Letters to the Editor for April 11, 2020
Supervisors ignored voters
Guy Farmer’s commentary in the Nevada Appeal on March 28 set forth information on the cannabis industry that has influenced elected and other officials and changed a community’s way of life.
Carson City residences voted “no” to recreational marijuana, but certain members of the Board of Supervisors had a better idea and developed a policy to ignore the voters’ decision and allow the “gateway drug” to be part of the community revenue sources. The mayor and sheriff proudly proclaim the revenues from the sale of marijuana would be used for a traffic unit. None of our officials had the foresight or considered the damage their policy would have on Carson City.
With the information provided from Farmer’s commentary, the community considers “Pot Shops” now as being essential, and not subject to the Governor’s Executive Order for closure. The Pot Shops are now “Drug Stores,” and our cannabis industry supporting Board of Supervisors should be referred to as the “Cannabis Squad” or “Drug Squad” whichever is appropriate. Their shenanigans in developing policies has created an open city as it relates to drug availability and use for our youth and others.
The 2020 election is in just seven months and those ethically challenged board members will be leaving. The elected new mayor and board should consider changing policies that would benefit the community and take the influence of the cannabis industry out of local politics and elections.
Stay home for Nevada
With great sadness, I read of the first deaths in Washoe Country from COVID-19. Even as we grieve for those lost, we must be aware of what is coming: Many more people in our community will die of this virus in the weeks and months ahead.
As an emergency physician, I can promise you that the healthcare team in Northern Nevada has been preparing for COVID-19. We are trained for this and we can draw on the experience of our colleagues in places that are hard hit right now. In particular, the emergency departments and hospitals stand ready to care for the patients infected in the pandemic. But it is important to understand that we do not have infinite resources. Remember that every day, people still have heart attacks, still get diagnosed with cancer, and still get appendicitis. So we must do everything we can to lessen the burden from COVID-19 on our hospitals.
How do we do that?
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads exponentially and it is not going away any time soon. It can infect young and old. It can be spread before you even have symptoms. There is no cure and there is no immunity. The only sure way to not get infected is to stay home. If you must go out, it is important to maintain social distancing. By doing this, you protect yourself and others, and “flatten the curve.” The fewer people that get sick over the next few weeks, the greater chance that we will have the resources to take care of everyone. If we do not flatten the curve, many more Nevadans will die unnecessarily.
As a community, we will get through this. But the nurses, doctors and all of our medical professionals need your help to save lives. We ask that you stay home for Nevada.
Dr. Gregory Juhl
Past President, Nevada Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians
‘This is not normal’
I have truly grown weary of so many entities calling this time of the COVID19 virus a “new normal.” Folks, this is absolutely not “normal” by any stretch of the imagination.
When you can go out for dinner, to a movie, to a sporting event, or just simply visit family, that is “normal.” I can see where some entities may have a vested interest in prolonging this ideology. The longer it plays out, the better for them, however, this is a virus, and we will likely have gone through the worst of it in a short time frame from now.
There will be effective treatment protocols developed and possibly a large proportion of the population will have contracted and survived this epidemic. People will return to work and life as before this pandemic occurred. The guidance I suggest is to follow the social distancing guidelines, respect your neighbors, protect your elderly, and wash or disinfect your hands.
Remember to accept the things you cannot change, and have the courage (and common sense) to follow the guidelines you are given. Also, try to maintain a positive attitude as “we all” will get through this together. I live by the following mantra: “Life is about choices. Either you can be happy or not, it’s your choice.”
The low of lows
There are two constants that I am entirely sure about. One is that the Republican Party will stoop to the low of lows in trying to steal an election. Their reprehensible action in the Wisconsin primary hit a new bottom. After the Democratic governor called it off, they went to court to make sure it happened. And it’s not just a primary. There were other issues on the ballot.
But here’s the rub. In Milwaukee, population of over 600,000, more blue than red, the Republican Party, which controls the state legislature, reduced the polling places from some 180 to 5. And forced their citizens to break all social distancing criteria in order to vote. Lines for miles. Some without masks. A foot apart. This is pure insanity and downright criminal. To force people to risk death because you want to win so badly is beyond crazy.
The other constant I’m sure about is that we will have a Guy Farmer column in the Appeal. So here is my “appeal,” or suggestion or request. I am respectfully asking Farmer to type in the words “voter suppression by Republicans.” And write a column about the results. Be prepared for overwhelming data. Especially since the Voting Rights act was passed in 1965.
There is nothing stopping anyone out there from typing in those same words and drawing your own conclusions.
Stay smart. Stay safe. We stay apart today (except in Wisconsin), so that we can be together tomorrow.
Rick Van Alfen
Postal worker goes above and beyond
With all the crazy going on, I just wanted to throw a shout out to a postal worker named Denise who went above and beyond her duties helping me at the post office.
She made these beautiful masks for her friends on the front line. Out of the kindness of her heart she went in the back room and brought me one to have.
Not only was she doing her job with a smile, and plenty of professionalism, she had the humanity of a saint when she gave me a mask.
Here’s to essential workers like Denise. We should be giving them a paid vacation when all this is said and done.