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Move ignores reality

I worry about what is happening in the world and especially with covid-19 because I am somewhat more at risk due to being in fourth-stage kidney failure, along with a plethora of other medical issues. I am an Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient on limited income ($783 per month) so I hope that you will at least take me somewhat serious.

I have been watching the numbers, and I see where the governor is opening our state up to Phase 2. I was just wondering, if you look at the steady incline of positive cases since the first case around March 11 until now, that is an overall average mean of around 800 Arkansans per day in only 13 to 15 weeks. I understand that we started low, and then started to spike around mid-April. We then dropped again somewhat for the next month, but have been on a steady incline since. I cannot be the only one who looks at this as a possible problem.

I guess my concern is that with numbers actually increasing by more than just a few hundred per day, is it really wise to open things up more and keep putting us at risk? Those of us with severe health issues probably look at this a bit more closely than the average citizen because of the possibility of infection. I am trying to get on a kidney transplant list, and if things keep rising like they are, I have to wonder if it would be safe for me to travel back and forth to the transplant center, probably Little Rock, or even to my more local doctors appointments.

Call me a concerned citizen. Call me worrying too much. Just please God, do not call my name on a list of infected or, worse yet, deceased statistics.

Thomas Morse


What's good for goose is good for Fayetteville

If the Fayetteville mayor and city council won't obey the state law, why I should city businesses and citizens obey their ordinance?

Glen Salter


Failure to wear masks threatens ill 4-year-old

The Fayetteville City Council just passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks in some public settings. I understand for some of you, this feels like an inconvenience, and for others, it feels like an assault on your civil liberties.

For our family, it is a matter of survival.

Two years ago, our 4-year-old son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

We did not know that instead of preparing for kindergarten, we would drive 5,000 miles for treatments between Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock. We did not know that instead of Cub Scout meetings, we would have 52 chemotherapy treatments (and counting). Instead of soccer practice, we would have 19 surgical procedures.

For many people with medical conditions, like our son or the elderly, covid-19 is a deadly risk. Our son, at the worst of his chemotherapy regimen, had just 7% of a functioning immune system, essentially the same as a person in the late stages of AIDS.

We also did not know how casually our fellow Americans and fellow Arkansans would treat this disease. Last Friday evening, we went for a drive down Dickson street and along the square and as a family game we counted masks. The final tally was 98 without masks, 11 with masks. That is only 10%.

Worse, our covid-19 numbers keep going up, and health officials in our area hospitals estimate we have had only 10% of the cases in Northwest Arkansas that we will have by the fall.

What the citizens of Fayetteville (and Arkansas) need to understand is just how much the vulnerable need them, and how much wearing a mask and social distancing can make a difference. Studies by the National Institutes of Health have proven that N95 and N99 masks are 97-98% effective, and data from the National Academy of Sciences has shown that even cheap surgical masks have reduced covid-19 transmission by almost 40%.

We understand social distancing is extremely hard. We know because we have been doing it, not for three months, but for two years. We've missed birthday parties. We've attended church online. We've even celebrated Thanksgiving alone due to low immune counts. Life is lonely for the immune compromised.

We also know what it feels like to wear a mask all the time. My mask is hard to breathe through, even though I am a runner. It pinches my face so tightly that after eight hours at Arkansas Children's Hospital for chemotherapy, my nose looks like it has been punched by a boxer.

I think many of you do care about the vulnerable, and especially kids like our son. Yet if you are happy to donate to Arkansas Children's Hospital, St. Jude's, or Make A Wish, can't you also wear a mask in public and help save their lives?

By passing this law, Fayetteville is trying to look after the most vulnerable, what the Bible calls "the least of these."

Like our son.

Please remember that when you mask up to go out.

Zach Spillman


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