I am concerned about the rapid rise of Covid cases in our community. Our hospital resources are stretched, medical professionals are asking for our help. Perhaps as soon as next month some hospitals may ration care. I am not sure what this means, exactly, but it doesn’t sound good. Hospital and ICU beds are limited. As individuals we can only control our own behavior. An idea for all of us, beyond masks, etc. Get a flu vaccine so you are not a flu patient taking up a bed for a possible serious Covid patient. Based on 2019 numbers, and if we apply to Idaho as a percent of the US population, an estimated 2400 hospital beds in Idaho were occupied by flu patients during the flu season. That doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? It is when you look at hospital beds in Idaho. Per the American Hospital Directory, we have ~2,500 hospital beds in Idaho. Yep. That's it. So, if you get the flu, and didn’t get the vaccine that was readily available, and you get hospitalized, then you are taking the bed of someone who might need it more, and had no chance for a vaccine. Think about that. It’d be great if Gov. Little made the flu vaccine free for all, using CAREs money. We seriously need to limit hospital and ER admissions for preventable stuff.
Cynthia Riley, Eagle
Antimaskers disrupting downtown businesses on purpose?? Isn't this the same group that was screaming about how the shutdown hurt the economy and cost people jobs? Well, this is how the economy is trying to work! Not only are businesses complying with the city order, they also know that MOST (smart) shoppers don't want to risk shopping at all unless everyone is masked. If you're protesting masks at businesses then YOU'RE contributing to shutting down small business. And another irony is how antimaskers seem to talk about returning to good old fashioned American values. MY parents taught me to be respectful of others if possible. Even if I didn't believe masks worked I would put one on to be considerate of the people around me and of a store owner, regardless of a law. No one is asking you to chop off your nose - it's just a mask.
Kari Filson, Boise
We went from being Americans to Guinea pigs in one year and we did it to ourselves. About a year ago, I visited my local healthcare clinic for my annual check-up. Beyond my health status, I had questions for my healthcare providers. Previous to my visit, I had been listening and reading news leaks from around the world about a strange virus. For example, news like a 14-day incubation period with no symptoms. I thought, lots of people could get to lots of places in 14 days. So, my questions to the healthcare workers that day were: Have you heard about this COVID virus? Should I be concerned? What do you know about this virus? Don’t you think a non-symptomatic 14-day incubation period is dangerous? The reaction from the clinic workers that day was egregious. They rolled their eyes at me in a condescending fashion as if to connote, ‘Oh, she must be one of those conspiracy theorists or a doomsday prepper type person. Perhaps she can get medication for her concerns.’
While conspicuously sanitizing my hands, I left the clinic feeling patronized, insulted and angry. In three short months, I would become furious. Even today, I think to myself, ‘what a catastrophe.’ I’m seething with anger.
My prediction for 2021 is that the COVID vaccine results will be skewed and reported in a confusing fashion just like the outbreak itself. Further, we will not know or hear the scientific truth about whether or not the vaccine works until, again, it will be too late. I feel this way because of how the outbreak was handled by the government, healthcare community and mainstream media for the entire year of 2020. Once again, we will do it to ourselves.
Jennifer Stevenson, Homedale
It’s no secret that our country is divided. It seems Americans cannot agree on anything in 2020. But amidst the political rancor, spoiled friendships, and party line votes, conservation of wildlife and wild places has been quietly bringing Americans together.
Red or blue, urban or rural, old or young, Americans value the natural world. And this passion is evident in the sheer size of the outdoor recreation industry. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that outdoor recreation accounted for 2.1% ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) for the US in 2019. From RVs to trail running shoes, the Americans shell an impressive amount of cash on getting outside.
All of this spending is predicated on American’s abilities to get out and enjoy wildlife and wild places. And of course, with no outdoors, there is no outdoor economy. Therefore, outdoor recreation companies have a vested interest in conservation that transcends the diversity of the industry and goes above your typical citizen.
And this dynamic is where the Common Wild Initiative was born. A coalition of diverse outdoor companies have put aside competition and their differences to raise money to protect what keeps them in business and fuels the passions of their customers and employees. On Dec. 3, these companies began selling a collection of limited-release, Common Wild-branded gear. 100% of the profits will be donated to the conservation group(s) of their choice; partners and competitors, gunsmiths and mountain bike makers, all coming together to support conservation in a united voice and show the world that protecting the great outdoors can bring all Americans together.
Head to CommonWild.org to learn more and support this project.
Ford Van Fossan, Ketchum
Jeers: With all due respect to Lt. Governor, Janice McGeachin, spreading misinformation regarding “disinfecting cubes” is NOT what is needed to reverse the numbers and deaths from Covid-19. How do you disinfect airways and lungs to kill the Covid virus when talking or coughing? Why would I care if the bottoms of my feet are disinfected; does that prevent the spread of a respiratory virus? This kind of thinking brings back the horrors of our President, Donald Trump, suggesting that ingesting bleach might stop the spread of Covid-19. Let's spend our CARES funds on things that are backed by science; more testing, contact tracing, improved ventilation in schools and ultimately getting our citizens vaccinated. If Idaho was fortunate enough to hire 108 nurses to staff your mobile “disinfecting pods” this seems like a ridiculous use of valuable resources. Yes, we all miss our family members and interacting with others; but vaccinating a majority or our population and following simple CDC guidelines (masks, hand washing and social distancing) is the correct path to ending this terrible pandemic and getting our lives back to normal.
Carl Van Valkenburg, Boise
Lt. Governor McGeachin’s November 26 Guest Commentary was a marvel of contortion. Over the last nine months, McGeachin has refused to attend the governor’s meetings to respond to the pandemic, criticized virtually every step taken by him and encouraging every crackpot opponent of sound Covid health policy.
Suddenly she sounds like a Democrat, proposing to expand Idaho’s health care capacity, pay nurses more and provide tax credits for childcare—improvements she has not supported before. But, of course, all this would be paid for with federal dollars.
No mention was made of her proposal the previous week to spend millions to install “walk through disinfectant cubes” in order to sanitize legislators going into the capitol.
Might this sudden progressive tilt be related to the emergence of a credible challenger who will run against her in 2022? Perish the thought.
Jerry Brady, Boise
To the Small Business Protesters in Boise last Saturday-Did you target businesses because of a culture they represented or because you knew you could bully, harass. intimidate, or threaten them easily?
Did it make you feel really good to break the rules and directions given to you by the owners and employees of these businesses. How does it make you feel knowing that because of your actions on Saturday someone may die in the future? This sounds like a couple of politicians I know of-One in this state and one in D.C.
Well to me and quite a few others in this wonderful State of Idaho your actions are pathetic and you just wanted your five minutes of fame and power and you could have cared less about who you hurt.
To all of the shoppers that supported the small businesses by shopping and following the rules--GOOD FOR YOU!! and THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!
Steve McCain, Meridian