Dear Barb and Gena,
Thank you for taking the obvious and appropriate stance of being in favor of prohibiting short term rentals for the time being. You both demonstrated respect for the community and importantly respect for frontline workers as well as a better understanding of COVID and community spread. Unfortunately your colleagues decisively demonstrated their complete and utter lack of respect for frontline workers who consistently have begged us to STAY HOME SAVE LIVES. The fact that Bend residents are following physical distancing protocol and wearing masks has absolutely NO relation to whether tourists in short term rentals will follow these rules. How is it that a tourist is STAYING HOME when they come to Bend?
By not passing the prohibition on short term rentals Bend is in DIRECT conflict and utter disregard of the Deschutes County prohibition on short term rentals and Governor Kate Brown’s STAY at HOME Executive order.
I would like your colleagues to please explain this.
And thank you for correcting the inaccurate statement by your colleague who said “even if one person gets the disease they were eventually going to get it anyways. There is no way to stop this except through herd immunity and a vaccine.”
As one of you replied, it is through physical distancing, wearing masks and staying at home that we greatly reduce the risk of spread Until the time we have a vaccine.
Please let us not go the way of another mountain tourist town, Ketchum, Idaho in Blaine county, Idaho where the rate of infection has been well over 1,400 per 100,000 for the past 3 weeks versus Oregon being closer to 45 per 100,000 (Deschutes at 35 per 100,000).
I would like to introduce a motion that the rest of the council start setting aside their own money in a fund to pay for our medical expenses should St Charles beds start filling up and possibly necessitating local people being flown to Portland because of this resolution not being passed.
Maybe the two of you could lead the way in demonstrating an equal concern for All the out of work employees who don’t own short term rentals and are lining up at food pantries. Thank you Barb and Gena for speaking the truth and truly looking out for frontline workers and Bend residents.
RE: A Redmond Man's COVID-19 Story, and a Plea to Take Quarantine Seriously 4/21
Thank you for your article about the Redmond man who struggled with Covid-19. Thank you for pointing out his access to resources and his ultimate recovery.
As a point of clarification, please note that suicide is a public health tragedy that is considered the 'most preventable form of death' (SAMHSA). There is no evidence at all to suggest suicides are "inevitable." In fact, the preponderance of research indicates there is hope, help and healing for people who may be experiencing distress. Just as the Redmond man was in need of medical support, suicidal individuals need to know what help is available and how to access that help.
Please help support efforts in our community to offer people the resources they deserve such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or the local crisis number: 541-322-7500 ext.9.
I'm grateful this local man knew how to get help and received the life-saving medical support he deserved. Please let people know suicides are not " inevitable". Rather, there are qualified mental health professionals ready and willing to provide life-saving support.
Please use the voice of your publication to offer resources. You'll note that multiple resources are being made available through Central Oregon Emergency Information Central (COEIN). Please feel free to widely distribute those resources so that we as a community may experience optimal well-being even in the midst of challenging times.
Cheryl Emerson, LLC
MS, NCC, LPC
Bend resident running for Congress