Uncertain times

At a time when local coverage of this public health crisis is both critical and lacking, I want to thank you all at the Monterey County Weekly for your initiative to provide the community with daily updates (“Monterey County Now” e-newsletter, March 16).

In particular, your information on the scarce COVID-19 testing in Monterey County – 96 tests out of a population of 437,700 – shows how misleading the Carmel Pine Cone’s front page report was last Friday (“Only 96 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Monterey County as of March 16 according to Health Department. No confirmed cases,” posted March 16). The implication [of that article] was that some were overreacting, when in fact organizations were taking recommended precautions.

I’m looking forward to factual coverage from a local perspective, without the kind of partisan shade you find from fake news outlets like Fox News. It’s time to be transparent and do our best to help our neighbors, our medical personnel and those who are financially hardest hit by this crisis. Thank you again. Christina Lund | Pacific Grove

Dining In

This overreaction in the U.S. is crazy. All our coffeehouses and Starbucks are open here in Tokyo and have been all along (“Governor calls for bars to close and restaurants to slash seating to combat COVID-19 pandemic; Starbucks now to-go only,” posted March 15).

Our infection rate is so low despite the crowded conditions in this megalopolis. Staff wear hygienic masks at the coffee houses. The staff wipe down the tables regularly with disinfectant.

People want somewhere to go to feel normal. They wear their masks to get there and wash their hands. We are beating this in Japan. Yes, museums and amusement parks are closed but the whole city is not shut down. Stores are open, people are in the parks, and they can certainly sit down and have a cup of coffee. Gail Nakada | via Facebook

How will the private sector survive? How long to “flatten the curve”? I hope people will still buy wine, coffee and takeout. Laura Stollorz Schroeder | via Facebook

In Quarantine

I usually spend Sunday afternoons from 1-3pm playing music in the Phoebe Hearst Social Hall (“Business continues mostly as usual at Asilomar while quarantine guests do not leave hotel rooms,” posted March 11). I am forgoing this pleasure until the quarantine is over and the emergency at large has passed. My immune system isn’t up to it. Social distancing is the order of the day until further notice. Roger Kern | via Facebook

Pacific Grove is full of seniors and tourists. They should’ve stayed on their cruise ship. Casey Gilliam | via Facebook

I still haven’t heard an acceptable argument for displacing all of those Asilomar employees without pay (“Asilomar Conference Grounds suspends operations two days after COVID-19 quarantine begins on site,” posted March 12). They have kids and elderly people they need to care and provide for. Was there no other choice about where to care for these passengers? It’s times like these that really shed glaring light on the sinkholes in the system. Jenny Houston | via Instagram

Why were they not quarantined on a military base? No one would be out of work had they done that. Karen Kostner | via Instagram

Pay Up

Implement rationing like during the Great Depression to eliminate greed and panic (“Monterey County DA warns against price gouging during COVID-19 outbreak,” posted March 12).Gretchen Allinson Walker | via Facebook

Too late!! Saw some stores already raising prices. Cyndi Olvera | via Facebook

Home Build

Wonder how long it will take before this previously unheard of activist group “Committee for Sound Water and Land Development of Fort Ord” files the first CEQA lawsuit? (“Hailed as a win for social justice, Seaside’s Campus Town project is approved unanimously,” posted March 9.) And was there any discussion in the meeting about what the developers and the city of Seaside’s budgets are for fighting these lawsuits? How sad to know the politics of this area so well that this hopeful news also comes with the crushing realization that nothing will actually be built for at least the next 10 years due to the court battles ahead. Stef Helbock Pummell | via Facebook

Pup Pal

I hope Mary Duan’s piece helps make authorities do the right thing and give Josie Guerrero her dog Peanut back (“A poor woman fights to keep her pet, but may face prosecution instead,” March 12-18). Daniel DeCamp | Seaside

There is so much money on the Monterey Peninsula that no one should be homeless. Shame on the greedy landlords taking advantage of those who can’t afford the rent. Debora Dolier | via Facebook

Taxing Times

Wow! This is great. Thanks. I’ll do it (“For people who earned up to $56,000, free tax prep is available – and might mean a refund,” March 12-18). I wish there was something about this before. I learned after I lost my house to foreclosure five years ago that I could have been deducting the mortgage interest on my taxes for all those many years (all of which I made less than this $56K limit for the free tax prep). Live and learn… the hard way! Karen Araujo | via Facebook

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