This is my plea for all physician offices and other medical facilities to stop seeing any patient that does not have an emergency. Hospitals and outpatient surgery centers should cancel all elective surgeries and procedures.
I have a 72-year-old family member who is going to have an elective procedure this week. She has asked my 68-year-old sister, who has comorbidities, to take her. I have explained to them both why they should not do this. I am shocked that the physician has not canceled. He is jeopardizing his patients, his staff, and our community for nothing other than the almighty dollar.
Close bars, eateries
The president suggested Monday that there should be no gatherings of more than 10 individuals. He further suggested that bars and restaurants, among other establishments, should close for a time.
Governors in other states, for example, New York, California, and Maryland, have ordered all bars and restaurants to close. Governor Hutchinson should do the same with statewide application.
Arkansas has a large population of elderly and compromised individuals. Because there is no way yet to determine who may be ill but asymptomatic and unknowingly spreading the covid-19 virus, every precaution to protect Arkansans should be taken.
Food and beverage establishments work on narrow margins, and they are places where more than 10 people gather at a time. We Arkansans can help those establishments by purchasing gift certificates to use later. Each business could quickly develop a way to implement selling the certificates. This will help those entities stay afloat. There would be some risk, of course, as there may not be enough certificate buyers to cover the overhead by some of the businesses.
And, by closing temporarily, staff could be eligible for unemployment to help cover lost income that is likely already reduced due to fewer customers.
Arkansas was one of the last states to experience patients with positive tests, mostly because testing was delayed. To help make up for that delay, the governor should immediately order that bars and restaurants close for two weeks, perhaps longer.
Arkansans need to stay at home, practice CDC-recommended social distancing and personal hygiene, and continue to support their favorite businesses in alternative ways. The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one.
Hot Springs Village
Reopen fitness center
Regarding Karen Martin's column on the need for a senior fitness facility in Little Rock: There is such a place on Kanis Road--excellent facility, beautiful pool, fitness equipment, served meals for seniors, etc., which closed for lack of funds.
If the city would bail this out and reinstate the staff, taxpayers would be saved millions of dollars, and the people who enjoyed using it could continue to do so.
Minds have been lost
I just read that San Francisco (and the surrounding area) is mandating sheltering in place because of covid-19. Citizens there are not to be out and about unless it's for an essential reason such as shopping for food or obtaining medical care. I was absolutely taken aback.
I was in total disbelief a short while later when I read about Little Rock's midnight to 5 a.m. curfew beginning Wednesday. Theoretically this move will diminish the spread of covid-19 by restricting socializing--as if there's so much socializing at that time of night anyway.
Have we collectively lost our minds? It certainly appears as if many of our elected and other public officials have, indeed, lost theirs. If our citizenry blithely accepts these sorts of measures, it would appear that the rest of us have, too. Will this outbreak be an excuse to curtail civil liberties so incrementally and for such "urgent reasons" that we don't question these actions until it's too late?
The very idea of restricting citizens' movements is very scary, and actually doing so should be anathema to us all.
North Little Rock
Worries about money
Scarier than getting sick is not being able to pay your bills. If all billing were suspended, we wouldn't have to worry about the next paycheck. Landlords, mortgage holders, any other loan payments, insurance companies, credit cards, storage units, utilities--seriously, all debts waived. You wouldn't need a paycheck. We already work to feed everyone with food banks--we could work in our own neighborhood making sure everyone eats. With more time on your hands, you could spend more time with family--read books, especially history, and get to know your neighbors. You could write a book, paint a masterpiece or maybe invent something!
Employers and small businesses would also have their bills waived. Suppliers of groceries, gas, transportation and distribution services would have to do their part.
Government could concentrate on care, cure and recovery from this pandemic.
Worried? Who, me?
Trump said the coronavirus was a Democrat/fake news hoax. Then why did he make that ship with all those people on it stay away? And of all people, he put Pence in charge of fixing it.
Editorial on 03/18/2020
Print Headline: Letters