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Society suffers from ‘herd mentality’

I’ve read many articles in the News-Press about this see-saw election year of 2020.

My family has had long ties to St. Joseph, my Great-Great Uncle Abraham Williams lived in St. Joseph for many years. “Uncle Abe” was a Civil War veteran. My late dad met his great uncle in the 1920s.

I remember visiting Uncle Abe’s house in St. Joseph. The main thing that sticks out in my mind was the elegant staircase with a wooden handrail. It gave the home Victorian elegance, plus it gave a person climbing (or descending) a lot of support.

That is a great metaphor for what today’s candidates need today: support. Too often, in today’s 21st century elections, too many voters are casting ballots to the candidate they despise the least instead of who they support more.

Granted, there has always been partisanship and preferences; but I’m afraid more voters today are lacking in willpower (yes, call it too lazy) to do their own research on candidates’ credentials and capabilities. I wish the “herd mentality” didn’t exist. Our entire society suffers.

James A. Marples

Longview, Texas

(former Kansan)

Self-isolation protects community

I’ve chosen to self-isolate, and here’s why.

I have chosen to take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that everyone over the age of 60 self-isolate. This is because I, along with millions of others in the U.S., are in this high-risk group. High risk means that I am more likely to get COVID-19, more likely to have a severe case if I do get it, and more likely to need hospital support including ICU and ventilator for the resulting pneumonia.

No. 1: I don’t want to get sick.

No. 2, and more importantly: The purpose of self-isolation is not to prevent an individual from getting sick. The purpose is to reduce the spread of the virus. If everyone gets sick at the same time, health care is overwhelmed and unable to care for the people who need it.

St. Joseph is a community of 75,000 with one hospital and a limited number of ICU beds. If 0.1% (75 people) get critically ill at the same time (needing ICU/ventilator), the system will be overwhelmed.

Not everyone has the option of staying home — but a lot of us do — and we should act responsibly to protect our community.

Janet Storts

St. Joseph

Only Democrats think of constituents

The 2020 presidential race is no doubt important, but if we want Medicaid expansion, fully funded schools, and sane gun laws in Missouri, Democrats have to win the governor’s office. We have to elect Nicole Galloway.

We have to flip state House, Senate and U.S. congressional seats in Missouri in November.

We live in fear of our Republican legislators in Missouri. They strip our neighbors of health care, defund our children’s schools, and force guns in all our public spaces. When we ask them to think of our safety, they mock and belittle us.

Missourians are under constant legislative assault. The only way we change any of this is to vote in people who vote with constituents in mind ... those people are Democrats.

Jessica Piper

Hopkins, Missouri