic had the Trump administration, through the machinations of the National Security Council Advisor John Bolton, not disbanded the NSC’s Directorate of Global Health Security and Biodefense in 2018. Of course, Mr. Schwartz didn’t really wonder at all: the implication is that the government’s response to the pandemic would have been better. He may have relied to his detriment, perhaps as a result of his liberal orientation, on a Washington Post op-ed by Beth Cameron, a former Obama administration official in 2016 and 2017 — long before the reorganization — asserting the false disbanding claim. Buyer beware!
If Mr. Schwartz had done the minimal amount of fact checking, he would have learned that the directorate was not disbanded at all. According to Tim Morrison, who oversaw the work of that office during the reorganization in 2018, Ms. Cameron got it wrong. The office was not disbanded but was combined with other offices to streamline an organization that had become bloated during the Obama administration. Morrison explains that the combined directorate, which was merged to reduce the seam between man-made and naturally occurring biological threats, was stronger after the merger because related experts could collaborate more effectively. No director positions were eliminated and the organization retained its subject matter expertise. It pays to do one’s homework before wondering needlessly.
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