Was virus retaliation?
America was attacked. Not a single shot was fired; it came in the form of a microbe from a country that is forced due to theft of intellectual property rights, currency manipulation and unfair trade practices to pay billions in penalty tariffs. Whether unintentional or contrived the choice was easy: Let the world know you have a deadly virus outbreak, or let the rest of the world suffer along with you. My Dad used to quote an old saying: “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it must be a duck.”
The Geneva Protocol prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in armed conflicts. It does not address economic warfare, so I leave it up to the readership to decide accident or derived retaliatory action by a foreign government.
This is a monumental year for nurses and midwives around the world. The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. And on May 12 we celebrated International Nurses Day and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
International Nurses Day is traditionally an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of nurses to society. This year, however, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on nursing that none could have anticipated. During this pandemic, we see nurses on the frontlines in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, as well as in our communities, working to keep us safe and healthy.
As a nurse practitioner, I provide preventative care, primary care and mental health services to patients in our community. I’ve witnessed firsthand the impacts of COVID-19 in our Rio Grande Valley community.
Like many illnesses, the virus has not impacted people equally.
Leading experts suggest that people with underlying medical conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are seeing higher rates of sickness and deaths from COVID 19.
This raises a huge concern for the Rio Grande Valley, where the estimated prevalence of diabetes is about 26%. Diabetes prevalence is approximately three times as high in the Rio Grande Valley as it is in the rest of the United States. Not to mention the high number of undiagnosed patients who may have diabetes.
The pandemic has also shown that environmental protections are critical to ensuring health safeguards for those most vulnerable. The Rio Grande Valley is a region that already experiences many barriers to health. Over 34% of the population of the Rio Grande Valley lives below the poverty line.
For many families in the Valley, staying at home may not be an option. Many residents of our area work agriculture labor jobs and are considered essential workers.
Families in the Valley are living in stressful times with this virus, living paycheck to paycheck and working in poor conditions and toxic environments that threaten their health. The Valley also has a high number of uninsured people, and our communities face significant barriers to accessing health care when needed. As our Valley communities grapple with the immediate impacts of the virus, the Trump administration is rolling back vital environmental protections that keep neighborhoods safe.
This is why this year we aren’t calling for a celebration of nurses; instead nurses are calling on our elected officials and government leaders to first and foremost provide the necessary protections for nurses and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, to adhere to science-based public health recommendations, and ensure protections for those most vulnerable.
Moving forward, we are looking to Texas leaders to work for a future that doesn’t go back to the old way of doing things and instead supports a healthy way of life for those in the Rio Grande Valley and all Texans.
I was saddened to hear of the death of former NFL coach Don Shula. One of my all-time favorite Don Shula quotes is: “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.” How appropriate for today’s political times.
Donald Trump, are you listening?
Odds against virus deaths
There has been too much fear regarding the coronavirus. The statistics do not support the degree of fear. There have been more than 100,000 deaths in the United States, which sounds like a lot, but there are 325 million people living in the United States. This makes your chance of dying of the coronavirus about 1 in every 3,200 people. Those are pretty slim odds.
When you look at your odds of dying of the coronavirus in Texas, the odds are even slimmer. There are about 1,600 deaths in the state of Texas for a population of 28 million. That makes your chance of dying of coronavirus 1 in every 17,500 people.
Actually, you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident.
In 2018, 3,639 people died in car accidents in Texas. That is more than twice as many as those who have died to date of coronavirus.
Abbott defies his own order
Shelley Luther decided to open her hair salon in Greg violation of the governor’s own coronavirus restrictions. A judge in the Dallas County found her in violation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus restrictions. Gov. Abbott ordered the judge to release Luther from jail.
The decision from Gov. Abbott means that judges in Texas do not need to spend their time dealing with cases violating his own coronavirus restrictions. This case also tells people in Texas that they do not need to behave according to Mr. Abbott’s coronavirus restrictions because they are only in the mind of Mr. Abbott and, therefore, restrictions judges in Texas do not need to worry when they are violated.
Freddy A. Paniagua
Questions for congressman
Open letter to the honorable Vicente Gonzalez: You, along with all other U.S. representatives, are on the “front lines,” determining the national proposed fiscal 2021 budget. I have a concern with the proposed presidential cuts since they will affect millions of veterans who rely on Medicare. Also, cuts in Social Security disability are contemplated. A vast number of veterans rely on Social Security.
President Trump’s proposal is to increase funding the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. I personally feel the “cuts” I’ve mentioned will be determined to all veterans.
Thank you. Your efforts and dedication to all constituents in the Valley are greatly appreciated.