Letters to the editor March 22

March 22, 2020 1:00 AM

The front page article of the March 18 edition of the Daily Inter Lake titled “serial hoarding” takes me back to my boyhood days of World War II. The word “hoarder” was deprecated by our citizens who were dedicated to supporting the efforts of our patriots, both military and civilian, who were giving their all in the conflict. Not exactly remembering the legality of committing the act of hoarding, I believe it may have been illegal.

So, to all of us in this current “war” against COVID-19, I give this advice: Let’s think of our neighbors, our communities, our fellow human beings. The next time we venture out from our homes to buy “essentials” for our “survival” think of normal times past and shop for only what we did then, plus at most, an additional week’s supply. Then possibly the store shelves may begin to return to normalcy, and those who are older or not in good health and have already begun to limit leaving their homes, or who are already sheltering in place, may be able to acquire basic needs.

And, with tongue in cheek I give this advice to all: Help your neighbors. And if you are a neighbor lacking and in need of basic items not available in stores, look to your neighbors for help. For one of them unintentionally may have become a hoarder, and may gladly help their neighbor.

—Fred Sego, Kalispell

The current outbreak of the coronavirus has certainly impacted life across the valley. This new interest in epidemiology and how to prevent and control pandemics is great in some regards and frustrating in many others. The current popular use of “social distancing” and “lengthening the curve” are being used to describe the efforts taken by cities, states, and communities across the nation in an effort to fight the epidemic.

Unfortunately these are methods for slowing the spread of an already present epidemic. We are virtually ignoring efforts to prevent the epidemic. Urban areas are likely already infected and slowing the response is necessary.

Areas like the Flathead Valley with distinct geographical benefits should focus efforts on preventing the infection from reaching the valley first and foremost. While some may believe it is too late, that does not mean we should not try now. Taiwan instantly recognized the threat and despite geographic and economic closeness with China has limited the disease in their small and densely populated country. They did this by closing their borders, quarantining and testing reentering citizens and other preventative methods to keep the illness away.

We need to take it a step further and shut down the airport to all passenger and commercial travel first. Then we should have a task force of paramedics and sheriff deputies with road blocks on all major routes into the valley to prevent all unnecessary entries and administer tests of returning residents to detect potentially ill residents and encourage them to self quarantine for 14 days at their homes.

If within two weeks we do not have any cases we are at least able to resume business as usual in our communities and allow students to return to school and restaurants and stores to remain operational.

—Grant Hughes, Whitefish

This is not a rhetorical question.

Last evening, as I drove to a grocery store to pick up a prescription, I went past a restaurant on U.S. 93 on the south edge of town. The parking lot wasn’t packed, but it was nearly full and a couple was walking into the restaurant, I assume to eat dinner. A little farther down the road, there were cars parked at a casino and, across the street at another restaurant.

Again, I ask: People. What is the matter with you?

We are facing the most dire health emergency in my 70 years on this planet and you are carrying on like there is nothing at all to be concerned about. Do you not care a whit about anyone besides yourself?

My family and I have been practicing “social distancing” and proactive health practices due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for a week now. And yet, you people are ignorantly and selfishly putting yourselves, your children and the rest of us at risk.

Please. Take this seriously. Stay the hell home.

Common sense measures taken now will lessen the severity of more drastic measures that will need to be taken later.

Let’s all do our part to keep Flathead County healthy.

—Mark Paulson, Kalispell