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People’s column

County working hard regarding COVID-19

Editor, OBSERVER:

A few weeks ago as the story about Fieldbrook Foods was breaking, a rather negative article appeared (Aug. 28) blasting the local health department and county government “handling” of the news.

The story line was something to the effect that they were “fiddling while Rome burned” and that important issues regarding public safety were slow to emerge in face of mounting evidence in the press that there was a risk to the public.

As a longtime member of the Health Department staff, initially as its Commissioner for 20-plus years, and now as a medical adviser, I find that characterization distasteful and grossly inaccurate. Having weathered a similar breaking event in 1997 (HIV-related outbreak) I remember all too well the backbreaking work behind the scenes that is necessary to verify and run down all possible issues before any public announcement of such magnitude is made.

The seven days a week, 16-hour days that county staff and nurses are putting in has gone unnoticed and unappreciated while unfortunately, the article laments a lack of transparency on their part.

As part of the County Executive’s team that has meet almost daily since early March to address the health of our citizens, I can assure you that the only issues discussed are how to assure the best outcomes for all Chautauqua County residents in face of the myriad of issues that are in play each day.

Dr. ROBERT BERKE,

Mayville

Restrictions take

toll on families

Editor, OBSERVER

I would like to start this letter saying my mother is in a nursing home in Chautauqua County. She is getting excellent care and I am thnakful for that. She is 94 years old.

My problem is with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the CDC and Health Department guidelines, which I am sure think they are protecting the nursing homes residents.

However, I think its time to change these guidelines. I haven’t seen my mother in seven months except once a week on Facetime. Recently we were set up with a time for outdoor visit and it was canceled because a staff person is positive for COVID-19.

The worst part is there is another timetable until we can start visits again if there are no more positive COVID cases. This is a ridiculous amount of time and it is unrealistic to think we are not going to see positive COVID cases in this area.

We need a solution where we as families can visit in some capacity.

We can have temperatures taken, wear a mask and sit 6 feet away from our family members outdoors on the patio or porch. All nursing homes should provide window visit options with phones so we can see and talk to them through the window.

Our elderly family members need us for their mental and physical well being and we need them. I know the nursing homes have guidelines to follow but we need to change them by contacting our representatives and through Facebook, Tweets and emails.

The employees are going home every night to their families and living their lives. It’s impossible to totally get rid of COVID cases at this time. We are advocates for our loved ones in nursing homes and we need a solution that helps all of us get through these troubled times.

MELINDA BELL,

Fredonia

Accolades for area veterinarians, staff

Editor, OBSERVER:

I am writing this letter as a personal thank you to my veterinary clinics, Fredonia and Forestville Animal Hospitals. I also hope it will bring the attention of our non pet owners in the community, to a segment of essential, front line workers, that, in my opinion, have not received the recognition and appreciation they so deserve.

Their professionalism, combined with the above and beyond care they provide to our pet family members and their humans, during this unprecedented and stressful time, are appreciated more than I can begin to say. Although I do not have personal experience with the other clinics in the area, I am sure they are operating under the same difficult conditions!

I realize that unless you are a pet parent or shelter worker, veterinarians are not first in the public eye, but as a pet parent, I do not know what I would have done without them, and I am positive most of the pet owners out there agree with me.

I believe most have thanked them many times over on an individual basis. However, I also believe, public recognition is due them, for the way they have transformed their practices and procedures to remain available to care for our precious pets and at the same time keeping us all safe and well.

They not only treat our beloved pets, but also deal with the human who is connected to that pet. They provide peace of mind for the human’s fears and anxiety. In doing all this, they have placed themselves and their families on tile front line of this virus just as the human medical practices have.

As I sit in my vehicle and wait our turn, I watch these staff members literally run back and forth from the clinic to your vehicle. They transport your pet inside for proper care and return them safely to you. They must then pass on all needed medications, instructions, collect fees, and disinfect all used areas of the clinic, plus deal with emergencies and also still provide basic care.

Change is not easy for any of us to accept, especially when what we have been doing works!

So, dealing with these mandated changes that seem to change daily is extremely stressful for both the clinic staff and the pet parents.

My hope is the community will please join me in showing these wonderfully dedicated people our appreciation for keeping both our furry, four pawed pets and their humans in the community safe and well!

JACKIE GRANT,

Fredonia

Still hoping, praying in Bindics’ case

Editor, OBSERVER:

Years ago, as I was recovering from surgery, I chose to read newspapers to pass the time. One of the stories I came across was that of an unsolved murder in Chautauqua County.

I was intrigued, so I looked up to see if there were other unsolved murders, and indeed there was.

One in particular caught my attention: the unsolved murder of Yolanda Bindics. Perhaps I was drawn to this case because, like me, Yolanda was one of 11 children.

Let us not be content with what is already known, but let us demand further investigation into this case. I am asking you to join me in my quest to get answers and ultimately an indictment. Let’s tell the Jamestown Police Department, to dust off the Yolanda Bindics file and take advantage of the advances in forensics.

My hope, with the help of the community, is that this unsolved murder is put in the forefront.

Justice for Yolanda Bindics. com

BETH HARP FAIRBANKS,

Chautauqua County native,

Cedar, Texas

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