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Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

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History repeating

EDITOR: Some elected officials have claimed that a pandemic is something new to Sonoma County. Not so.

A review of Press Democrat editions from just over 100 years ago shows that the Spanish flu was extremely disruptive, much like today’s events. (See the California Digital Newspaper Collection to see the papers for free.)

Schools closed for a month, then reopened for a month, but few attended. Schools closed for the following month. Dancing was prohibited for 4½ months.

It appears that what my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents experienced will be what I, my children and my grandchild are experiencing.

A surprisingly similar situation, only four generations later.

MICHAEL VON DER PORTEN

Santa Rosa

Floating hospitals

EDITOR: Here’s an idea. Sanitize empty cruise ships. Dock them in ports as needed. Staff them with military doctors and nurses as well as recently retired medical professionals. The federal government can rent them from the cruise industry so it gets some income and needs less of a bailout. We could have a 5,000-bed floating hospital in San Francisco Bay within a very short time.

ART FRENGEL

Forestville

Denying a choice

EDITOR: Imagine if, during the recent Super Bowl game, seven minutes before halftime the referees interjected, stopped the game and called the Kansas City Chiefs the winner because they were ahead, even though only about 40% of the game had been played.

I think San Francisco sports fans would probably have rioted. At least. Such passion!

Now, consider that Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, and Democratic strategist James Carville have both said it is time for the Democratic National Committee to step in and declare Joe Biden the nominee, even though only about 40% of the nation has voted.

Crickets.

I know we don’t live in a democracy, but to see such a lack of outrage over the hijacking of even our current election process is very troubling.

PETER deKRAMER

Petaluma

Aiding local restaurants

EDITOR: Here’s a suggestion for local restaurants during the coronavirus outbreak (“Restaurants ailing,” Saturday). Employing local people is a concern for the whole community. We want people to continue to be able to support their families, pay their rent or mortgage, buy food, etc., so we all need to help our local merchants.

If restaurants advertised “eating out at home,” the wait staff might become delivery people. Patrons should consider the amount they would typically tip a server in the restaurant and tip accordingly when the food is delivered.

This way local restaurants are supported, the people working in them continue to be able get by, and we can all enjoy a variety of foods while we self-quarantine. And our community could get through this period without businesses going under and citizens going ruinously into debt.

We need ideas for all kinds of our local business to support their continuing existence.

SIDNEE CURTIS

Santa Rosa

County’s bad example

EDITOR: I was so disappointed to see multiple photos of the top two public health officials in Sonoma County, along with members of the Board of Supervisors, violating social distancing.

This is the first, most basic way of protecting ourselves from this pandemic. I’ve noticed this in other settings but was really saddened to see that our top county officials don’t practice what they preach.

What message does it send to the public when they all stand clustered together telling us (absolutely correctly) that we should stand 6 feet apart? Is the message “do as I say not as I do?” Or is it “what we’re saying really isn’t scientifically valid or important?”

At minimum, they created a risk for spreading it among the officials who we need to be at the peak of health to shepherd us through this dangerous time.

It’s a bit like holding a press conference about fire prevention while throwing lit cigarettes into dry grass.

It’s long past the time for our leaders at every level to make the effort to model the appropriate lifesaving behavior.

MARINA ABBOTT

Sonoma

Supermarket safety

EDITOR: Have you been to a grocery store lately? Most of the checkers aren’t wearing masks or gloves, and they are within 6 feet of the general public all day long, putting themselves at high risk for being exposed to people who are shedding virus without being symptomatic and then becoming vectors before they are symptomatic.

They are essential frontline workers, and they need to be protected. I understand that most people aren’t supposed to wear masks, because in the case of N-95s they may not fit correctly, but it seems like checkers should have some additional level of protection, or people should be required to stay 6 feet away from them.

JEAN FARMER

Sebastopol

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