The arrival of COVID-19 and its possible spread has the potential to place great stress on the medical personnel and first responders in our community. I believe, from my experience, that we can depend on these people to do their best to protect our health and safety. This positive letter of support is long overdue, but perhaps now is a very good time to share a good news story.

On Aug. 9 of last year, my husband was admitted to the emergency room, having been injured from a fall. I am writing this letter to recognize the hospital staff members who were professional, kind and comforting during this stressful time.

Dr. Goma, the emergency room doctor, was very caring and worked diligently to relieve my husband Dick of the pain he was experiencing. Dr. Goma was professional, efficient, kind and reassuring. He frequently checked on my husband’s well-being and was very willing to answer any questions or concerns that I had.

After initial tests were done, Dick was transferred to the cardiology unit on the second floor. In addition to Dr. Goma, Dr. Bruce Bouts visited him during his three day stay in the hospital to check his well-being. Every nurse, technician and environmental staff we met on the second floor was very efficient, thoughtful and cheerful. So often these people are not recognized for their contributions. They are at the front line safeguarding patients’ health. It is a team effort!

Here are some of the many members of the awesome team of caregivers at Blanchard Valley hospital that gave my husband excellent care: emergency room nurses Mindy, Kyle and Amber; emergency room technicians Alex and Tracie; second floor nurses Curt, Amanda, Sarah, Nicole and Tisha; second-floor technicians Corine, Vivian, Alexa, Jean, Tyler and Lauren; and housekeeping staff Rachelle, David and Dee.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of Blanchard Valley Hospital patients!

Jane McCleary



A lot of the population already has COVID-19 and are asymptomatic because they are still healthy and their body has already produced antibodies to attack COVID-19’s antigens. Therefore, could U.S. hospitals do a small (pre-screened/same blood type) blood or even a plasma transfusion to provide the infected patient with a dose of COVID-19 antibodies?

Better yet, find healthy younger donors — 18 to 30 year olds — who have the COVID-19 antibodies circulating systemically at the highest parts per million (ppm) with O-type blood to have a universal blood type on hand loaded with antibodies at the highest ppm.

This almost seems too simple and, yes, it totally may not work, but it seems almost like it should. It would be better for a patient to have a simple blood transfusion early on than to be on a ventilator or expand the need for ICU beds and tax medical staff beyond realistic measures. Maybe this method would work to reduce the time and complications of being on a ventilator. Maybe health care facilities around the world are already trying this in conjunction with other treatments. Our country is already approved to do blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants to treat other communicable and non-communicable diseases. As a last ditch effort, I think this would have at least a 50/50 chance of working.

I think one complication would be if you have companies trying to solely isolate the COVID-19 antibody out of blood, modify it and sell it as an immunotherapy drug, thus profiting more than a simple blood transfusion and taking more time to get FDA approval to market. The new drug would basically have the same effect as a simple blood or plasma transfusion.

We are all just goldfish living in the same infected glass bowl. Let’s knock this out and worry about profits later.

Aaron T. Baxter

Former U.S. Army Medic & R.N.



There was no chest-thumping going on in my last letter to the editor as Salena Maazaoui asserts (March 24). I merely provided some facts from my personal history for the purpose of disproving Iliff’s statement that I was lacking in education. It probably wasn’t really needed for most folks who have read my letters over the years. I wonder how many would say the same about Maazaoui?

Maazaoui goes on to attack President Trump — which is no surprise — on his handling of the COVID-19 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China. I’m perfectly fine with anyone referring to it as the China or Wuhan virus, especially after China accused us of inventing the virus and sending it to China via American soldiers.

The president has been very proactive regarding this pandemic. He has approved billions of dollars to fight it and will approve even more if the Democrats would stop trying to load the current bill with pork such as millions for private colleges who charge too much tuition anyway and probably don’t need bailing out.

President Trump is holding daily news conferences to keep us up-to-date on what’s being done about the pandemic. Thank goodness we don’t have to hear from Maazaoui every day!

Dave Malone