Saturday, November 28, 2020

Letters to the editor Nov. 15

| November 15, 2020 12:00 AM

Masks do work

There have been several excellent letters to the editor recently touting the efficacy of wearing face masks. For those who still resist them in spite of all research to the contrary, I have a suggestion that I hope might change some minds.

And after leaving a restaurant recently because the server insisted that masks didn’t work and refused to wear one, I felt that I should share this with your readers. Please watch an 8-minute, easy to understand YouTube video called “It’s Okay to be Smart.” The episode is titled “How Well Do Masks Work?” and is narrated by Joe Hanson, PhD. In it, he and a scientist/mechanical engineer set up a specialized Schlieren video-imaging camera which captures in real time the cloud of particles emitted when one coughs, with a mask and without. The results are clear. Masks do work.

It is interesting to note that the Montana counties with the most COVID-19 cases are the ones that flout the mask mandate. County commissioners, doesn’t that tell us something? Please watch this video. It may save a life. And it could well be yours.

—Karen Leigh, Kalispell

Zito drives polarization

Surf the Internet or switch on a TV and you will find commentary on the polarization of this country. Pundits from both sides of the political spectrum agree on this point.

Sometimes, however, the author who is describing the polarization drives the wedge deeper by choosing sides and playing the blame game, often with myths and half-truths.

Syndicated columnist, Salena Zito (Daily Inter Lake, Nov. 8) wrote, “The cultural elites rarely have anyone in their boardrooms, C-suites, newsrooms, or bureaucracies who went to a state school, who sits in a pew every Sunday, owns a gun, or grew up in a community with a mix of socioeconomic experiences.” This statement didn’t ring true, so I conducted research on the educational backgrounds of Fortune 500 CEO’s.

According to an annual survey by Kittleman research, half of CEO’s graduated from public universities. The Big 10 conference, comprised mostly of state schools in the heartland, produced the largest number of CEO’s (62 compared to 46 in the Ivy League). The University of Wisconsin, located in a state with a strong hunting culture, graduated the most CEO’s. As a graduate of a Big 10 college, I can attest that the student population came from a mix of blue collar, farming, business and academic households and yes, many, myself included, sat in pews on Sunday.

So, what Ms. Zito has done with her column is to create an “us versus them scenario” based on misperceptions and falsehoods. At a time when the country needs to work together to solve problems, disseminating fiction about “cultural elites” is counter-productive to the understanding that she herself contends is necessary to bridge what divides us as a nation.

—Kathleen McMahon, Whitefish

Refocus to the future

We are facing decisions unlike any other time in my lengthy life. I grew up rather enamored with conservative rationale: federal/state/local government shared responsibility, fiscal responsibility and cautionary defense spending and focus. The general sentiments were thoughtfulness, advancements and taking care of problems at the times of development.

They were opposed to radical views (ie j.birch s.) and had learned a valuable lesson from McCarthy (commie under every rock?). They were inclined to tackle most problems head on, would have crossed the aisle to do so, and would have never allowed a pandemic to have devastated a country and world. They would have addressed the issues of climate change and need for environmental protection, and would have looked to solve issues that pertain to equality and brotherhood, ie voting rights, equal access to medical care, and opportunities in rights, education and financial growth to be enhanced.

Then in 1964 they hooked their wagon to an extremist (Goldwater) and but for the Vietnam fiasco they would have probably died on the vine. Then they myopically supported Dick Nixon and his sociopath friend, Spiro, and we were knocked to our knees by their underhanded efforts. To survive we followed with an economic direction that placed us basically where we are today, with great disparity in wealth and power.

To solidify this Gingrich and their little tea party established a voice and direction based on concepts of fear and paranoia and essentially what can we do to maintain power, control, and grow our wealth (the ME party). This was enhanced by shenanigans of such individuals as Atwater, Rove, and more recently Miller, Bannon et al.

Now we have lampreys and autocrats and many older conservatives can not recognize what is upon us. Refocus and think to the future!

—Jack Hornby, Kalispell

Excellent care at KRMC

During this time of negative news around the Flathead, I want to bring to light the positive experience that I received at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

I want to thank the entire staff at KRMC for the excellent care given to me this past month. From the Northwest Digestive Institute to the Day Surgery. I want to include everyone in the organization. The housekeeping on up to Dr. Simpson and the Digestive Institute.

The nurses, surgical techs and the anesthesiologist; you all showed compassion and had professional bedside manners. Dr. Simpson, I am very impressed with your care. Your bedside manners are the best. Candace of Digestive Health, thank you for answering all of my questions before the procedure.

To all of the emergency physicians and RNs in the emergency department, thank you for your care. I wish that I could remember the names. I know that you all have professional care practices. I am proud to live in a community that has one of the top facilities in the Northwest. Thank you all at KRMC. May god bless you all.

—Craig Smith, Kalispell