Letters: Public health: grateful for decades of great work
Late in my eighth decade, at a time coronavirus is upon us, I am struck how current generations have been spared similar crises for the most part.
During the 1800s, malaria was prevalent, rabies not uncommon and East Coast summers brought death from yellow fever. Typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid, tetanus, influenza, measles, pneumonia and scurvy caused more Civil War deaths than combat. In winters, the young died of whooping cough and diphtheria.
In 1918, influenza killed millions of young and old worldwide. The youth in my era dreaded polio and rheumatic fever, unheard of now.
For decades, vaccines and antibiotics have spared us. As we face the threat of coronavirus may we be thankful for past advances in medicine, hopeful and confident of more to come, laudatory of the leadership in Oregon for its interventions, appreciative of the resilience of preceding generations, and dedicated to emulate their courage, willingness to place population before self and support each other in trying times.
Could vacation rentals be used as quarantine option?
Rupert Kinnard and myself, Scott Stapley, are vacation rental owners. Our rental easily provides two thirds of our income. We are being hit hard.
The virus has killed our current and future business. Essentially, everyone has canceled and there are no reservations coming. Rupert is paralyzed so going out and finding a full time job is more than difficult. In our search for what to do, given bills can no longer be met, especially mortgage, we are proposing using our vacation rental as a quarantine option for those who need to socially distance themselves. Could be a quarantine option for other rental owners as well to keep all of our incomes afloat and to give people a cozy quarantine options.
For us, we live next to a Safeway and would provide errand services and grocery delivery to the door. Of course, full sanitization will occur before and after all guests.
As an aside, Rupert was recently given a lifetime achievement award, presented by Mayor Ted Wheeler, from Portland Monthly Magazine.
OSU not taking into account how virus changes learning
My name is Olivia O'Neill and I am a student at Oregon State University. I am concerned about OSU's response regarding COVID-19.
A live feed was broadcast to students on March 12 at 11 a.m. In this, students stressed concerns regarding the price of tuition remaining the same even when in-person experiences will not be given. Students registered for in-person classes for a reason, if these experiences are being taken away then there needs to be a reduction in tuition costs. Administration is labeling this learning style as "remote" but has not explained how "remote" is any different than Ecampus courses. On average, Ecampus classes cost $300 per credit, while in person classes are $850.
The student body has created a petition to lower tuition prices in response to the
COVID-19 crisis, on change.org , this has accumulated 4,100 signatures in 30 hours.
Economic downturn could be good for bond proposals
The March 5 editorial urging caution before approval of major bond proposals — by Portland Public Schools, Multnomah County's Library District and Metro — is thoughtful and fair.
Timing may not be right to impose such a financial burden on residents. However, something else should be considered: very low interest rates.
The bonds won't depend on revenue flow; they're general obligation, which could make them very attractive to investors.
Not being an expert in such things, I can only suggest that paying off low-interest bonds may turn out to be a long-term financial benefit for taxpayers.
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