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Finding some joy

EDITOR: I’ve given some thought to this most recent issue regarding the newest virus, along with other similar issues that have popped up in the past, and I’m wondering if the fear that is generated is more dangerous and contagious than the virus itself.

Norman Cousins discovered that stress is much more effective in creating disease than the surrounding environment. I am beginning to believe that true happiness could very well be an antidote for any belief that seems to point us toward fear instead of feelings of well-being.

So, Cousins might say, do something today that you enjoy and makes you happy when you do it.

WENDY WEIDENHAMER

Sonoma

Buying time

EDITOR: My husband and I have been alarmed at how many people in Sonoma County — not to mention elsewhere in the United States — appear to be disregarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and county recommendations aimed at buying enough time to flatten the pandemic spike as quickly as possible; if not for our own sake, for first responders, health care providers and the elderly. We owe them that much, certainly.

If you choose to be blasé about sheltering in place, social distancing, washing hands properly, not hoarding supplies, etc., you are part of the problem and not the solution. If you become sick, you will have handicapped the resources needed. Draw this situation out, and we will find ourselves in an even worse crisis.

Here in Northern California, we have set the example in difficult times. We know how to do this. By managing the things we can in conscientious ways, we can help mitigate the spread and help lessen our levels of social anxiety, leading each of us to a healthier state of mind and body to withstand this nightmare.

JANE ROGAN DWIGHT

Santa Rosa

Risking consequences

EDITOR: My sense is that the deliberate repeated use by the president of the words “Chinese virus” will be an impediment to obtaining personal protective medical equipment from China, which I believe is the world’s foremost manufacturer of those items.

KERRY RICHARDSON

Santa Rosa

Disgusted with the press

EDITOR: I’ve watched most of the televised press briefings and political speeches about the coronavirus. What I see disgusts me. It is clear that most of the press is out to embarrass the president. To what end? When the president speaks he is attempting to instill hope. He isn’t a medical expert nor does he know much about distributing medical care to 330 million people, so why does the press keep trying to show him up when he can’t answer a technical question? The press cares more about teeth and cleavage than it does sensible reporting.

Congress is worse than the press, especially the Democrats. Despite their words, their actions show they care only about promoting their party’s interests. Sen. Chuck Schumer claims the proposed relief plan is “unemployment on steroids” and doesn’t protect against “corporate malfeasance.” He is talking about the same companies that are donating millions, switching their production capacity to make medical supplies and taking care of their employees while their plants and offices are shut down.

The last time we confronted an enemy as serious as the coronavirus was World War II. Then people were not Democrats or Republicans, they were simply Americans joined by a common purpose. Why can’t we learn the lessons of history?

MICHAEL BURWEN

Petaluma

Housing homeless

EDITOR: Ten months ago, Sonoma County and the state were reported to be working on a plan for the “transformation” of the former Sonoma Developmental Center — with a report expected in three years. Well, the luxury of slow-motion dithering is no longer acceptable. The real cost of leaving unsheltered individuals on the street with the ravages of COVID-19 all around us demands an urgent resolution.

Order the undoubtedly well-paid consultants to change direction and come up with something simple and quick-to-deploy now — not in another two years.

This is a real emergency. Cut some red tape. The lazy old arguments won’t do. No transportation? Doesn’t one of the bus lines stop at Eldridge? No beds? Get some. Not up to code? It was good enough for its vulnerable residents for more than 100 years. Worried about lawsuits? Get residents to sign waivers.

It would be a public health fiasco to let those buildings remain uninhabited in times like these. And a matter of shame for all those who find excuses to avoid the issue.

MARY MINTON

Sonoma

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