More testing sheds light on how virus is spreading in US (copy)

A person wearing a mask walks past a sign banning visitors at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., near Seattle on Monday. Dozens of people associated with the facility are reportedly ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized and are being tested for the COVID-19 virus. 

Put coronavirus in perspective

Based on the majority of people exhibiting few symptoms and health care providers never becoming aware they are carriers of the coronavirus, it will be impossible to quarantine them to prevent the virus’s spread. But you can also conclude this is a very mild form of virus. It will become an annual viral infection like influenza, to which we likewise have no natural immunity and for which we are encouraged to receive an annual shot.

The coronavirus’s mortality rate and burden are exponentially lower than most outbreaks that make global news. The virus has raised alarm due to the low fatality rate and the fact it is impossible to contain. That means there is an addition economic health care burden and social burden that affects the entire economy. It hopefully will be significantly mitigated by the future vaccines. But it needn’t cause worldwide panic or financial collapse. It is more like a year when we have a particularly bad influenza season and our vaccines have only 40% efficacy.

Vaccines using RNA clips of the virus are already being tested in animals. They, however, have not had time to start human testing, which is drawn out and monitored by the FDA for safety and efficacy.

Kenneth Pickens, Omaha

president, Advanced Bioadjuvants

Take personal responsibility

There is an epidemic of irresponsibility that is ever more pervasive in American society, a culture of blaming that has been inflamed and empowered by someone who was born into privilege, who benefited from all that this country has to offer and then attained the highest office in the land. He is not the cause of this, though he has used it to his advantage to gin up his supporters in a divide-and-conquer strategy that has been very successful for him but horribly disruptive to the nation.

America has become divided into the haves and have-nots, but why? There is so much opportunity in this country, so many people and places, agencies and organizations who are ready and willing to help. There is little excuse for an able-bodied person not to find assistance for whatever they wish to achieve when help is generally just a phone call or click away. Thousands of jobs remain unfilled. Opportunity abounds.

I spent the first half of my adult life as working poor, and through my own efforts and the help of others I was able to learn a trade and get a degree. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, but it made all of the difference in the world to myself and those who depended on me.

Tim Horning, Bellevue

The right to vote

Regarding Wesley S. Dodge’s great commentary (Feb. 22 Midlands Voices) on voter ID, I believe he has great common sense.

Voter ID has to do with Republicans stealing the Democrat vote. He mentioned that the disenfranchised would be the young, elderly, minorities, poor and homeless. He forgot prisoners, who have suffered disenfranchisement for many years. Prisoners in our penal institutions are disenfranchised for the length of their sentence and sometimes for many years afterwards.

I have always felt my voting privilege was an inalienable right and have often wondered what crime had to do with disenfranchisement.

Dorothy Jean Dorsey, Omaha

Open carry question

Would someone ask Gov. Ricketts if it is OK if I carry my AK-47 assault rifle into Wrigley Field when the Cubs play the Astros?

Theodore Dennis, Omaha

Media bias

Oh, how I wish Joshua Whitney’s assertion (March 2 Public Pulse) that the mainstream media and their use of “ethical standards” was true regarding the difference between news, commentary and propaganda.

I watched ABC News on election night 2016 for much of the evening. George Stephanopoulos (title: chief anchor and political correspondent, who also gave $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation) appeared to me to grow increasingly upset and angry as it became obvious that Trump was going to win. Not “responsible journalism,” in my opinion. I also watched ABC News during the 2018 mid-term election. I heard Jonathan Karl (title: chief White House correspondent) refer to the Democrats as “we” during his analysis of election results. Not an “error” that can be corrected, in my opinion.

After the daylong testimony of Robert Mueller in which the Washington Post reported he “spoke haltingly, seemed not to remember key details and tripped over himself even when members weren’t trying to trip him up,” ABC News showed two brief clips of Mueller where he looked like he was in control. Not “responsible journalism,” in my opinion.

My concern is that major news outlets do cross over from “mainstream media news” to “propaganda.” My plea is that the mainstream media report the news completely and accurately with no bias and let the viewer decide. That’s “ethical standards” as I understand them.

Scott Darden, Omaha

Fire disaster

Hopefully Omaha World-Herald readers will pick up on the deceit in the number and words“400,000,” “free-range” and “barn” (singular) used in a recent article about the fire at an egg-producing plant in Bloomfield, Neb. Also of note was the lack of even one empathetic word for the death of those 400,000 sentient beings, chickens.

Rampant deception by the animal agriculture industries are fuel for the fire stoking the move by many to veganism.

Bonnie Price, Omaha

Drug prices

Regarding my previous letter about the high cost of Eliquis: It cost $464 for a month’s supply of 60 pills. It was so high because I had not met my deductible for 2020. Today I ordered a refill, and it will cost $21 for the same thing.

That is a little more than just ridiculous.

Something needs to be done about this.

Patricia Huntsman, Red Oak, Iowa

Creighton baseball

Having been an avid baseball fan all of my life, I feel more media coverage goes to Nebraska baseball than Creighton baseball.

Ed Servais has been their head coach for 19 years. He develops his players not only by coaching them on the field, but develops them to keep their grades up, how to act on/off the field, and how to become good men.

Three of his players were drafted last year.

It would be awesome if Creighton could have more support at their games.

Season opener is this weekend. Double header on Saturday, and a game on Sunday.

Nancy Williams, Ralston

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