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Letters to the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Is America in an early bell curve of coronavirus?

As of March 15, the coronavirus epidemics in China and South Korea are over. The cases are down to less than 10% of their peak daily rates (China’s less than 1%). Whatever actions they took worked. Daily data are a tolerable fit to a normal distribution (bell curve) and show the whole epidemics lasted about six weeks.

However, European countries, notably Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK are showing the exponential growth of the early part of a bell curve, as is the case in the USA. Let’s hope our and their paths turn out like China and South Korea, and the epidemics will be over by the end of April. Delays in the implementation of testing may underestimate the cases in the U.S. compared to European. It remains to be seen whether the measures taken in the U.S. will be adequate. Italy has locked down nearly everything but their cases and deaths, per million persons, is seven times higher than China’s.

We should keep in mind that most people don’t suffer badly from the virus. However, the death rate is much higher than a typical flu, especially among the elderly. Probably more than ten times that of the flu.

The “worldometers.info/coronavirus” site has presented more data for individual countries, including all those listed above. Unfortunately, they have not calculated growth factor charts for the individual countries. Instead, you should look at the daily tallies of cases and deaths.

Looking at the Worldwide data, another question pops into my mind. Why have India, and Indonesia, countries with 1.4 billion and 300 million respectively, and in the Asian area, reported only 108 and 117 cases? Is it because they have not been testing, some demographic reason, or what? Japan, a country with a 127 million population has reported only 814 cases. Italy, with 60 million has had 25,000 cases and 1,800 deaths. Why?

Another thing to ponder is whether, when restrictions are lifted, virus infections will re-emerge? We will have early warning of that because China is relaxing restrictions on its people now.

George Tucker

Unnecessary hoarding affecting whole community

I went to Walmart very early Thursday morning and saw dozens of people line up at the front door. I walked up to the door and found out why. There was a sign advising customers “Walmart was curtailing its 24-hour shopping hours. The new hours would start at 7:00 each morning until further notice.” So dozens of people stood in freezing, windy weather waiting to get inside.

When I finally was able to get into the store, I found many shelves were empty. Or large items had been moved around to hide the bare selves.

I also saw some people loading up their carts with large quantities of goods. One man in particular caught my attention. His cart was full of bottled water. And I asked him why he needed so much water.

“It’s because of the virus. And I’m making sure me and my family have enough drinking water.”

I then asked him if he was homeless. To wit he stated, “No.” I then asked him if he lived in a house with running water. “Yes,” he answered. He also stated the water was perfectly fine to drink.

I then asked him why he needed to hoard water if he had plenty of drinking water at home. He didn’t know how to answer the question and wandered off.

You’re probably wondering what this all has to do with my shopping trip. Here’s the answer from a lead cashier. People like the man hoarding bottled water and others like him, panicked by the COVID-19 virus, were pulling stuff off the shelves faster than the overnight stock crews could restock the shelves. So Walmart was forced to curtail its late night shopping hours. The stocking crews would then have time to restock some of the shelves.

Scott Culshaw

Reader suggests we should return to biblical ways

The Book of Leviticus in the Bible tells us to save up for a rainy day. Shmita is a seven-year period which in the sixth year food must be stored for both the sixth and seventh years of the period. During the seventh year, fields must be left fallow. Shmita is a metaphor to save up for times of need.

Modern business on the other hand, decided to have just in time inventory. Just in time inventory reduces inventory to only that which is needed now, not tomorrow. It also helps to reduce federal taxes on inventory. The more a business has stored in inventory, the higher the taxes. Businesses spent billions on systems and bonuses to reduce inventory to zero. Now, the cupboard is bare!

Biblical advice is the same advice modern science is now giving us to handle COVID-19. It was given by God over 2,600 years ago. So much for modern science having any new solutions.

We should have been saving for this crisis. The responsibility to save is on everybody and the government. We will pay the price for living in the moment, just for today. We will experience global die-off that will be far greater than the Spanish influenza. Those who survive must return to biblical ways.

Jean William Frenette

Some things just require a little common sense

I watched the Democratic presidential debates, and one of the frequent solutions to the “gun” problem, according to the former vice president and echoed by all the other candidates on stage was passing a law allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers. To my knowledge, you can successfully sue any manufacturer or producer if you follow their instructions and guidelines for safety and it fails due to their product’s flaws. But if you misuse the product, like snow blower manufacturers having to tell their customers “not to use on the roof.” Seems like there are some universal truths that even most young children should be taught to know and understand, like “look both ways before crossing the street.”

Even in England, there are some looking at the wrong end of the horse, where it is nearly impossible to own a gun, especially a handgun. They have a stabbing problem and many politicians there are touting restricting knife purchases. There are even some regarding baseball bats too.

Maybe a great measure of common sense has eluded us in recent years, but it does seem inanimate objects have much less to do with these problems, while social attitudes of the lack of personal responsibility and victimhood are the underlying causes.

If we continue on this road, the only answer is relinquishing freedoms of choice to masters, which has been the history of humanity with only a few exceptions, the U.S. being one of them.

David Jaronik

Abuse laws not helping us with parental discipline

It “takes a village”, yet our parents are accused of child abuse per the stupid laws that have been passed. Now, instead of children acting like children, obeying their parents, it’s reversed, especially in stores and about in public.

I watched a child about 18 months to two years old pummel its mother’s face with its fists and screaming all that time for 20 minutes or more until my doctor took me in to be examined, and all the mother could do was absorb the pummeling and say “I love you” over and over. It was definitely not a pretty sight for all those around to watch and hear.

It’s time the abuse laws be used for actual abuse, not child rearing corrections. Otherwise, we have the young growing up to expect everything they want when they want it or else they get violent.

This leads to school fights, disrespect to teachers in school, and even mass shootings of those who don’t treat them as they want to be treated.

It’s time to get rid of the “it takes a village” attitude and get back to it takes good parents to correct bad attitudes at a very young age.

When done, maybe, just maybe, we can all be civil to one another and “make America great again” and a country united in the goals of freedom to choose our own paths with respect to others.

Henry Hurlbut

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COVID-19 and how residents are ignoring the self-quarantine

Some residents of Nevada ignore the call for voluntarily self-quarantining and social distancing. There are still a lot of people out in the community, and traffic on the roads is still substantial. If you make a quick trip to pick up essentials at the grocery store, you will see that stores are still being overrun by shoppers madly searching for the ever-elusive rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. Head into a big box hardware store to pick up repair parts, and shoppers fill the aisles who have no idea what social distancing means. Bored at home and seeking something productive to do, homeowners have decided to occupy their free time by tackling projects around the yard and house. Signs around the stores asking shoppers to maintain social distancing are largely ignored by many as they go about their business. Yes, you will see some residents wearing surgical face masks. You will also see some wearing homemade masks of cloth or windsocks pulled up and cover their face and nose. Some shoppers, as they navigate down crowded aisles, will move to keep at least six feet between them and other shoppers. Then there are those shoppers who crowd in on top of you as stand waiting to check out without any regard to the prominently places signs asking them to stay back at least six feet. For them and for others who are not heeding the request to stay at home and for social distancing, the COVID-19 virus is not a real threat.

By the time we notice we’re hungry, it may be too late

“As the top U.S. watermelon-producing state prepares for harvest, Reuters reports, “many of the workers needed to collect the crop are stuck in Mexico …. Without the workers, crops could rot in fields throughout the country,” starting in Florida and California where major harvests begin in April and May.

It’s not the zombie apocalypse we were promised

For years we have all watched the movies and read the books about a global pandemic that would herald the end of mankind as we know it. When the virus was first reported, I was alarmed and was very glad that the president at least stopped flights from China. What happened next still puzzles me.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, March 11 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.