This category will hold letters to the editor, as requested by at least one Beat reader. This editor agrees that letters to the editor should be separate from editorials. Letters to the editor may not reflect the opinions of the editor.
Representing public health professionals leading the fight against COVID-19, the New Mexico Public Health Association (NMPHA) is grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff for providing decisive, data-driven leadership and maintaining the stay-at-home order while entering Phase One of reopening.
I Support Cliff Swallows
Volunteers from the Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society, Aldo Leopold Charter School, and residents of Silver City have continued monitoring Cliff Swallows on the Western New Mexico University campus this year since the swallows arrived from South America two months ago. Our goal is to determine how many young are produced this summer, now that the 10 year-old practice of knocking down nests has been curtailed after working with, and educating university staff.
Physical therapists are committed to improving the health of society. We join the Governor in urging New Mexicans to follow the difficult, but medically based orders, to socially isolate and to wear masks.
Our Governor is to be commended for acting swiftly during this pandemic and her actions and orders have received positive national recognition. Medical providers support the Governor's caution in reopening businesses until we know we have enough testing, contact tracing and hospital capacity. Until we have a vaccine to protect us all, our best protection is to listen to the experts.
National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Please remind our public and your readers about this
Simon G Ortiz
NM State Representative Gregg Schmedes, Tijeras
"First, do no harm." It's a saying almost as old as the idea of medicine itself. I heard it a lot in medical school. It's something that New Mexico's leaders need to think long and hard about right now.
At the beginning of our fight with COVID-19, our leaders acted quickly on limited information. But now, we have better data and experience that beg a more sophisticated approach as our nation grapples with balancing public health and the economy.
Dear Ms. Webb:
I heard your message to Grant County residents today, Saturday, April 25. You said that COVID infections were on the rise in Grant County; that we should continue to stay at home, especially to protect our health care workers; and made a plea that Grant County should take this seriously. I thought at first it was an outdated message until you mentioned the Governor's extension to May 15.
Wondering what I had missed, I immediately pulled up the New Mexico Department of Health website I check almost daily: https://cv.nmhealth.org/cases-by-county. I was surprised to see that cases in Grant County remain at 14, which it has been for at least a week, so your claim that cases in Grant County are on the rise is absolutely untrue. Additionally, there hasn't been anyone hospitalized at Gila Regional for COVID-19 as far as I know.
New Mexico is at a defining moment. With the best of intentions to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our state, Governor Lujan Grisham has issued several public health orders that have effectively shut our state down. While it is difficult to estimate the effectiveness of the stay-at-home order in slowing the virus, there is no doubt her public orders have created an economic crisis unlike any in our state's history. Record levels of unemployment, small businesses being forced to close, historic declines in the price of oil, and unprecedented restrictions placed on people's civil rights have shared the headlines with uneven growth of COVID-19 cases and deaths across New Mexico's 33 counties.
I have read the NM COVID-19 update, and I have also read the Governor's rationale for keeping non essential businesses closed. And there are some weak spots.
First, the Governor says by keeping non essentials closed, we reduce the number of places where people might get infected. The problem with that argument, especially in low density areas such as Silver City, is it begs the question "why have several (in our case four: Walmart, Albertsons, Food Basket, and COOP) primary food stores open"? The Governor's argument would suggest only one should be open, so three should be closed. This is a paradox caused by applying high density area logic to low density places. And that is symptom of diverse opinions from low and high density areas not being involved in the decision. Small businesses employ well over half of the workers in NM.