Reopen the economy
After reading the letter from Bruce Plantz of Little Rock, I felt obliged to respond to his criticism of Bradley Gitz. His statement that we're only opening the economy to boost Trump's re-election chances is ludicrous at best. His accusation that conservatives are playing politics with this situation is so typical of the "tolerance and diversity" I've seen several Democrats tout lately. Their tolerance only extends to those that agree with their opinions.
Look in the mirror, Bruce. Democrats are using the virus every way they can to help in their election efforts, and to lobby for more government involvement in our day-to-day lives. The economy must reopen and soon, or we risk triggering a worldwide depression that will kill more people than the pandemic ever will. In my opinion, the closing of the economy was a major mistake, not to mention blatantly unconstitutional. The numbers in the pandemic, with the exception of New York and a few other hot spots, do not support the measures taken so far. If your job supports and feeds your family, it is essential, no matter what any government official says. Does the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" ring any bells?
I have a question I'd like to see asked at the governor's daily briefing. While barbers, hairdressers, shop owners, waiters and waitresses and so many others have been forced to close their businesses and give up their jobs and incomes, how many government employees have taken a pay cut, or lost their insurance?
Governor Hutchinson, open the economy. If Mr. Plantz and others like him are worried about the virus, they can stay home. Nobody is forcing them to go out. I've seen several business owners say they don't want to reopen yet. Fine, but let others do so if they wish. Use some common sense. Wash your hands. Avoid close contact in public when possible. Help your elderly relatives and neighbors when you can by delivering groceries or supplies. But let's get back to work.
Let us vote absentee
Secretary of State John Thurston's office was recently asked by the Arkansas Times whether "no excuse" absentee voting would be allowed in November, given the covid-19 environment and, if so, what type of demand this might create. The response was "I'm sure those questions will be addressed a little closer to the election."
Seeing as our greatest failing in response to the covid-19 crisis is that we have not adequately prepared for its consequences, why wouldn't we address these questions now? I suspect that if there is any sign of covid-19 in November, there will be plenty of voters who will want to mark their ballot in the safety of their homes.
The Arkansas Secretary of State's office has asked for $4.7 million from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for covid-19 voting preparations. Let's have the governor make an emergency declaration now to allow for "no excuse" voting in November, and let's have Mr. Thurston immediately begin work on how he might promote and prepare for a big increase in absentee voting in November. Maybe we ought to use some of that money to send absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in the state.
Examine the numbers
When presented with important information related to important events, I like, where possible, to look at the numbers. If we examine the reported information in the U.S. related to covid-19 infected people and related deaths on May 6, 2020, we find that if we assume that three times as many people are infected and only half the number of related deaths were due to the virus, we still find that covid-19 is about 10 times as lethal as the flu. With the reported numbers without adjustment, we find a lethality roughly 60 times that of the flu.
Not a complex analysis, but make of it as you will.
WILLIAM A. POLK
The chain of charity
Last Friday, the unknown driver of an SUV with a Texas license plate paid the bill for us at the drive-thru at Taco Bell on Bowman. How gracious, I thought. Will do that same thing next time.
Why I did not do that very thing for the person(s) behind us at that time, slow me does not know. Never thought I might be breaking a "chain of charity" until Sunday morning, then kicked myself for not being as thoughtful as I usually think I am. If you are behind me at the Taco Bell the next time I am there, your meal(s) are covered.
Walk on left, please
Thank you, Kathryn Curtin, for your letter about people walking on the "wrong" (right) side of the road. Not only are they walking with the flow of traffic so that they cannot see the cars approaching them in the lane in which they are walking, but they are also frequently wearing earphones so they can't hear the approaching cars. They are also walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk.
Folks, sidewalks are there so that you can walk along the road safely. Use them! And, for goodness' sake, if you must walk in the street, walk on the left side so that you can see the approaching cars and get out of the way before that distracted driver runs into you.
Editorial on 05/08/2020