To the editor: Eighty years ago, the greatest plague in human history swept across the globe, killing more than 60 million people and decimating the economies of countries across Europe and Asia. It was called World War II. The pathogen that spawned this outbreak was totalitarianism. (“Gov. Newsom orders all Californians to stay home as coronavirus cases top 1,000,” March 20)
The thing that stopped it was the sacrifice of millions. Allied forces endured unthinkable hardship. At home, women went to work in factories and munitions plants. Children helped with scrap-metal drives. The civilian population willingly went without.
The truth is that the freedoms we are blessed with today, the abundance we take for granted, were purchased with the incredible sacrifices of a generation whose remaining numbers are now in their 90s and older.
They are now particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
I’d say it’s time for a little payback. If the biggest sacrifice you’re asked to make is to stay home and sit on the couch, then for God’s sake do it. We owe it to them and to the healthcare personnel on the front lines of this new battle.
Michael Harrington, La Verne
To the editor: If you had a choice between taking Job A that paid $100,000 per day for 31 days, or Job B that paid you one cent on the first day and doubled each day for 31 days, which would you choose?
In Job B, earning one cent on the first day, two on the second and eventually 64 on the seventh, you would make $1.27 your first week. Most people would take the $3.1 million in Job A and run.
That pretty much sums up most people’s understanding of exponential growth.
If you have 10 minutes, which you should have now by staying home, use a calculator to see how much you would earn after 31 days in Job B. On just the 31st day alone, you would make about $10.8 million, and about $20 million for the entire month.
Now, rather than doubling the amount every day, let’s say we doubled the amount every fourth day, 31 times -- it would take us considerably longer to get to our $20 million. That’s what the experts are calling “flattening the curve” by extending the time.
Substitute people for dollars. By physically isolating we are extending the time so our healthcare system is not overwhelmed.
Bill Hanlon, Las Vegas
To the editor: I was outraged by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s address to the state Thursday night. I believe that instead of encouraging and supporting people, he scared at least half the population.
Even without all his numbers, we understand the seriousness of the situation. We do all we can to protect ourselves and make sure we are not spreading the virus.
I strongly believe the governor’s speech was absolutely unprofessional and unnecessarily frightening. He cannot lead the people of California during this crisis, as his words bring harm more than hope.
Tofik Akhmedov, Pasadena
To the editor: A revolution is advancing at warp speed, driven by necessity. The virus is revealing all the cracks in our social-political system. We have been living within a system that drives us to go faster and faster to try and keep up with its inhumane demands.
This national breakdown is driving each and all of us to contemplate new possibilities. We are helping one another. There is a realization that we cannot afford to let people fall through the cracks. We are all in this together.
The actions of people like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Newsom show us what real leadership looks like. It is reassuring that at least some politicians take their role seriously.
Most amazingly of all, the Republicans are having to deliver the dream of a social democracy to the people in short order. Checks will be coming in the mail soon. Debt is being forgiven. More is coming.
The revolution is being televised. This is it. Things will never go back to “normal.” If we embrace this moment with the courage and open-mindedness that it inspires, we have the possibility of creating a more perfect union.
Diana Beardsley, Los Angeles
To the editor: Staying healthy during the current crisis is everyone’s top priority. But there’s another crisis unfolding in the world right now: a tidal wave of fear and alienation.
People are hoarding, avoiding each other and eyeing everyone else with suspicion. This pandemic of fear and alienation threatens to have devastating effects on our lives, now and indefinitely.
It is urgent to fight back against panic, extreme self-interest and emotional isolation. We need as much love and togetherness as we can muster. We need to extend our humanity, our morality, our care now more than ever.
We need concern for each other — not just ourselves. We need to treat everyone with kindness and compassion, and extend our hearts in every way we can. Love and togetherness don’t require physical contact.
Please consider what you can do to extend emotional support, friendship and togetherness to those around you, to help heal the fear and alienation flooding our planet, and to resist those feelings in yourself.
Sara Donna, Myrtle Point, Ore.