Are you wondering how our region (the Northwest) has remained in Phase 1 while two of the most populous regions of our state have moved to Phase 2?
Regions are now required to meet 3 of 4 metrics, which pushed the West and Puget Sound regions to Phase 2. The main reason the Northwest didn’t advance was because we admitted 29 people to the hospital, up from 25 the previous week (about 7 people per 100,000). The West region admitted 90 people, down from 100 (which is about 20 people per 100,000); the Puget Sound region admitted 576, down from 686 (which is about 15 people per 100,000). While any hospitalizations are upsetting, when you look at these numbers, the metrics appear unreasonable.
Consider also that the West has 1,627 active COVID-19 cases (352 per 100,000), the Puget Sound has 14,073 active cases (358 per 100,000), and the Northwest has only 1,081 active cases (244 per 100,000). Despite those baffling numbers, eating inside a Seattle or Olympia restaurant is now safe, but it’s not in the Northwest region.
Are you going to continue living under Phase 1 restrictions or discern that our region could safely live as if under Phase 2?
Tayla Blackstad, Shelton
President Biden signed an executive order to increase domestic food aid just two days after his inauguration. “The American people cannot afford to wait,” Biden told reporters. “So many are hanging by a thread” (BBC news). This order comes at a dire time, and I commend Biden for taking swift action.
What really needs to happen is to take that impact, and multiply it. That’s why I urge Rep. Derek Kilmer to support a robust funding for humanitarian food assistance in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Every day, 15,000 children die from hunger worldwide. In face of the economic impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic is predicted to double the number of famished people worldwide (World Food Program USA). Also, food insecurity is closely linked to political instability and mass migration. We saw this in Somalia, when terrorist organization Al Shabab recruited famine victims to their cause by offering food in exchange for their services.
It is in the strategic interest of the United States to increase foreign food aid, and this must be done now to prevent further global instability.
Alexa Sinclair, Bainbridge Island
Wonderful, indeed, is one of our Kingston Treasures – Sarah McGuire at Kingston Fitness. She has been “Zooming” her workouts throughout the shutdown due to the pandemic. She is delightful and (gently) demanding. She lends brightness to the day for so many of us hanging out at home for months on end. Sarah has us work our abs, biceps, triceps, quads and glutes every Monday and Wednesday, then Andrew takes over on Friday. She reminds us often that soon my belly will need its own diamond. Her manner is cheery and positive, her reminders helpful, she suggests modifications, and she keeps the pace moving. She even does all the counting. She is a valuable asset to those of us trying to make the best of our challenging situation and for that I am truly grateful.
Nancy Meyer, Indianola