Letter to the Editor

We must get our arms around the problems facing us to just simply survive

I have been appalled at how our local elected officials have behaved during this pandemic, fighting mask mandates and the state’s stumbling emergency plans, being part of the problem instead of part of the solution with partisanship. The pandemic was declared a national emergency and it certainly is one.

Declared emergencies give government emergency powers. Unfortunately, unlike an earthquake, hurricane or flood, it is a new and long-lasting emergency. One none of us have ever seen before and do not know how to manage very well or what will come. 

To quote five past mayors in Will O’Neill’s latest Twitter – “We are making decisions on shifting sand.” Perfect description for every one of us, citizens, scientists, elected officials! It is an emergency that has shown all of us the problems with our systems and the incompetence at every level of our society and government, city, county, state and federal. 

So why don’t we hunker down and fix our problems and faulty systems? What will the next pandemic bring, and we are being told there will be others? How can we better handle community health? With its long highly built up coastline, how affected by sea level change will Newport be? Where is the true citizen/government collaboration on innovations in city, county, state government? 

This is truly the time to come together and revision, and come to terms with the changes needed to survive and thrive. It is not the time to stay mired in partisanship and our whack a mole issues. 

Linda Watkins

Newport Beach