Readers urge caution before easing up on social distancing and make their opinions known on the May election.

We need to pull together against coronavirus

While I respect the right to express one's opinion, I take issue with Jerry Hrabal's letter that appeared in the April 9, 2020, edition of the Washington County Times.

The letter derided liberal Democrats for exploiting the COVID-19 crisis for political gain and also stated that the CARES Act was full of pork barrel spending. The facts are that $500 billion will go to support large corporations, $330 billion for state and local governments, $154 billion for public health, and $44 billion for education. In light of problems the nation is facing, none of these expenditures — which are in addition to support for individuals and small businesses — are unwarranted investments.

Refer to Jerry Hrabal's April 9, 2020, letter.

Mr. Hrabal also seems to dismiss the clear benefits that are being achieved by social distancing to "flatten the curve" of cases. His letter encouraged a "let's get back to work right away" mentality. This is contrary to what the vast majority of government leaders and healthcare experts are advocating as the best course of action.

This is not the time for partisan cheap shots. It would be easy to generate hundreds of words on the Republican administration's slow and chaotic response to COVID-19; I'll let others do that. I will suggest that this is a time for unity; let's leave the finger-pointing and shortsightedness out of the discussion.

John Bloss, Gaston

Tardif has done well as Columbia County commissioner

It's probably human nature, but we often pay attention to our elected officials only when there is an election. Sometimes that means we are ready to replace the incumbent with anyone. Or we may support the person already in office.

In the case of Alex Tardif, we want to keep him where he is. He has a track record of making informed financial choices for Columbia County.

In this time of uncertainty, we will need more than ever a strong financial steward of our tax dollars. With the economic downturn, it is more important than ever that we retain Alex. He is the commissioner with the financial background to weather the next four years.

This is not the time to try someone who is unproven and inexperienced in the finances of our county.

Cathy Pitkin, Warren

Vote yes for libraries in Washington County

I support Measure 34-297, the current Washington County Cooperative Library Services levy.

In these uncertain times, even with the doors closed, it is the local library that sustains us with free audio, e-books and access to Kanopy for entertainment and enrichment.

Without this levy, the Tigard Public Library, along with member libraries in Washington County, would not be able to provide the same hours of operation, staffing and catalog along with literacy, cultural, children/adult programming, and access to wi-fi and computers.

It is the local library that serves the entire community with equal access to information and resources. The WCCLS levy is the only money measure on the May 19 ballot that I support.

Linda Monahan, Tigard

Campos has chops in House District 28

As a public health nurse, I know what it means to serve my community.

Pandemic or not, I work every day to keep Oregonians healthy in Washington County. As nurses across the state face shortages of personal protective equipment, long hours, and unsafe working conditions, it is clearer now more than ever that we need a champion who will stand up for frontline workers in Salem. Wlsnvey Campos is that champion.

Wlnsvey, an affordable housing case manager, understands that the foundations of good health not only happen in hospitals and health care clinics, but via stable housing and food, and access to information and a quality education. She helps families experiencing houselessness find a home and access healthcare, and she has advocated for nurses as an organizer for the Oregon Nurses Association. Wlsnvey even helped pass Measure 101, to ensure that the Oregon Health Plan was funded and that Oregonians would continue to have care.

Nurses, healthcare professionals and other frontline workers need a champion in Salem. Wlnsvey Campos is that champion.

Susan Pinnock, Aloha

Dealing with the virus won't be easy

Gov. Kate Brown, Mr. Patrick Allen, Drs. Dawn Mautner, Dean Sidelinger and Paul Cieslak, and many others have provided able leadership in these uncertain times.

Thankfully, social distancing is having a major impact. Kudos to all! However, it is disconcerting to read that, as of late March, Oregon counties were overwhelmed and could no longer engage those with positive test results, emphasizing quarantine, both for those with positive test results as well as their contacts.

Recently, Brown University released an interview with Drs. Jim Yong Kim, former World Bank president, and Ashish Jha, incoming dean for the School of Public Health. They asserted social distancing alone would not suffice in halting the pandemic. At the beginning of the outbreak in China, one person on average infected 3.88 others, mostly household members. Strong social distancing diminished this ratio to 1-to-1.25. Only after widespread testing, contact tracing, and quarantine of positives and contacts was China able to reach the (apparent) gold-standard rate of less than 1:1.

I understand the ramifications of large-scale quarantine and rigorous social distancing of individuals are significant in terms of housing, nutrition, emotional well-being and social support.

Oregon's leadership has likely given careful thought to these strategies and their impact on patient well being, population health, public policy, personal liberties, and economics. To that end, I recommend educating the public regarding the validity, impact, and feasibility of these assertions, assumptions, and questions, espoused above. The better informed we are about the evidence, the reality, as problematic as it may be, the more likely we too will answer the call.

David Nardone, Hillsboro

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