Daylight saving time isn't about us messing with Mother Nature. It's about Mother Nature messing with us. ("Make standard time — not daylight saving time — permanent," counterpoint, Nov. 16; and Readers Write, Nov. 17.)
Moving the clock ahead an hour and back again isn't what jolts us out of our circadian rhythms, it's Mother Nature shining the sun on us seven hours longer in June than in December. Human nature is to mitigate the extremes of Mother Nature. Daylight saving time is simply another adaptation no different from the millions of others that have allowed our species to thrive. I'm awake about 17 hours of each day. I'd like it to be light outside for as many of those hours as possible. Most people prefer having an extra hour of summer sunlight in the evening rather than in the morning. Let's leave it that way.
Chris Mau, Oakdale
I don't mind changing clocks twice a year — it's a rite of passage in the changing seasons. As a retired person, it doesn't affect me all that much. I do like waking up to daylight (about 7 a.m.) and not having it get dark so early. But if we changed to not resetting clocks, it would stay dark longer in the mornings and it would still get dark around 6 p.m. So, it's best to go with the flow and embrace the time changes. (As a person with 38 clocks, if I don't have strong objections, who would?)
Barry Margolis, Minneapolis
Wonderful care received amid a tragedy
One week ago my first-born son died of covid at North Memorial Health Hospital. Throughout the two-plus weeks he was being treated in the 6SW intensive-care unit, the extraordinary nurses and doctors did everything they could for him to survive this horrible virus. They also — patiently and lovingly — kept his family informed daily, sometimes twice daily of any changes in his condition, since we could not visit in person.
During my son's last hours in "comfort care," these wonderful nurses, who see this happening day in and day out, went out of their way to provide us with loving care also. I can't say enough good things about North Memorial and the great health care providers in the 6SW ICU. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Jean Coone Efron, Minnetonka
I read with interest in the Nov. 16 lead article that Minnesota hospitals are nearly at capacity. For all practical purposes, Minnesota hospitals are full and have been for months. If you ask a health care system how many beds they have available, it might have 5% availability across that system. Take the Allina system, for example. Allina has hospitals scattered across and beyond Minnesota, from Owatonna to Cambridge, and from Plymouth to River Falls, Wis.
When a staffed hospital bed becomes available in Minnesota, a dangerous Jenga game commences: who gets the bed and how will the patient be transported, sometimes hundreds of miles. Hospital systems want to serve their own patients first, but there will always be financial pressure to "serve" the patients with higher reimbursement (read: anyone who needs procedural/surgical intervention). COVID reimbursement isn't all that great.
To more accurately assess hospital capacity, ask each hospital how many patients are currently "boarding" in the emergency room. These patients are, in essence, hospitalized in the ER. They are followed by ER staff, doctors and nurses who are trained to care for patients for hours — not days or weeks. Call every emergency room in the state and ask, "How many patients are currently boarding?" If the answer is one or more, the hospital is overfull. Most are.
A state-run COVID hospital would ease the enormous burden on Minnesota health care. Something's gotta give, or we're going to burn out an entire generation of health care professionals.
Dr. Anne Lippin, St. Paul
We all could stand to display just a little forbearance
A bit more on the Guthrie Theater incident ("Patron disrupts Guthrie's 'A Christmas Carol,' " Nov. 14, and subsequent editorial and letters). No doubt there is plenty of blame owed to Guthrie management for failure to better anticipate and handle the incident that occurred on opening night of "A Christmas Carol," but I think the editorial and some of the letters that followed it captured its most disturbing aspect.
I'm tired, as we all are, of the last couple years, with their isolation and frustrating disruption of so many things we take for granted, not to mention the sadness that lies like a pall over a country that will soon see a million deaths, many preventable, from a pandemic that is far from over. Anger and intolerance are everywhere, out in the open as never before, and I know I am displaying my own angry intolerance when I say that stupid people are everywhere, too, and they seem depressingly eager to display their ignorance and their lack of concern for anything but their own "rights" at a time when the single thing we all need most is a sense of collective responsibility for our human community, however much that may inconvenience us.
Whether it's wearing a mask, staying home when we are too pissed off to inflict ourselves on other people, or refraining from jeering at an obviously ill person who is disrupting a theater evening for a few minutes, can't we all just take a breath here and do a little better?
Phebe Haugen, Edina
The resurfacing others find 'botched' pleased this avid rider at least
I am a 63-year-old avid bicyclist. I ride for pure pleasure, exercise, mental health, sense of accomplishment, time in the great outdoors. Powering myself on my bike (a road bike, not an electric one) and looking at the world from that perch checks all my boxes. In 2020, I rode 3,482 miles from April to December. To date, in 2021, I have ridden 3,300. Hopefully I have not had my last ride this calendar year.
A large majority — 80% — of my rides (averaging 22 miles each) include the Greenway from West River Parkway to the lakes in Minneapolis and back. I was surprised and disappointed to read the Nov. 10 article "Petition calls for Mpls. to repave Greenway," criticizing the recent resurfacing.
I love the "new" path! Gone are the many root divots and other holes. I no longer feel my teeth chatter on many sections. I saw several of the workers doing the paint striping work two weeks ago and thanked them for making the path the best it has been in many years. No area "impedes" my ride. On the contrary. I no longer have to watch the trail for many pavement hazards. (Broken glass is still a concern, but that has nothing to do with the trail surface.) Are there a few, small areas where it could be better? Probably. I find that to be true on any repaving job done on walking or biking paths.
Please count me — at least one, very regular rider — as pleased with the end result. My thanks and appreciation go to the workers involved in making such a great improvement to a great trail.
Brenda Machacek, Mendota Heights
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