If you tell people that “All Lives Matter,” then you would be hypocritical if you don’t wear a mask to protect the health of all those lives.
Science of epidemiology
Given the ballooning and mostly uninformed rhetoric about “science” and the coronavirus, it is useful to pause and give some thought to just exactly what epidemiology is and isn’t from a scientific viewpoint.
Unfortunately, this perspective is often overlooked by the politicians and talking head pundits who incessantly pontificate about this important matter.
In my admittedly limited experience, epidemiology is a very different form of science than that involved in classical chemistry and physics.
In the latter fields, for example, it is possible to identify significant variables, change them in a systematic controlled fashion and observe the response of the subject system.
Epidemiology necessarily involves past and current human behavior making such carefully controlled experiments impractical or impossible.
Alternatively, epidemiology relies on statistically derived mathematical inferences from a mass of relevant but uncontrolled data.
Hard, experimental confirmation of the implied variable interactions is rarely, if ever, involved. This is, unfortunately, a severe limitation for epidemiological investigation in my view.
Despite these shortcomings, epidemiology is, nonetheless, among the best tools available for studying complex public health issues.
It should, however, be used with caution, recognizing all the while its fundamental limitations.
CLARENCE M. EIDT JR.
Feral cats are needed
In a Sept. 19 letter to the editor, a writer criticized feral cat programs in a manner that was not inclusive of all the facts.
If in doubt, talk to established residents of the Isle of Palms. Several years ago, the IOP City Council stopped feral cat programs that served the area.
The administration was swayed by the same arguments that these animals were preying on rare, innocent birds.
Several months later, the matter returned to council for further consideration. The reason for revisiting this ordinance was that some birds may be less threatened without the presence of feral cats, but so were the rodents.
The population of mice and rats had increased. The ordinance was rescinded, the cats returned, and the rats are now much less of a problem.
Properly managed feral cat programs are essential in the Lowcountry.
An unchallenged rodent population is a risk we should not ignore.
A feral cat population, with neutered, vaccinated and healthy animals, is a valuable asset. Just ask anyone who has had rats or mice in their home.
My conjecture is that a substantial number of Americans, whatever their race, creed or color, would want the police to be reasonably funded, and certainly not defunded.
I believe that in both dangerous situations and those less likely to cause harm, police officers should have, as part of their overall distinctive uniform, a body camera and an audio recorder.
Should a serious injury or death occur during any situation, there would be both a visual and voice recording of the event as it unfolded.
There should be consequences should this standardized procedure not be followed by the police answering the call or performing their service at the time.
DENNIS J. DONAHUE JR.
Isle of Palms
SI forest protects us
I can’t help but think how much those in Louisiana in the path of Hurricane Delta would give to have a Maritime Forest like Sullivan’s Island’s to protect them from the storm surge and floodwaters.
In Sullivan’s Island Councilman Greg Hammond’s Oct. 6 commentary, he paints himself as “the great compromiser” on the maritime forest that graces the island.
Make no mistake, the opposite is true.
As the Coastal Conservation League has noted, Hammond has laid the groundwork to destroy the forest. His “great compromise” uses nuisances, including mosquitoes and pests, and the call for better breezes as a disguise to get better views for a handful of beachfront homeowners.
He also is a beachfront homeowner. What he and fellow council members Kaye Smith, Tim Reese and Chauncey Clark who pushed this left out of their “mediation” plan is that they are destroying a huge storm surge buffer that protects all of us.
When asked to place his name on the mediation document with his “yes” vote, Hammond refused, along with the others who voted for it.
That was a very telling sign that they don’t want anyone to remember what they did with this “great compromise” when the next storm hits here. Maybe a storm like Hurricane Delta.