Opinion » Letters

Letters to the editor

by BAR staff

Letters to the editor

Masks are worthwhile
Yes, definitely wear the masks when you are among the herd (other people) ["Mask up, dammit," Editorial, July 9]. We know that during the 1918 flu pandemic, when masks became strongly encouraged and enforced, that flu rates were reduced in half. Although not a perfect preventative measure they are definitely worthwhile.

However, we also know that outdoor transmission is relatively rare, with or without masks. In Wuhan and China in general, only one COVID-19 case was attributed to outdoor transmission, according to reports. With the recent Black Lives Matter outdoor protests and demonstrations, there has been no reported surge of related pandemic cases. The outdoors (socially distanced and uncrowded) has been a heavily documented and researched phenomenon all during this pandemic all over the world. It's low risk.

Life is always a risk management issue, especially in a pandemic. So, media should point out that the risk of COVID exposure by unmasked joggers, walkers, and bicyclists is less than going to a grocery store or whatever you left home for.

Give people one less thing to worry about.

George Davis
San Francisco

[Editor's note: We're not doctors. It has been reported that the nationwide surge in COVID cases began around Memorial Day, when pent-up residents began flocking to beaches, as well as other outdoor and indoor establishments. Cases are also surging in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered a sweeping rollback of reopening, including bars and indoor businesses. Wear a mask.]

City planners should think bigger
If the city were to buy the old Bank of America building (Soul Cycle) and adjacent annex (Laser Away), the entrance to the Castro Station turnstiles could be closer to the bus stop without the need of an expensive, ugly, and space consuming elevator ["SF planners find Harvey Milk Plaza to be historically important," online, July 10]. (By my altimeter, the Laser Away floor is roughly equal to the turnstile-level elevation.) Also, an exit next to Marcello's Pizza would be more convenient in inclement weather for nearly everyone, rather than several feet of elevation just to descend a set of slippery stairs.

Without an entry in front of the old BoA building, the space used for the current entry could be converted to a larger park area with functions unrelated to the train station. An optional stairway toward Collingwood would improve convenience for those living in the several blocks west of Castro Street. Is it wrong to think that a park is a better tribute to Harvey Milk than a Muni entrance?

The concourse from the entry at Laser Away to the turnstiles could house any number of exhibits and small shops. Presumably, a sidewalk level entry would be more convenient for handicapped access than an unwashed elevator.

The old Bank of America building is iconic. If the city does not buy it, one day a developer will destroy it.

City planners should think bigger.

Richard Bellerose
San Francisco

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