It’s a beautiful spring day in Mesa County, and once again the time of year when palls of thick smoke from open burning envelope entire neighborhoods, turning beautiful, fragrant, warm spring days into days of physical illness, suffering and despair for Grand Valley residents.
With the biggest medical center between Denver and Salt Lake and a wide variety of retirement housing, Grand Junction has long been an attractive area for retirees. But many people who settle here are unaware of the archaic open burning tradition here that exacerbates health problems and can pose an extraordinary health threat to sensitive people with illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis and those who use supplemental oxygen for lung and heart disease.
Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland has reported on her personal Facebook page that on the evening of February 24 after getting home from work, she suffered a type of stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. She recognized the signs, called 911 and was rushed to the emergency room. Serial CAT scans over the next 24 hours showed no additional bleeding.
This post is dedicated to my dad, Daniel N. Fox, who died on 2/11/22 from Covid-19, after catching it from someone who came into his home and inadvertently infected his entire household. Two people out of the three in his household have died as a result. The second person died on 2/14/22.
As the omicron surge recedes in Mesa County, people are starting to gather in large crowds for indoor events again, like meetings, concerts and parties. But is it safe?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests you take into account the type of gathering you’re considering attending: Is it a small gathering of just people you know, or will there be people there from multiple households or with whom you are unfamiliar? Large gatherings with more people from other places pose a higher danger of infection with Covid-19.
Take into account your risk level, and that of others near you: Do you have children under 5 years old at home who are unvaccinated? Or do you live with, visit or work with older people who have weaker immune systems or other health conditions? If you are around people who are vulnerable to the virus, your behavior, specifically carelessly exposing yourself to large crowds and failing to test for infection before spending time with them, can raise their risk of getting Covid-19, and even kill them, as it killed my dad last Friday.
Meme in an email blast sent out by the far right group Mesa County Concerned Citizen on 11/15/21, showing that likely many local people lack any understanding of how respiratory disease transmission works — vital information that’s central to getting a pandemic under control
The above meme was sent out in an email blast last November 15, 2021 by the far right extremist group Mesa County Concerned Citizen.
The meme makes it clear that many Mesa County residents likely lack an understanding about how the transmission of respiratory diseases works — information that is massively important to our ability to bring the virus under control. This could be one reason why the coronavirus has been able to spread so efficiently in Mesa County, and why it is likely to persist here.
Former KKCO Channel 11 weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired last October for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stands in front of a fake weather map in a video promoting the anti-vax group Stop The Mandate GJ
Former longtime KKCO weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired from KKCO last October after refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine in compliance with his employer Gray TV’s Covid-19 vaccine policy, is now promoting the anti-vax group Stop the Mandate GJ, which is encouraging others in our area to also refuse the vaccine.
McCain now appears on the first page of StoptheMandateGJ’s website, talking in front of a fake weather map and saying in part,
“It’s not about Covid any more, it’s about forced compliance…Let’s be the resistance to their nationwide tyranny…
In a video on his business web page under the heading “Covid Treatments,” Grand Junction chiropractor Ronald Engler of the Redlands Chiropractic and Wellness Center administers horse deworming medication to himself and encourages others to do the same to themselves, in violation of FDA guidance on use of the drug.
NOTE: This video has been banned on YouTube previously for posing a serious risk of egregious harm. It was uploaded again here for purposes of criticism in this article. We’ll see if it lasts.
While some Grand Junction chiropractors are profiting from the pandemic by marketing proprietary dietary supplements that they falsely infer will prevent or treat Covid-19, others are using their credibility as health care providers to openly promote dangerous medical misinformation to the public.
One of these is Ronald W. Engler of the Redlands Chiropractic and Wellness Center.
Republican HD-55 candidate Cindy Ficklin has a track record of spreading harmful lies and conspiracy theories about Covid-19, Covid vaccines and other topics on social media. Facebook has tried to rein her in.
After Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin was banned from Facebook for 30 days on May 27, 2021 for spreading the lie that Covid-19 was man-made in a lab in China, she started a personal blog on the website of Coldwell Banker, the real estate office with which she is affiliated.
Ficklin has been banned from Facebook several times, including another 30 day stint in July of 2021. Facebook usually applies the 30 day ban — the longest ban they use before taking an account down completely — after a user willfully violates the platform’s “community standards” multiple times and after they give at least five prior warnings and multiple bans of increasing length before reaching the 30-day threshold.
Deprived of her main social media conduit, Ficklin was in need of an outlet where she could spread conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19 and other topics without restriction.
All of those deceased people have family members who were suddenly burdened not just with grief from the death of their loved ones, but also with unexpected costs from funerals, cremations, interment, buying burial plots and other expenses.
The Biden administration wants to ease some of the financial burden and stress placed on American families who are dealing with deaths caused by Covid-19. To that end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial help for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred as far back as January 20, 2020.
New CMU President John Marshall has never published a single article in a peer-reviewed journal, and appears oblivious to the importance of the peer-review process in citing medical research as the basis for campus health policy. (Photo: Twitter, @MesaVeep)
His hospital was recently forced to re-open its Covid ward due to a resurgence in Covid cases in Moffat County, now considered a coronavirus hotspot due to high rate of community transmission and a low vaccination rate, similar to Mesa County.
Covid hotspots are in red. (Source: CDC/CNN)
Daniels, who described himself as a “super conservative,” said of Boebert,
“I’m embarrassed that she’s my representative. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about healthcare policy.”
Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski, Memorial Regional Hospital’s Director of Emergency Medicine struck a similar note, about Boebert, saying
“A lot of people are listening [to what Boebert] is saying and a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology and in fact isn’t medically sound, and it’s putting people in danger and quite honestly costing people their lives, and it’s frustrating to have to fight against that.
Conservatives in Delta are working to oppose the teaching of medically-accurate sex ed in Delta County schools
Delta County conservatives are in a tizzy over the prospect that their school district may implement a medically-accurate, comprehensive sex education curriculum in compliance with a new Colorado law passed in 2019.
Until recently, the Delta County Schools’ only consistent “sex education” curriculum consisted of presentations by a woman named Shelly Donahue, a Christian abstinence-only speaker whose talk relied heavily on shame, guilt and medically-inaccurate information. Donahue likened girls brains to cooked spaghetti and boys brains to toaster waffles. The slides in her show were sprinkled with crosses, and she told kids that having premarital sex put them “further from God.” Donahue’s $2,000 speaking fee was picked up by a Christian missionary group. One Oklahoma school district has banned Donahue from speaking because students said her talks were demeaning to girls and children from broken homes. (For more on Shelly Donahue and the Delta County School District, search on “Shelly Donahue” in the AnneLandmanblog search box on right side of any page.)
A Move-On.org petition is asking the Mesa County Health Department to enforce the state-wide mask mandate inside the Mall.
The petition states,
Covid-19 is spreading fast and hard through Mesa County. Many people are still not taking the threat seriously. It is putting [Mall] employees, tenants, and guests at a ridiculously high risk of catching and spreading the virus. The effects are dangerous and deadly and we have a moral and social imperative to do what we can to keep each other safe. The Mesa Mall is responsible for the safety of those who enter it’s walls. If they can’t provide a safe place for people to work, shop, and visit, then they should shut down for the health and safety of our community.
A mask mandate is currently in place throughout Colorado to reduce the spread of the deadly, communicable Corona virus that is sweeping the country. It requires everyone 11 years and older to wear a face mask in enclosed public places. Masks are recommended anywhere people are sharing air.
How to effectively complain about businesses that aren’t enforcing the mask order:
According to the Times Recorder, the waiter approached Scott and told him that he would have to leave if he didn’t wear a mask inside the restaurant, Scott lectured the waiter by saying “Governors make rules, but WE make the law,” and explained the difference between a rule and a law. Scott then told the waiter he was being too “heavy handed” in enforcing the statewide masking rule.
Mesa County’s 5-Star program creates expectations that often aren’t met, and leaves it to patrons to police establishments for compliance, which can then lead to harassment, threats and intimidation against patrons who complain.
Mesa County has been touting it’s “Variance Protection” (“Five Star”) program as the key to keeping businesses open amid the pandemic, and while the goals of the program are laudable, the widespread lack of enforcement, particularly of masking requirements, can unfortunately create a climate of additional threats to patrons, and not just to their health.
Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N. begged Mesa County Commissioners on 11/9 to make a definitive public statement urging the public to wear masks, avoid gatherings and strictly follow other public health protocol to help rein in the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus in our community
A registered nurse openly begged the Mesa County Commissioners to make a statement telling people they need to wear masks when patronizing local businesses, maintain physical distancing and strictly avoid gatherings, to help rein in the area’s skyrocketing Covid-19 infection rate.
Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N., a retired Veterans Administration nurse, spoke to the commissioners in the public comment period of their Monday, 11/9 meeting (video, @ 1:02). Phillips spoke after Mesa County Public Health Department Executive Director Jeff Kuhr told commissioners about the dire situation the county faces from the ongoing uncontrolled spread of the novel Coronavirus. Dr. Kuhr told commissioners that last Saturday the county reached its highest new Covid case count in a single day: 180.
Original endorsement ad Janet Rowland posted ad on her Facebook page that violated the Hatch and Fair Campaign Practices Acts. She later revised it to remove Foster’s title as President of CMU.
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster appears to have quietly asked Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland (R) to remove any mention of his name from her campaign Facebook page, effectively un-endorsing her — a reversal of his previous whole-hearted endorsement.
Offices that bill themselves as “crisis pregnancy centers” or “pregnancy clinics” often are not actual medical clinics, but religiously-based anti-abortion operations that lure in women struggling with unexpected pregnancies. They intentionally withhold information from women about their full complement of reproductive options. Such “clinics” steer women away from abortions and offer “information” that casts abortion as debilitating, dangerous and frightening.
Finding true reproductive health services clinics in Colorado, that is, ones that offer a full range of medically-accurate sexual health information, contraceptives, information and treatments for sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, and all legal and safe reproductive health options can be tricky because in Colorado fake “pregnancy resource” clinics and outnumber real abortion and medical information providers by almost 3 to 1.