Dear Editor,

With exquisite timing, the Dec. 17 issue of the Atascadero News carried a long letter from Mr. Keith Swank, manager of the Kennedy Club, complaining of the COVID restrictions on his and other businesses. One assumes he solicited many supporting letters from customers, which is his perfect right.

But on that same day, the Tribune carried a letter with the heading “Warning from SLO County hospital chiefs: Local COVID-19 crisis has been ‘gravely underestimated.’ They go on to state “this threatens to exceed hospital capacity and lead to dire consequences.”

While I have sympathy for the hardships that businesses are undergoing, the remedy is promptly passing an adequate federal covid relief bill, rather than pretending to have medical expertise he does not have. Nor am I aware of any such expertise from the customers who wrote in support, for whom I have far less sympathy. They may feel ‘perfectly safe.’ So did the millions of U.S. citizens who ignored pleas from epidemiologists not to travel over Thanksgiving with the result that covid deaths and hospitalizations have soared nationwide.

I am not able to exercise at the locations I would have preferred, but I have found beneficial alternatives that will get us through the crisis until the vaccines have gotten us past this crisis in a few more months. Not to observe these pleas from medical experts is a slap in the face of the front line providers we all give lip service to and who are under enormous physical and emotional strain, as well as to the victims of this vicious disease and their families.

Steve Smith, Atascadero

Article Referenced Letter to the Editor: Kennedy Club Fitness Cares