Sunday’s Letters to the Editor

The ‘long haulers’

EDITOR: The mass media is focused on the coronavirus body count. With all this press, why is COVID-19 still spreading despite the stay home orders and business restrictions? I theorize it is younger people who think they are immune from death by COVID-19 and are sloppy about masks, 6-foot spacing, crowded settings, etc.

The media has failed to expose the “long haulers” who suffer from destructive results from COVID-19, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (which can permanently scar lungs), brain fog, teeth falling out, extreme fatigue and more. And deaths are mostly those over 65. Many think it'll be just like a flu.

If the younger people are hammered with the risks of the virus, perhaps they may not be as cavalier about precautions. I suggest The Press Democrat feature every day some local person under 65 who has died or who has the “long hauler” problems. Then maybe these risks will get them more motivated to adhere to Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.



Raising taxes

EDITOR: I just read the article saying that some corporations and high income earners are concerned that the Biden administration may raise taxes on them (“Corporate America’s views of Biden mixed,” Jan. 23). What exactly are they worried about? That they may finally have to pay their fair share?



Combining schools

EDITOR: After a long list of school district responsibilities from budget to curriculum development, we are reminded that the primary obligation of a school district is to educate children (“Thumbs up: A chance to streamline schools,” Jan. 22). Yes, combining districts is most often seen from the standpoint of saving money and there is no argument there, especially in these challenging times.

However, we cannot continue to say we are providing the best education we can for all our children if we don’t work to develop curricula that are the same in each school within a given district. You don’t have to be an educator to realize that multiple schools with multiple curricula feeding into one high school makes no educational sense.

If districts are consolidated but curricula remain unique to each school within a newly formed district, have we really accomplished the district’s primary obligation?



Ask India for help

EDITOR: Per a recent report in The Press Democrat, India, a former British colony once notorious for poverty, famine, starvation, stench, disease, bizarre religious traditions and the black hole of Calcutta, is sending its extra COVID-19 vaccine supplies abroad to less advanced nations as a gesture of good will (“India sending free virus vaccine abroad,” Jan. 22).

Critically short of vaccine and confronting our own mounting death toll, perhaps Sonoma County could send a delegation to New Dehli bearing gifts of wine in hopes of scoring a few desperately needed doses to replace the supply our own government has apparently misplaced somewhere in the warren of warehouses that store our space ships, nuclear missiles, tanks, aircraft carriers and other really important things needed to protect our freedoms.

If India runs short of vaccine before our delegation arrives, the Pakistanis might share some of theirs now that we’re no longer bombing them (as far as anyone knows).



Theatrical relief

EDITOR: As an orchestra pit musician these past 20-plus years, I have had the pleasure of watching so many amazing artists perform from where I consider the best seat in the house — the pit. It was wonderful to see some of their faces again in the Jan. 8 article “Zooming ShortStories.” I encourage everyone to support and enjoy these talented people at Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre, through Zoom. I miss the theater, but what a great alternative. Bravo.



Say no to canna-tourism

EDITOR: Sonoma County supervisors will be voting on the cannabis ordinance soon, and they are considering removal of the current cannabis-tourism prohibition. Please write your supervisor and demand that the county retain and actually enforce the ban on cannabis on-site hospitality activities. Request that the county uphold Ordinance No. 6245, Section 26-88-250 (c) (5), which states: “Tasting, promotional activities, and events related to commercial cannabis activities are prohibited.”

Before further endangering public safety by adding more inebriated drivers to our rural byways, Sonoma County officials need to address current tourist-related traffic problems, including the county’s higher than average accident rate and DUI- related fatality rate.

Sonoma County’s traffic analyses, released in November 2019, concluded that future travel conditions will worsen. And as more roads operate below acceptable levels, safety hazards and accident rates will increase. The reports also found significantly higher peak-season accident rates — especially from 1 p.m-6 p.m. on weekends — indicators that tourists’ autos and bicycles play a role in increased accident rates.

The safety of rural residents and tourists has been jeopardized by unregulated alcohol tourism. Let’s not make the same mistakes and expect a different outcome with the cannabis industry.



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