Confront COVID with facts; District should offer same internet access; Maintain local news; Achieve peace — Letters to the Editor, March 2, 2020


Confront COVID with facts not conspiracies

There is a lot of misinformation flying around about COVID-19 and it can be really hard to keep up. Keith R. Kraft’s recent Letter to the Editor “Keep COVID in Perspective” (April 29) citing past year’s flu-related deaths prompted me to do some research because the suggestion that this pandemic is “no worse than the flu” is a dangerous and misleading one.  

Here’s what I learned:

The CDC numbers on flu deaths are an estimate — it takes the actual number of deaths reported and applies an algorithm. You can go to the CDC website to understand its reasoning for that, but basically the CDC believes flu deaths are under-reported for a variety of reasons. So, it applies the algorithm to come up with an estimate that is many times higher than the actual number of deaths reported. 

For example, in 2018-19, the actual number of flu deaths reported (the number used by the CDC to come up with its estimate) was around 7,000. 

In comparison, the reported number of deaths from COVID-19 that we are seeing are the actual number of deaths reported. So comparing these numbers to flu death estimates in past years is comparing apples to oranges.

While conspiracy theories abound that the COVID-19 death count is being artificially inflated, most experts believe that they are being undercounted — perhaps by tens of thousands. 

I agree with Mr. Kraft that we need to confront this problem rationally, and we can only do so if we understand the real effects of the disease.

—Donna Mlinek

Florence

District should offer same Internet access to all

It is outrageous to even consider giving taxpayer funds to a private company in exchange for service to a limited number of students.

If the school district wishes to subsidize internet service to students with financial needs, then the district must provide that subsidy directly to every student in similar need.  Internet service is offered by many providers.  

The district should not give a handout to one company that can not serve all students who need internet connections.

—Paul Floto

Florence

Incumbent upon us to maintain local news

My sincere hope and prayer is that the Siuslaw News continues in business. Through the recent Paycheck Protection Program, our first amendment rights can and will be sustained as the Siuslaw News applies for this federal largesse. 

Normally, these grants of taxpayer monies should be sacrosanct for general purposes. However, in these unusual times we need to continue the free exercise of press privileges to remain a free republic. 

Local news is intensely important as it is usually the most unfiltered and transparent of all current event consumption.

We as a nation and community are in tragically tough times needing of positive reinforcement and credible news reports. It is incumbent upon a society dressed with liberty to maintain a free press.

Thank goodness we have a local paper in such a tiny community as Florence that events may freely flow  and inform the general public.

May the Siuslaw News and all news outlets in America continue unabated and unsullied. 

God bless America.

—Joel Marks

Florence

Primary lesson is how to achieve peace

We are very familiar with the belief that an anti-Christ will deceive us with talk of peace and justice (“These Times Were Prophesied 2,630 Years Ago,” submitted by John Griffin, April 29). 

But what would the returning Prince of Peace primarily teach besides peace and how to achieve it?

—Rollin Olson and 

Madelyne Barnett

Florence

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