Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: In December, I retired after 46 years of practicing dentistry. The first 10 or so of those years were spent being a “wet-finger” dentist - not wearing gloves or a mask. The AIDS crisis changed all that. We soon learned that our only way through it was to practice “universal precautions” - wearing gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment, and assuming that everyone was potentially infectious.
This wasn't without some difficulty on my part. The loss of tactile sensation, the constant fogging of my glasses under my mask, etc. were annoying and frustrating. On more than one occasion I tore off my gloves in the middle of a procedure so that I could more accurately feel what I was doing. But I got used to it over time, and I spent the next 35 years practicing in a manner that was safe for my patients, my staff and for me.
So given that we're all looking forward to wearing masks all the time, let me say how important it is for them to be worn properly - that is, covering the mouth and nose. I know how uncomfortable this can be at first. But you'll get used to it, too. And we'll all be healthier and safer for it.
JAMES A. ABBOTT
Combine bus systems
EDITOR: Although I wasn't living in Sonoma County when Measure M was passed, the goal was to widen Highway 101 from Windsor to the Marin County border, and it has been a big success as we await the final road construction to finish. So, yes, extending Measure M is a good idea, but not now. Wait until 2022 (“Any tax measure will be a tough sell in November,” Editorial, Thursday). Plus, it isn't totally set what the money will go for, although there is a proposed breakdown.
One thing that Sonoma County could do is to combine the bus systems of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa and Petaluma. That would save on overhead for management, administration, finance and scheduling. Take the savings and put them back into more bus service.
This is the only county in the Bay Area that has this type of setup. Alameda and Contra Costa counties merged their bus systems back in the 20th century. And $6 million for all three bus systems was received from the federal government in the CARES Act, but can all three bus systems survive on their own?
EDITOR: Donald Trump is treating the presidency liked it's another season of “The Apprentice” TV show. He's more concerned about his ratings than he is about American lives being lost to COVID-19.
On “The Apprentice,” he played a successful businessman on TV, even though he isn't one in real life. Thanks to producer Mark Burnett, his ratings were good. Now he's playing a president on TV, but he doesn't really act like one, and the results will be more like his business career. He's going to bankrupt the country.
Taking a cue from “The Apprentice,” in November the American people will wag a finger at Trump and tell him, “You're fired.”
A time to reflect
EDITOR: In the fallout of this alien virus, we have seen both the good in people and the polar opposite. As pressure- relief valves burst in anger and frustration, a few have lost their moral compass, navigating away from the true severity of the situation.
In Sonoma County, I'm proud that we are guided by competent individuals who continue to act proactively and with the utmost regard for the greater good. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Dr. Sundari Mase, the county public health officer, have stayed the course, diligently working alongside credible health professionals and basing their actions accordingly.
I can't help but feel a little disheartened at the demonstrations at Old Courthouse Square opposing the necessary and essential protocols that continue to keep us safe. It's a small, self-selecting group that broke ranks, but the fact that these demonstrators drew the attention of the news media may give some the false impression that we are aligned with residents of other counties and states that choose to be guided by misinformation and poor leadership.
Overall, our county is full of intelligent, creative, resilient and forward-thinking citizens who support the difficult decisions our leaders have had to make.
RAY VAN DE STAR
EDITOR: I was appalled by Timothy Long's letter in Thursday's paper (“An ulterior motive?”). The claim that scientists want the epidemic to last longer is not only ridiculous, it is dangerous. Our self-absorbed president is obsessed with fame, television ratings, etc. Unlike Donald Trump, health care professionals haven't chosen a field that brings attention or fame. My guess is that many of them don't like being in the spotlight. Even though most people will realize this claim about these scientists is absurd, there is a dangerous trend in this country of people distrusting science and knowledge.
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