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Health system exposed

EDITOR: The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the deficiencies in our health care system, where for most people health insurance is provided through their employers.

I have a brother-in-law in the food services industry who has insurance provided through his employer. He has just been laid off, along with the other staff of a large number of restaurants. His health coverage will continue for a month, but after that it is up to him to pay for it.

Even if he and his family are provided with free COVID-19 tests, the rest of his health care will be left uninsured. He has no guarantees of having a job in a month. He and many like him will be left with no good options after that.

If we had “Medicare for All,” or even an established public option, it would be better than the hodgepodge medical coverage we have today. Medicare for All may not have helped prepare us for the coronavirus pandemic we are facing, but it would have spared millions of people from the secondary effects — having no effective health care for the upcoming months.

ALLAN THORPE

Sebastopol

To stay or go

EDITOR: So it’s now shelter-in-place for Sonoma County. Once the flu season starts bumping into the wildfire season, I look forward to government agencies inevitably battling it out as to whether I stay at home or stay far away from home.

DAVE KASTER

Santa Rosa

Set an example

EDITOR: First, I want to thank you for your excellent coverage of this crisis. It’s good to know that you are there for us. Secondly, I want to urge Sonoma County to hunker down, just as the rest of the Bay Area has done.

I think it will prevent a lot of heartbreak in the long run, despite the inconvenience and financial hardship in the short run.

I have grown up in this county, and I want to see it shine over the area as a beacon of sanity and resilience as it always has. Let it continue to rise above hardship.

ANNETTE CADOSI WILSON

Healdsburg

A new friend

EDITOR: During these stressful days, a soothing presence has arrived at our Oakmont home. Recently, my husband lost his beloved cat (17) because of kidney failure. She was a morning and evening kitty, sitting by his side as he read The Press Democrat, and later as we watched the evening news.

He finally agreed to join me on a visit to the Humane Society. We were amazed at the wonderful care and luxurious “suite” of each feline: toys, climbing tower, a water fountain and a bed enhanced each space. In addition, the name and personality of each “resident” was displayed on the glass door.

That’s when “Sunshine” (aka “Cheetos”) caught our eye, and one of the staff allowed us to visit her. We were then given an in-depth medical background of our possible choice.

Voila, our home is now enhanced with more purrs and contentment.

Kudos to the Humane Society.

JACQUELINE JUVINALL ZWICK

Santa Rosa

Trump’s response

EDITOR: On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization announced a global crisis for COVID-19. Following is a timeline of comments from the current occupant of the White House:

Feb. 24: “Coronavirus very much under control.” False.

“Crying Chuck Schumer is complaining for publicity purposes.” Schumer asked for more than $2.2 billion.

Feb. 26: “Don’t think it’s going to come to closing the schools especially since we’re going down,” referring to the number infected. False.

“We’re going substantially down, not up.” False.

“We have it so under control. We’ve done a very good job.”

March 4: “Great meeting today with lot of great companies, and I think we’re going to have a vaccine relatively soon.” Estimates are next year.

Inept. Lying. Ignorant. These are the traits of a man in the highest office on Earth. Prior to that he, and his Republican Congress, budgeted less money to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handcuffing them from just these purposes. His propaganda arm, Fox News, went along with his obfuscations and accused the left of a political stunt.

I think we all now understand things, regarding this man and his party and his state media machine. Show them all the door.

BOB MARKETOS

Petaluma

Pneumonia shots

EDITOR: Coronavirus deaths like those occurring after influenza virus lung infections likely occur from superimposed bacterial pneumonia — the so-called “killer of the elderly.” We won’t have a coronavirus vaccine for at least a year, but we do have two pneumonia vaccines that might prevent many of these deaths. I am surprised that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, hasn’t emphasized the need for pneumonia vaccinations in those individuals with underlying lung conditions, patients taking immune suppressing medications and those over 70 years of age.

DR. JACK WAXMAN

Santa Rosa

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