Seniors are dying

I ran this by several of my senior friends asking them if they thought it was too harsh and one of them said, “While the unnecessary death of any of God’s creatures is a sad thing, seniors are a little above the spotted owl level of concern.” It needs to be said.

The following facts were taken from The Oregonian:

1. 18 percent or so of the citizens of Oregon are seniors.

2. In the week ending Feb. 7, over 95 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 were over 60 years of age ... 95 percent.

3. Seniors are routinely pushed farther down the priority list for vaccination.

I would think these facts would make prioritizing of vaccinations crystal clear.

Anything less than prioritizing seniors at a very high level is tantamount to a death sentence for hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors. In what perverted world is this okay. It is obvious that placing seniors ahead of other groups is not a peril to those groups because they are not dying, seniors are.

The bottom line: Senior people will die, solely because they were denied the vaccination that could save their lives. All of the rhetoric explaining the reason for sentencing these people to death are excuses, not reasons. There is no reason seniors cannot be vaccinated. How is causing a human being’s death by negligence and incompetence any different than murder?

While I don’t have the ability to hold those accountable who are responsible for this atrocity, I beseech those who are capable of doing something not to let this pass. What are you gonna do, pull the mask up over your eyes as well?

I have never felt more marginalized in my life.

Richard Hynd

The Dalles

The elephant

With all this controversy over who gets what immunization, I just want to remind people that the elephant in the room is several countries whose leaders didn’t politicize the pandemic and took action when notified last January don’t have to make the decisions our governors do trying to clean up the last administration’s mess!

Steve Carlson

White Salmon

Spare me, GOP

Spare me the performative outrage from Republicans claiming that Democrats “divisively” rebuffed their efforts to “unify.” Apparently, the truth hurts and just like the national Republican Party, the local Klickitat GOP would rather sling mud at Democrats instead of face the truth about what their party has become.

Democrats will be more than happy to find common ground when Republicans stop spreading lies about non-existent election fraud, stop making excuses for violent, cop killing insurrections that attacked our Capitol (and the powerful people who incited them), stop willfully ignoring public health guidelines and hosting in person, mask-less gatherings and stop promoting the formation of an armed, anti-government organization in Klickitat County.

Until that happens, Democrats will continue to shine the light on the current Republican party’s anti-science, anti-truth, anti-democracy and anti-governing ideology.

Kirsten Dennis

White Salmon

Editor’s note: Dennis refers to a recent Klickitat GOP Facebook page promotion of meetings of the anti-government People’s Rights movement, an organization that since April has hosted and participated in armed protests, disruptions to public proceedings and criminal behavior (Southern Poverty Law Center/HateWatch).


According to the Wall Street Journal, a WHO draft report suggests COVID-19 could be spread via frozen food. The Chinese government seems to agree, considering how they’re handling frozen food imports. If that’s the case, maybe we don’t need to be eating Chinese frozen fish. By the way, I contacted the CDC months ago about this. They said not to be concerned.

Mark Lutz

The Dalles

Support stimulus

Americans are hurting. Tens of millions are out of work, not able to afford mortgages or rent, unable to pay for medical care and many can’t even feed themselves or their families. The pandemic has made what was bad for some bad for way too many and most are not going to get through this without some help.

During the election, the Dems promised an immediate stimulus package with enough to help keep our heads above water, but is that what’s happening? The House quickly sent a bill to the Senate but, so far, the only one fighting to pass it is Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Come on people! Do your jobs! A $2,000 check, aid for dying small businesses and funding a serious vaccine effort would be a good start to get the country on its feet until the pandemic subsides.

But a majority of Senators think Americans can get by with less or no assistance in the worst crisis since the Great Depression. What world do they live in? That $2,000 check might be a bit more than some people need, but for many, it would barely cover a month’s rent.

Giving average Americans stimulus money would be an enormous benefit, in that it would be quickly spent and almost all of it would stay in the country, circulating and boosting the economy.

We pay taxes, funding the government to, among other essential services, deal with crises like we are now suffering. Don’t tell us we don’t have the money when we can give enormous unnecessary tax cuts to mega-corporations and billionaires, bail out crooked banks and support wasteful multi-billion dollar Pentagon projects.

If we have any hope of getting out of this mess, our so-called leaders desperately need to get their priorities straight.

Michael Hustman

White Salmon

Serving the elderly

I am the volunteer Certified Ombudsman with the State of Oregon’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. As a trained volunteer, I am tasked with visiting my assigned long-term care facility, getting to know the residents, observing and listening for problems, and working with the residents to assist in resolving those problems.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on society, especially our community members who live in nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities, memory care homes, and adult foster care homes.

Longstanding conditions in long-term care facilities created the perfect storm for the pandemic to expose and amplify systematic problems with the long-term care industry.

During this pandemic, Certified Ombudsmans like myself have continued to advocate for Oregonians living in long-term care.

The approaches are a little different than they have been in the past. In normal times, residents had regular visits with people who could advocate and try to protect their dignity and rights. However, in order to keep our seniors safe during the pandemic, we have all had to practice social distancing.

Despite my inability to be the extra eyes and ears within the facilities, I am still working to stay in contact with residents and facility staff and are resolving issues using the resources available.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office, along with our fellow Oregonians living in facilities, are in desperate need of more volunteer advocates. Today, approximately 48 percent of the facilities are covered in Oregon by trained volunteers. We need another 100 volunteers to be the eyes and ears in 100 percent of our facilities. Ombudsmans are going to be needed more than ever when facilities open again.

As a volunteer who is currently serving within my community, I encourage anyone to apply to become a volunteer Certified Ombudsman. The training is extensive and the support by staff and fellow volunteers is an integral part of the program.

Most facility residents don’t know their rights, or how to fight for them even if they do know and understand their rights.

I hope you will join me to become an advocate who can be there for the long-term residents in our community, and help them find their voice.

If you or a loved one needs help with an issue or conflict in a long-term care facility, or you are interested in volunteering, call 1-800-522-2602.

Glenna Bibson, Certified Ombudsman


Donkey days

We were told to wear masks in order to get back to normal. We were told to wear masks, social distance, and sanitize in order to get back to normal. We were told to wear masks, social distance, sanitize, skip holidays with family and friends to get back to normal. We were told to wear masks, social distance, sanitize, skip holidays with family and friends, and get vaccinated to get back to normal. We were told to wear two masks, social distance, sanitize, skip holidays with family and friends, and get vaccinated in order to get back to normal. We were told to wear two masks, social distance, sanitize, skip holidays with family and friends, get vaccinated, and wait for most of the population to get vaccinated in order to get back to normal.

Experts and politicians all over the country have scolded us for a year now about doing all of this but have been caught doing just the opposite.

I’m still waiting to this day for the Oregon Health Authority and the local health departments to post in the local papers, social media, and on TV /radio ads the survival rates with the accompanying age brackets for SARS-CoV-2 from the CDC. We are a year-plus into this two-week fluid lockdown. I’m sick of seeing people packed in supermarkets while restaurants are barely surviving, if not out of business already. I can’t imagine how much of a toll that all the stress is doing to these owners. From just going to different businesses in different towns, it would seem that big business gets a free pass.

Anyone else feel like a donkey that is being led by a carrot on a stick at this point?

Doug Geary

Hood River

Being judged

A lot of disabled veterans and non-veterans are being judged by the so called more intelligent and perfect people.

To judge me and others for our physical and mental disabilities from combat missions (for your freedom) is wrong.

Leave the judgments in the court rooms!

Steve Cochenour

The Dalles