The Corona Virus will go pandemic. Not maybe but will. The U.S. has around 30 million people over 60-69 years of age. Mortality so far is 3.6% for this group. That means over 1 million Americans in this group would be expected to die. In the 50-59 group we can expect over 500,000 deaths. For those older the numbers are much worse. Hospitals will be overwhelmed. The economy at minimum goes into recession and possibly a depression. We should have hand cleaners required at every public entrance. Masks and gloves should be manufactured in the 10's of millions and mailed to every home address to use in public when around others. Test kits should be developed in the millions. Drug companies should be subsided to develop a free vaccine. Congress spends 700 billion on military "defense." How about spending some real money on some a real defense of this country? Please call your local representative and voice your concern. This is the most serious immediate problem we face.

Michael Duffy, Scotts Valley

In all the conversations about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose sight of another important danger: economic impacts on the most vulnerable in our communities, especially young children.

As conventions are cancelled, meetings postponed, and sporting events held without audiences those that will bear the economic brunt the most are workers who are in the service industries and their families. Young children are already the most likely group to live in poverty, and the more severe and elongated this virus’s impact on our community is, the harsher the impact will be on the children of parents whose jobs rely on travel, tourism, events, and restaurant patronage. Meanwhile, the nonprofits that support families in times of crisis are having to cancel their fundraisers. Now is the time to reach out to one another and offer support in anyway you can.

Lynne Petrovic, MSW

Executive Director of CASA of Santa Cruz County

The Covid-19 pandemic affects all of us, but no group is more vulnerable than senior citizens, of which I am one. The Centers for Disease Control, as well as other scientific agencies, have advised us to use social distancing as a way of protecting ourselves and slowing the spread of this disease. They urge everyone, especially seniors, to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people. 

Many agencies and institutions have cooperated, closing their doors and shifting to online or mail communications. These include schools, public libraries, theaters, and restaurants. The Department of Motor Vehicles is not among them. Not only that, but the DMV requires an in-person written test for those 70 years and older to renew their drivers licenses. Appointment availability is limited and does not address the situation of a crowded waiting area with insufficient interpersonal space for safety. This requirement forces us to chose between our health – and perhaps our very lives – and following regulations.

I therefore urge that the DMV adopt a one-time online license renewal for seniors during the pandemic, ideally for the usual time of four years.

Lives are more precious than regulations. 

Deborah J. Ross, Boulder Creek

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