Look to the experts

Editor:

On top of all the other stuff we worry about, there’s now the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Facts about the new disease are still murky. There’s little agreement about your odds of catching COVID-19, whether you’ll have to pay big money if you are involuntarily quarantined, fatality rates (the head of the World Health Organization just said the global fatality rate was about 3.4 percent), and how long until an effective vaccine is developed. (Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says “at least a year.” President Trump says, “very, very soon.”)

Unfortunately, most of POTUS’s remarks on the potential epidemic consist of incoherent, inaccurate rambles congratulating himself on what a great job he’s doing. The president has appointed Vice President and science-denier Mike Pence to “clear” any comments on the disease.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked overseas military commander to not make any coronavirus-related decisions that could surprise the White House or contradict President Trump’s statements on the illness.

In short, it’s probably wise to get your information from sources not directly controlled by the administration. The World Health Organization supplies extensive information at who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

The Worldometers site, which constantly updates statistics on almost everything, has a section devoted to Coronavirus at worldometers.info/coronavirus. As well as keeping case and death statistics updated, the site offers opinions from actual public health experts instead of political hacks.

And closer to home, there’s the New Mexico Department of Health. Their COVID-19 information is at cv.nmhealth.org. The site lists specific information for the public, for clinicians and for laboratories.

Most of the advice for prevention is things you’ve already heard: avoid sick people, stay home if you’re feeling bad and wash your hands. One online post custom tailors that advice for New Mexicans: “Wash your hands like you just peeled a bag of chile and you’re about to put in your contact lenses.”

Laura F. Sanchez

Los Lunas

Disappointed in decision

Editor:

I am very disappointed with the city council of Rio Communities in forcing its residents to use a trash hauler from out of state.

It was very clear that most residents did not want to use the company that was chosen by the council.

I sent an emailed letter to every city councilor several months ago in support of AC Disposal, who is my current hauler and with whom I am very pleased. Not a single one of the councilors or mayor pro-tem had the courtesy to even acknowledge my email or send me any kind of response.

I believe they all had their minds made up without listening to any of their constituents. The Rio Communities City Council has now been successful in killing home-grown jobs that belonged to the people of our community!

I hope the residents of Rio Communities remember this when it is time to vote!

Fernando Sisneros

Rio Communities

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