Letter: Different strokes for different folks

Reactions to the coronavirus have been varied and interesting. Those reactions say a lot about our common sense, politics and, ultimately, how we truly care about each other. Those reactions focus on what we do more so than what we say.

A Pentecostal church in Sacramento County has refused to comply with directives to stop its fellowship meetings, saying that such meetings are important to their faith. Seventy-one parishioners or those who have come into contact with them have tested positive for the disease, including the pastor. One has died. God works in mysterious ways.

It appears that Sacramento County believes that golf courses are essential businesses during the pandemic. Seems like a bogey to me.

When Trump refused to answer a press conference question about reopening Obamacare exchanges so as to allow Americans who lost their jobs and health insurance to gain coverage, and passed the question to Pence, Trump, after Pence spoke, said, “That was one of the greatest answers I’ve ever heard because Mike was able to talk for five minutes and not answer your question.” I guess that passes for humor from people who have no empathy for ailing Americans.

As of Saturday, April 4, 2020, eight American states have not issued stay-at- home directives. Each state has confirmed infections and deaths related to those infections. Each one has a Republican governor. Each has expressed similar reasons for not doing so but a commonality is that their states don’t have enough cases, yet. There is no CDC guideline for how many sick and dead a state has to have before “enough is enough.” Dr. Fauci has encouraged all states to issue such directives. It’s called prevention.

The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, took time off from his busy schedule creating a Middle East peace plan to hold a press conference to discuss the supply line of equipment needed for cities and states taking the coronavirus seriously. Kushner, in response to requests from the front lines where they are running out of life-saving equipment, said, “And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile — it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”

The federal law creating that stockpile specifically states that its purpose is to optimize the emergency health security of the United States so as to make sure that Americans can stay healthy in such troubling times. The website for the Department of Health and Human Services described that stockpile to be used in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. However, since Kushner’s mistake, the language has been modified on that website in an attempt to mirror the son-in-law’s comments. That “correction” may be as close as one can get to curing stupid. Unfortunately, protecting the Trump family reputation does not put America first.

My favorite irony deals with farm laborers. They have been labeled as essential and critical workers and are expected to keep working in order to feed us. Many, if not most of these hard-working people are here illegally. The Trump Administration wants to round them up and kick them out but they can get federal “essential work” letters from their employers. Those letters, of course, don’t prevent federal officers from deporting them but they are “essential”. Being essential does not give them health insurance, unemployment insurance or federal COVID-19 help. Nor does it afford them masks, testing and healthcare, except in emergency rooms. But they are “essential.” Are you?

Lastly, I have yet to understand why there was a run on toilet paper a few weeks ago. Some people were even caught on video fighting over cartloads of it in stores. But it made we wonder what we did before there was toilet paper? National Geographic answers that question. I read the article. I’m trying to “wipe it” from my memory. I do encourage you to read it if you give a…

— Charles Wieland,

Retired Madera Superior Court judge

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