Schools need support for all they do for kids
Re: “Colorado students need to be in school,” Nov. 22 commentary
I agree with Michele Lueck, Colorado Health Institute, that children are better served when they are in the classroom. We now realize that schools are expected to provide multiple needs of children — not only their learning needs but also their social, health, safety and nutrition needs.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, all of that is not possible. And yet because schools provide a safe place for children while their parents do their jobs, in or out of the home, there continues to be pleas and demands that schools open. It is not so simple as just opening the schools so parents can do their jobs.
Teachers and staff also have issues like their own health, daycare issues, and at-risk persons at home, which means they cannot return to the classroom.
Even if schools are open, not all parents want their children in the school. That means schools also need to provide online teachers.
Therefore, school districts are trying to provide teachers, staff, online technology and safe buildings to meet the needs of everyone — without adequate or extra funding. They are also dealing with exhausted and cautious teachers giving up their profession, new hires not available, and fewer education graduates to replace teachers.
Parents and taxpayers will be asked to make up for the loss of classroom and online learning time by paying for extra resources in the coming year.
I hope we are all as adamant about paying for extra support when they open all schools next fall.
Janet Johnson, Golden
Now is the time to put others first
Re: “We need to take a holiday from draconian measures,” Nov. 22 commentary
If our frontline health care workers were not stretched to the max, were our hospitals not at risk of running out of ICU beds and all beds, Krista Kafer’s reasoned and common sense approach might work. Frontline health care workers are seeing huge spikes in asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients, all of whom can become super-spreaders simply by showing up at social gatherings, restaurants and bars even without knowing it.
The health care workers are no longer the frontline. They are now the last line of defense. We the people of Colorado are the frontline of defense.
It seems we Americans have thrown up our hands because it is too inconvenient to hold on until next spring or summer for a vaccine. Entire generations made significantly more sacrifices during the dark years of the Great Depression and immediately into World War II. I fear that we Americans are no longer up to an easier and a shorter challenge such as COVID-19.
Can we please follow the recommended precautions and take personal responsibility? And can our elected leaders at the federal and state level please come to agreements to make sure we offer needed assistance to small businesses (bars and restaurants included) and those who are facing eviction to tide them over? We can do this, but we have to do it together.
John W. Thomas, Fort Collins
As a long-time health care worker, I find Ms. Kafer’s column appalling. Unsurprising, but appalling. Perhaps she’s unaware that, unlike in the spring when field hospitals were built, the entire country wasn’t suffering from the exact same problem.
The point being that in the spring there were nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, etc., who were willing to travel to places of high need to staff the hospitals.
Guess what? The entire country is in the same dire straits, and there are not enough people to take care of the current patient loads, let alone if they are to double or triple. What that will mean is the doctors deciding who should get treatment and who is either not sick enough or too sick to bother.
It is very uncharitable and unprofessional of me, but I confess to wishing people like Ms. Kafer would stay at home when they become ill, since they weren’t concerned and don’t think it’s that big a deal. That way, people who tried to avoid getting sick but were exposed can receive treatment.
This is not the flu or a cold. It is a terrible illness with the potential for devastating long-term health problems, not to mention death. None of us have ever seen anything quite like it, and I am doing all I can to stay well. Would that others would also take seriously enough to forego their pleasures this year.
Kris Long, Arvada
Canceling student debt leaves many holding the bag
Canceling student debt is a popular item on the liberal agenda these days.
“Joe Biden can cancel student debt on day 1. He doesn’t need to wait for Congress. And millions of Americans saddled with debt can’t wait, either. It’s good policy, too — and will stimulate the economy quickly,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) recently tweeted.
It sounds easy. Kids have been working hard. There’s a pandemic. Why not give them a break?
But what about the students who already worked their way through college, working late nights, laboring tirelessly to make sure they paid off their debt?
What about the citizens who chose not to go to college or graduate school because they knew they couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to be saddled with debt in the first place?
What about other kinds of debt: health care debt, mortgage debt, or other hard-working Americans who, in a devastated economy, simply come up short as they try to cover their monthly expenses?
Canceling student debt would send a message that there’s a special class of Americans who are somehow more entitled to funds than other hard-working citizens.
Canceling student debt would certainly provide needed help to some. But it leaves out a great many more who need this help just as much or more.
So let’s cancel the idea of canceling student debt and start thinking about ways we can lift up all citizens of the country through aid packages that bring everyone out of debt, not just a privileged few.
Alan August, Denver
To concede …
Many Trump supporters point to the Russia probe as justification for the president’s refusal to concede and start the transition. ‘After all,” they say, “Democrats never accepted the results of the 2016 election.”
Is this a fair comparison? Did the Democrats accept the results of 2016? Yes, they did. Clinton called Donald Trump to concede early Wednesday morning Nov. 9, 2016, after the election had been called. Obama invited Trump to visit the White House the next day in a conciliatory gesture. That’s the equivalent of what Trump is refusing to do.
Yes, the Democrats followed up on reports of Russian involvement. But as a legal matter, they never contested that Trump was the legitimate winner of the Electoral College in 2016 as Trump and his supporters have in the 2020 election. So referring to the Russia probe versus stonewalling the transition is comparing apples to oranges.
Furthermore, while Trump has and will question the validity of the Biden win based on virtually no evidence, evidence was abundant for Russian interference, including Trump himself asking for Russian hacking of Clinton’s email account.
Marc Lee, Westminster
… or not to concede
It’s interesting how upset people are that President Trump refuses to concede the recent election.
In reality, he is merely following the guidance of his previous opponent (Hillary Clinton). In August, Ms. Clinton advised candidate Joe Biden not to concede the 2020 election “under any circumstances.”
A Republican president doing what his Democrat opponent advised. Sounds to me like bipartisanship.
Joseph M. Lemma, Parker
An illustration of medical professionals as heroes
Re: “Reflections from Veterans Day,” Nov. 14 letter to the editor
What a perfect coincidence that letter writer Rosemary O’Connor’s tribute to the soldiers who saved her father’s life on Iwo Jima is under a political cartoon representing that historic photograph. Only this time, the soldiers are our medical professionals planting the needle into COVID-19.
John Kogovsek, Pueblo
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