Lives were lost

If the U.S. had begun enforcing social distancing measures just a week earlier in March, an estimated 36,000 lives would have been saved, according to new research from Columbia University.

And if the country had locked down two weeks earlier, the vast majority of deaths, about 84 percent, would have been avoided, the study indicated.

It is a sign of how steep the cost of inaction was, as even small shifts in timing, a matter of days, would have prevented much of the virus’ exponential growth in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans, the research found.

As all 50 states lift lockdowns to varying degrees, rapid response remains essential to avoid large-scale resurgences of infections and deaths in locations with reopening plans.

The pandemic shows no signs of abating. Infection rates are rising across Latin America, as restrictions are lifting elsewhere. The World Health Organization warned that there is still a long way to go, after recording the highest ever total number of new infections in a 24-hour period — more than 106,000 — as the number of global coronavirus cases climbed above 5 million.

Mike Epstein


Actions, not words, count

... In this day and age of empty words and broken promises, it is time that we take a look at what we actually do for veterans. ...

I am not saying that there are not many good organizations that do good things for veterans, just that there are many ways that raise money to support veterans and have very little actual impact. The suicide, drug usage, and homelessness rates among veterans is continuing to rise. ...

So what can we do? We can open our eyes and be sincere. Show veterans we care by actions and not words.

Stop utilizing programs that contribute more benefits to the coffers of the nonprofits, the governments and the justice systems. Find programs that truly address the issues that veterans are plagued with. Create places that veterans can gather, feel safe and treat the issues, not the symptoms and/or results.

As a disabled veteran and addiction therapist for Veterans Affairs, I know first-hand what it feels like. I work every day to make the lives of my fellow veterans just a little better than before I met them.

Remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect all we cherish, but take a moment to ask yourself: “Am I doing all I can do to pay back those who served me without question? Are we really doing all we can to help those veterans in need and can we stop them from falling between the cracks and getting lost in the system? ...”

Jacob Pannell


Beware of politicians

How’s the vote-by-mail going for the state of Idaho? In my opinion, the Idaho Secretary of State Election Division’s performance was abysmal.

Voter rolls should be routinely updated and include mailing addresses ... to ensure that all registered voters can be contacted. Registered voters should also be provided with information about new bills and platforms. ...

Every legally registered voter should have been automatically sent a vote-by-mail ballot for this exceptional instance. On the bright side of this pandemic is the light shed on another plague in our state and countrywide. There are a few state representatives promoting false promises voting to restrict constitutional rights and sneaking money into their own coffers. Disgraceful.

The moral of the story is: Never trust a politician and demand that freedom of information be openly provided for all of the population to see. All newspapers should have a special page for new bills and representative voting records.

Camille Hattrup


Barging works

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game needs to look back at what worked best for fish returning up river.

A little common sense shows the best returns followed barging the fish down river to the ocean.

It eliminates predators and warm water. They can pump river water into the barge all the way down to give the fish the smell to return.

Also, by cooling the water, it keeps fish from warm water.

A little common-sense tells me if it worked before, it will work again. Barging should be tried before costly dam removal.

Rivers all along the Pacific Coast are having the same problem for returns. Most of these rivers have no dams, which tells me the dams are not the problem.

But they do have diesel-powered electricity with all the pollution it causes to the environment.

I, for one, do not want fossil fuel power when we have the most efficient means of power now.

A little common sense should show barging is an effective way to get fish returns.

But we still have the big problem of the oceans to fix.

Abel Workman


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