Viewpoints

Wed
22
Apr

Word for Word 4/22/20

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

As we all mark the first month since our schools have closed and many of our businesses have had to shut down, we have all had to adjust our daily routines. These adjustments pale in comparison to the suffering of those who have lost family members, those who wonder if they are infected, or to the anxiety experienced by those who have lost their jobs and income.

Wed
22
Apr

Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 shutdown

To the Editor:

As we face the COVID-19 pandemic and struggle with the country’s shutdown, we must not let ourselves become too impatient to return to normal. It might help us to revisit an earlier epidemic.

One of the world’s worst pandemics occurred in 1918 with an influenza virus. It killed anywhere from 40 or 50 million to 100 million worldwide. According to John Barry’s The Great Influenza, probably 675,000 deaths in the U.S. were due to the influenza.

The first major outbreak started in an army camp in Funston, KS in March 1918. Infected soldiers moving from camp to camp spread the disease and 30 of the largest cities near the camps also suffered outbreaks that spring.

The first wave of the influenza was not particularly lethal. Of the 1,185 men hospitalized in Camp Funston, only 38 died. But as the virus adapted to humans, the second wave became more dangerous in the late summer and fall.

Wed
22
Apr

Letter to the Editor: April 22, 2020 is Earth Day

To the Editor:

For 50 years Earth Day has been designated to celebrate our incredible planet. It’s a day to think about what our species has been doing to degrade our environment. But more importantly it’s a day to constructively help our natural world.

If we can instill in our children an appreciation for nature, maybe they will do more than we have to care for this planet. Simple acts like picking up litter, then recycling or trashing it, planting a vegetable garden, planting native species of trees, flowers, and grasses, or simply getting outdoors to enjoy the wonders of nature.

We need to use less gasoline-powered machines and use our muscles more; running, walking, bicycling and scootering. We need to turn off electrical devices we’re not using and conserve water (hand- and dish-washing water is fine for watering plants.) We can all find ways to reduce consumption and recycle, reuse and conserve all we can.

Wed
22
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Protecting your mental health during COVID-19

To the Editor:

Human beings like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us. When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. This very action, while there to protect us, can cause all sorts of havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us.

A large part of anxiety comes from a sense of what we think we should be able to control, but can’t. Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19, known as the “coronavirus.” We may feel helpless about what will happen or what we can do to prevent further stress. This uncertainty might also connect to our uncertainty about other aspects of our lives, or remind us of past times when we didn’t feel safe and the immediate future was uncertain.

Wed
15
Apr

Letter to the Editor: A letter from the EACSD Superintendent

To the Editor:

Dear Kee Hawk Community,

I am impressed with the Kee Hawk Community in Lansing and New Albin and surrounding rural areas as we battle the COVID-19 crisis. It is heartwarming to see the individuals and organizations that have helped out with this situation, and I am grateful to see and experience this outpouring.

Eastern Allamakee Community Schools will continue to communicate with our families. We will provide extensive voluntary educational enrichment opportunities that are available to students during the duration of the closure, and we strongly encourage all students to take advantage of these.

We know that many of our parents are critical care providers and essential workers; and many of these same parents have young children to care for. We want to provide high-quality resources, should parents choose to have their student engage in learning opportunities and enrichment.

Wed
15
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Did Easter pass me by?

To the Editor:

This year Easter seemed to have come and gone, and due to the cataclysmic COVID-19 virus, no one seems to have noticed.

We could say, that at least on the surface, Easter this year was a flop. Did the Easter bunny even come? Where were the Easter lilies that I was so used to seeing every year at Hartig Drug?

And church on Easter - how can you have Easter without a great church service? The church service can be live-streamed on the computer, but that just does not match the real thing.

In spite of all this, Easter has indeed happened this year, and we can all celebrate.

Even though I could not join in singing one of my favorite Easter songs with others in my church - “I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today.” - I can still live out the truth of that great song.

Wed
15
Apr

Letter to the Editor: A letter worth sharing

To the Editor:

Recently my wife, Sheri, and I were visiting a close friend, John Kittleson of Postville. He wanted us to see a letter that he had recently completed. He plans to send the letter to his children and grandchildren.

I read the letter and thought to myself that it was exactly what I’d like to write to our own family, and I thought that a lot of other people might want to as well. I suggested that he submit it to the editorial page of The Standard. He was reluctant to do that, so I asked him if I could do so. John agreed and his letter appears below:

My dear precious loving family (now 4 generations),

I’ve been thinking of writing this letter of encouragement for some time. We are getting overwhelmed by all the bad news connected with coronavirus, especially from the media.

But God has some good news to overcome all this bad news. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wed
08
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Be part of a community working to prevent child abuse

To the Editor:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time to raise awareness of a serious issue affecting the children and families in our communities and a chance to realize we all can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect.

The Iowa Child Advocacy Board (ICAB), which operates both the Court Appointed Special Advocacy (CASA) program and the Iowa Citizen Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) program, exists to advocate for the protection of Iowa’s children and improvement of the child welfare system.

Wed
08
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Consider planting native plants

To the Editor:

Pollinators need our help! Bees, butterflies, moths, other insects and hummingbirds all pollinate the plants which produce so many of the flowers, fruits and vegetables we need and enjoy. These crucial parts of our natural ecosystem are disappearing. Last summer our pole beans produced hundreds of blossoms before finally growing beans. Not enough pollinators was all we could figure out.

Many insects have evolved to emerge when the plants they feed on are flowering. Many of these are native plants. As we plant more exotic trees, shrubs and flowers that crowd out native species, we make it harder for many of our pollinators to survive. Global climate change, along with deforestation, increased pavement and buildings, chemicalized and manicured lawns and over-use of pesticides and herbicides, all contribute to declining populations of many animal and plant species.

Wed
08
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Record your family history for future generations

To the Editor:

Dear elder community members of Waukon,

As an elder of Waukon and being at the present time having to stay at home, I would like to suggest something each of us can do for our families. You might say my children know all this but everyone forgets so write it down (names in particular). I have been doing some of this for years. Now I must finish it up.

1. Write Your Obituary - Who really knows what you have done or when you did it. We all get born, grow up, go to school and college, get special recognition, get baptized, confirmed, marry, have children and die. What was special about yourself?

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