LETTERS: Good place to be now; County orders spur complaint

Good place to be now

There is no better place to be than in the RGV right now. Why? UTRGV and its medical school, local colleges along with our regional hospitals and clinics have been preparing for such catastrophic events from the inception of South Texas College, the University of Texas at Brownsville merger with UT Pan American to create our current educational and medical landscape.

The UTRGV Medical School has managed to fund many of its operations through the vision and dedication of President Guy Bailey along with Kelly Scrivner and her institutional development team to find cooperative and state funding for the medical school as well as outreach to our communities for better health and wellness.

In spite of:

• Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen and other cities who in the past have withheld their promised annual contributions to the UTRGV Medical School.

• The vote by our communities to not develop a Hidalgo County healthcare district.

We now have a medical school and cooperative funding from various sources that allow the UTRGV Medical School and research departments to cope with the coronavirus situation and to devise testing kits and drive-thru locations under these extraordinary pandemic conditions.

At the Texas Tribune event at Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance this past January, I met a female epidemiologist from the UTRGV Medical School as well as representatives from Valley Baptist hospitals and other individuals who work in nursing and allied health. A whole roomful of health representatives was listening and discussing a broad spectrum of topics on our area’s needs.

Yes, it is a good time to be home and safe in the RGV!

Diane Teter


County orders spur complaint

I am a firm believer in Benjamin Franklin’s words: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Most of Hidalgo County’s citizens were voluntarily limiting trips to necessities, maintaining a sixfoot clearance from other people and utilizing soap and water and hand sanitizer if we could find it. Increased compliance of avoidance of risk occurred every day. We were increasing testing as fast as kits were available.

At the time all Chinese virus cases in the county were European travel- related.

A logical action would be stationing a team at McAllen International Airport. They could take temperatures and ask questions where their travels took them. Recommendations could be made to shelter in place and help the visitors do that.

Instead our county government chose to first impose a curfew during a time, 10 p.m.-5 a.m., when only essential services were open. That wasn’t enough so they imposed a mandatory shelter-inplace order. People were already doing that.

What is it with a government that feels power and then exercises it absolutely? Voluntary compliance isn’t good enough?

With limited information, the county commissioners and the county judge panicked and overreacted. A conditional response would be more appropriate and protect personal liberty.

Thanks for the list of your authorizations, Judge. We have a list for repeal during the next legislature.

Jim Barnes