Letters to the Editor: Nov. 17 2020

Is this the season to love your neighbor as yourself?

Do you remember sneezing and coughing as a child? Your grandmother and mother asked you to cover your mouth so you would not pass on the bugs to somebody else. Your grandmother knew something. Pay attention now.
China is forcing their citizens to cover their mouth and nose with a mask as they are recovering from COVID and their economy is roaring back to productivity, keeping COVID under control. China has a long history of viral outbreaks and for them wearing a mask is normal. A strict and oppressive government hangs drug dealers. Not our way.

In our country, the CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the State of Colorado all recommend social distancing and wearing masks and avoiding crowds of people. Voluntary compliance, no coercion.

Following the recommendations helps stop and slow the spread of the virus buying time until we have vaccines. The key is to avoid overloading health care facilities and infecting health care workers.

As I shop in Meeker, meeting visitors and locals not wearing masks, I wonder what they are thinking about me, wearing my mask and recently a clear plastic face shield. Do I make them uncomfortable as I follow the recommendations put forward by the county, state, and federal health authorities? Maybe, maybe not.

I feel somewhat uneasy meeting an unmasked person in a tight spot in public. Who will be at risk of contracting the virus? I do not know…this person may not know that he or she is infected at that moment.

I wish I would not have to face those moments of meeting maskless faces in tight spots at this time in my life… My friend Dr. Kurt Papenfus caught COVID and ended up in a Denver hospital for several days fighting for his life. Quoting him: “The ‘Rona (Corona) beast is a very nasty beast and is not fun. It has a very mean temper. It loves a fight, and it loves to keep coming after you,” he said.

To those “no-maskers” who walk into the space of others please think about what you are doing as you might spread the virus in this pandemic outbreak. You are at risk too. You might think about it and put on a mask or you might say, “I do not care, my freedom of walking into your space without respecting your desire to avoid the virus is not important to me.”

We are not in China. You have the freedom to choose. I very much hope and expect that you choose to protect your neighbors, friends, strangers, and yourself. Step up to love your neighbor and yourself. It is the season.

Albert Krueger, MD

Thank you for protecting Western Colorado water

Dear Editor:

The Colorado River District is humbled and grateful for the support voters in our 15 counties showed for protecting Western Colorado water. Measure 7A passed with a district-wide 72% approval. That so many of you agreed with our mission and aspirations went beyond our most hoped-for expectations. We offer our thanks and a pledge to use the money wisely and with great effect in our ongoing efforts to protect West Slope water.

Western Colorado water has been much sought after to the east and the west since our founding at the beginning of the last century. The story has not changed, but the urgency to protect the Colorado River system is magnified with population growth in Colorado and the Southwest, higher temperatures and the never-ending quest for water supply. Western Colorado cannot become the sacrifice zone for the benefit of others.

We will now have the resources to bolster the basic protections for the Colorado River system that we’ve always maintained, with the added financial muscle to help our constituents with projects throughout the District and in all areas of water use, including clean reliable drinking water, water for food production and water that supports the environment and our recreation economy.

Water in the arid west is a conservative issue; it’s a progressive issue. It’s an irrigator’s issue and it’s a boater’s issue. If you brush your teeth, it’s an issue. It’s everybody’s issue, even though it’s so easy to take water for granted. We take seriously the trust our constituents have vested in us to be the watchdog of our precious resource.

It takes financial resources, talent and skill to protect the water resources that make Western Colorado the beautiful, vital region we know it to be today. Other people want that resource. We say they will have a big fight to get it, today, tomorrow and into the future.
Thank you for supporting ballot question 7A.

Andy Mueller
General Manager
Colorado River District

Thanks from Lancasters

Dear Editor:
The family of Nick Lancaster would like to thank the Panther Football coaching staff: Paul Fortunato (or Pauly as Nick called him), Keenan LeBleu, Jeremy Lohry, Matt Mercado and Cameron Enterline and the entire 2020 Panther football team for honoring Nick at the third annual Nick Lancaster Memorial football game. A huge thank you to Justyne Peters of Heifer Gang Clothing for designing and Sylvia Dembowski, owner of Get Your Stitch On, for making the hats, sweatshirts and T-shirts and for generously donating a portion of all merchandise sales to the Nick Lancaster Football Memorial Fund three years in a row! A special thanks to Gary and Kathy Staley of Sweetbriar for selling hats and bracelets in their store. A heartfelt thanks to Jeff “Buck” LeBleu for being the voice of Panther football and delivering Nick’s family’s message. A final humongous thank you to all the businesses, friends, family, extended family, classmates and Panther football fans who have donated to the Nick Lancaster Memorial Fund. The support and generosity of this community even when times are tough and especially during a pandemic, is truly amazing!

Nick would be deeply humbled with no words to express the gratitude felt, just as we are!

Bleed Green!
The family of Nick Lancaster

Wake up, Meeker

Dear Editor:
As the pandemic grows around us I can’t help but send this email in the hope someone will read it and take it seriously. I’m sure if your mom/dad or child was on a ventilator due to COVID you would be more active about taking action, but because it may have not affected you, it’s easier to take the lazier approach like past issues and ignore your community.

We have elected county commissioners who we trust to make good choices for us. What does it say when you see them going to the grocery store or post office and they are not even wearing a mask? What does it say when the Governor has mandated a statewide “wear a mask” order and they both ignore it and don’t enforce it. They are going against the only protection out there to keep you safe. That tells me they are OK with you getting COVID and possibly dying. They don’t care about you.

Have you walked around in the grocery store lately? Apparently the sign outside is about as useful as a knitted condom. People just walk in, breathe all over the food, wear their masks below their nose (since it’s so hard to learn how to wear one correctly). No one enforces the rules so of course numbers are going to go up.

There are other public places where people who have known exposures or family members at home who have tested positive and they are going to work (courthouse, food industry and schools). Let’s not ignore the big party that took place on Halloween weekend where many were exposed, but no one will bat an eye about how they run their lives. They are free to give it to everyone else because they fell outside of the testing phase of 48 hours. What a sorry excuse.

Wake up, Meeker. COVID isn’t going away soon. Are you waiting for your family to be on a ventilator before you wear a mask? “I hate masks, they are annoying.” Try being on a ventilator and then let’s chat about how hard it is to breathe. Say goodbye to a loved one via iPad because you can’t go see them and then tell me you want to continue “not wearing a mask.” You think you are good enough to go without a mask, think again.

I hope you don’t ignore this. This is a lot of people in your community, people who vote for you, speaking up. Hear us loud and clear!

Ellie Bennett

Thoughts expressed on opinion pages are exclusively those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Times. You are welcome to submit signed letters on matters of local interest to editor@ht1885.com, mail to PO Box 720, Meeker, CO 81641 or drop off at 304 4th St., Meeker. there is no charge. DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINTS, please try to keep SUBMISSIONS 500 words or less.