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Letters to the editor April 15

| April 15, 2021 12:00 AM

‘Unreasonable’ requests

I would like to respond to the nasty letter from the CEO of Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

I retired last July, so I can write this without fear of retribution, which would of been swift, sure and vicious. It wouldn’t be for this letter, per se, but some other “sin,” real or imagined. That is one of the “unreasonable” wants from the nurses, employee advocates. There is none.

The “re-organization” in 2019 was disastrous. Not only did staff have zero input, this was done right before Christmas! Although I am not a nurse, I worked closely with them in an acute care setting. It was heartbreaking listening to them talk about being afraid to buy their children or grandchildren presents because they didn’t know if they would have a job. Then there were all these new executive directors, making an administratively top-heavy organization more so. This heavy-handed, top down change is what started the drive for the union. I guess it’s “unreasonable” to want a say in what happens to you on the job.

What the CEO also doesn’t mention is the high turnover of skilled acute care nurses going to travel nursing. Why are they doing this? When they walk out the door, they can immediately make double, if not more. Wanting decent wages and benefits is “unreasonable.”

It is also not mentioned about staffing. Wanting a good nurse-to-patient ratio for the safety and security of the patient is “unreasonable.” I can remember a shift when there was an LPN and a new graduate nurse for 20 patients. 20! Is that safe? They set up staffing based on productivity numbers instead of acuity, i.e. the sicker a patient is, the more staff is needed.

The letter written in the paper, and giving all the non-union staff higher wages are all a blatant attempt to break the union and bribe the non-union staff form doing so.

I was appalled and deeply angry at this trying to turn the community against the nurses. Shame on you, sir.

—Patrice Neal, Columbia Falls

Global socialism

How do you warn friends who no longer hear your words? How do you get through to someone who hears global socialism and sees a utopia?

Global socialism, the Democratic goal of today, will give us an earth that will look like Cuba, Venezuela, China or the pre-Cold War USSR. Anyone who has lived in or spent time in these countries, one or all, knows the ultimate disaster we are facing. Do yourself a favor of talking to anyone who has escaped one of these totalitarian socialist governments. They will all beg you to not go down this path.

The magic of the U.S. lies in one word that completely disappears in the vocabulary of socialist countries: opportunity. Opportunity to seek your dreams of lifestyle, occupation, belief system, and happiness only lies where the cultivation of hope is possible. In a land where the decisions of your life are no longer your own, but left to the regulations and decision making boards, your dreams only die and wither.

I have had the experience of having conversations with people still trapped in or escaped from these socialist governments. Talk to someone who has heard, first-hand, directly from a Cuban just coming out of a ration card food distribution center, escaped from Venezuela to feed their starving children, had their reproductive decisions made by the Chinese government, escaped from a USSR labor factory to work and thrive in a U.S. company. No one sees the slippery slope coming, it’s a fallacy, until it isn’t. They didn’t see it.

—William Lincoln, Lakeside

Could have done better

As a biomedical scientist, I watched with dismay last year as the CDC said masks only protect other people and not the wearer. Huh?

They also said the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes the disease, Covid-19, is mainly spread by coughs from infected people. Clearly absurd because the virus was spreading like wildfire and not that many people cough in public.

Anyone who searched the available literature about the spread of respiratory viruses would have known that the major route of viral spread is through tiny aerosol particles that are released by breathing, talking, or worse, singing and shouting. They don’t settle out for hours and travel 20 feet or more.

The CDC, of course, knew all that. Why didn’t they say it? Perhaps from political pressure or an overdose of caution because they didn’t have peer-reviewed, 10,000 patient, masked and mask-less controlled trials that would have shown that masks greatly reduce Covid transmission and protect the wearer. The point is they failed to state the obvious and many Americans needlessly died.

So, the question becomes how many Americans would have died had we done what other country’s governments did in terms of shutdowns, masking and social distancing? To answer it, we need to look at Covid death rates per million people in a country and compare it to our 535,000 Covid deaths in the U.S.

The answers are startling! If we had done what each of the following countries did, we would have had the following Covid deaths, based on our population: Canada, 196,363; Australia, 12,817; South Korea, 10,606; New Zealand, 1,746; China, 1,142; Thailand, 416. Thailand?

You would think we could have done better than all those countries. Pitiful and tragic, I say. Does anyone still think that government is the enemy?

These data are from statista.com.

—Matthews O. Bradley, Kalispell