Saturday, October 31, 2020

Letters to the editor Sept. 20

| September 20, 2020 12:00 AM

A thankless job

I was very disappointed in the negative article about Whitefish Care and Rehab in the Sept. 12 paper. The problems stem from pure economics. When we have relatively inexpensive long-term care centers, quality will suffer. Some of these facilities have been sold and resold numerous times. The owners are trying to make a profit.

Of course the staff is fatigued. Employees in each area would probably love to have another CNA on shift. Many long-term care centers have too many patients/residents per worker. The workers are run ragged. If you could see how hard they work. In the mornings, they have to get residents up, sponge bathed, apply lotion, brush teeth, put on clean clothes, and get them ready for breakfast. Some of the residents are very non compliant. Have you ever tried to gently brush someone’s teeth who has their mouth clamped shut and is trying to hit you?

I’m sure the care givers would love to be able to spend more time with each resident. They are not likely choosing to ignore call buttons for long durations of time. They also have loads and loads of documentation they have to do every day. Each task performed for the residents is logged, as well as how much the resident ate or drank, etc.

I know we need the state investigations and audits to be sure people are being properly cared for. Could we try to have a little more compassion for the care center workers? They’re stuck in a difficult position. I’ve seen the compassion, kindness, and warmth they have for their patients. They’ve also had to try to keep residents’ spirits up during this pandemic. They help residents keep in contact with loved ones and provide “socially distant” recreation.

COVID has wreaked havoc on vulnerable populations. I would bet all assisted living centers are keeping their fingers crossed this virus doesn’t get a toe hold in their business. At least with the seasonal flu or norovirus, most people infected show symptoms.

Here’s a huge thank you to all of the workers who are caring for others in a difficult, sometimes thankless job. I’m sorry for your losses. I know you love and care deeply about the people you take care of.

—Lisa Campbell, Bigfork

It’s not that easy

The Inter Lake’s Sunday editorial simple solution “just wear the darn mask” works for individuals who don’t have a problem with the darn thing, but not everybody handles the intrusion of breathing or emotional turmoil connected with the wearing of a suffocating face covering without consequence.

Some consequences are simply annoying, some not so easily ignored, such as claustrophobia or the replaying of an assault that included a hand clamped over a face with threats to “shut up or else!” The hand, the mask, it feels the same. Panic attack not far behind at that memory.

Masks freakishly separate people, interfere with communication, thoughts, eyeglasses and some hearing aids, and can’t be all that healthy to inhale one’s own breath for long periods of time.

So whether the wearing of masks is the answer to the pandemic is not the issue. It’s simply not that easy for some of us to “just wear the darn mask” and be told, in essence, to shut up about it already.

—Barbara Ann Auer, Bigfork

Vote no to legalized marijuana

Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont who have legal marijuana have higher rates of pot-related emergency room visits and more hospital stays than states with no legalization and more crime etc.

Science has established that the more potent a dose of THC is the more powerful its effects will be on the shape of the human brain, density of brain material, personality, mental function, cardiovascular system, bone strength, social adaption, and medical health of the user at all ages. Montana does not need to add these problems to our wonderful state. Please vote no.

—Marianne Dyon, Whitefish

Postal politics

I’ve had two kidney transplants, and I depend on immunosuppressants to prevent my body from rejecting the new kidney. My insurance requires that I receive my medication through the USPS. I could die if my medication does not come in the mail on time.

The procedural changes that Postmaster General DeJoy has made have delayed mail delivery all over the county. I’m incredibly worried that these changes and the federal government’s inability to appropriately fund the USPS will cause my own medication to be delayed. I shouldn’t have to live in fear for my life because partisan politics have infiltrated the Postal Service.

Montana is an ultra rural state, and without the Post Office many of us won’t receive the medications we need. Congress needs to do its job to fully fund the USPS and reverse procedural changes that continue to cause costly and deadly delays.  

—Vickie Jacobsen, Havre