Questions about the siren
I, and probably millions of other kids raised in small towns USA, was told the noon siren was a signal to get home as it was lunch time. The 6 p.m. siren was a signal to get home as it was supper time. I doubt many of us were ever told the real reason for the siren being sounded at these times.
In 1908 Douglas County Commissioners passed an ordinance that ordered, “Any and all Indians remaining in Gardnerville after sunset of each and every day,” to be declared a public nuisance. In 1917, the commissioners expanded the ordinance to include Minden and set the time to 6:30 p.m. That year Gardnerville installed a siren that could be heard “for miles.” Four years later in 1921, Minden installed a similar siren.
Many small towns had sirens, installed to alert the citizens of an emergency situation, but I am unaware of the rationale for sounding them at both noon and 6 p.m. Any testing of the system would not require a sounding at both times.
I find it hard to accept that the sirens were installed to alert the Native people of the pending curfew time. If it was installed for that purpose, why was it also sounded at the noon time?
While many of us grew up without knowing the real reason for the sounding of the devices at noon or 6 p.m., we will generally think of the sounding as calls to mealtime. I think the Native people, while not knowing the real reason for the 6 p.m. sounding will always associate it with the pending curfew.
While we all understand the reason for the siren was its use as an emergency alert system, I think it would be great if we all knew the real reason for the soundings at both noon and 6 p.m.
Time for us to step up
We have recently been witness to the heroic acts of first responders; those who have put their own safety and comfort at risk to protect us from current disasters. They are heroes because they have made sacrifices to serve the common good. We praise and appreciate their efforts, as we do all those who sacrifice to guard us against dangers to our community and country: Military, Firefighters, Police, and more. They protect and serve without complaint because they are duty bound. It is now time for all of us to be heroes in the fight against Covid. Step up, do your part: Get vaccinated and wear a mask if called to do so. And by doing so you will protect the freedoms of all of us.
Vaccination responsible thing to do
Do you have a driver's license? Do you pay insurance on your car? Do you pay insurance on your home? Do you want your children to return to school? Do you pay taxes and expect your taxes to fund the police and fix the roads? Do you care about your aging parents? Do you care about your neighbors? Do you wear seat belts? Do you stop at red lights and stop signs? Are you a responsible gun owner?
If you answered “Yes” to all of the above, then you rank high in emotional intelligence. Now for the bonus questions:
Do you wear a mask? Have you been vaccinated?
Not liking the odds
I went to a local big box store this afternoon. I’d say only about half the people there were wearing masks despite the suggestion or requirement to do so given the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid 19. And that is probably about the number that were unvaccinated., based on the rate of vaccination here.
It might be useful for these people who seem unconcerned about Covid 19 to know the odds of encountering the virus there.
There is a calculator at https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu that will tell you the likelihood of encountering at least one infected person based on the number of people gathered at any location.
As of Aug. 9, if we assume 500 people present at this store between staff and customers, a not unreasonable estimate for a busy afternoon, then the likelihood that there is at least one infected person present there is 98%, or almost certain. So there likely will be an infected person present on every trip in those circumstances.
If we assume only 100 people present then the risk falls to 58 percent. So, on only two out of three trips will there be an infected person present.
Considering the virus’ ability to linger and the larger number of people cycling though a big store in a day, the odds of encountering the virus are probably even greater. And remember that the carrier was probably circulating throughout much of the store and the Delta variant is much more infectious than those we faced in the past.
Of course these are estimates only and the odds will change over time depending on the prevalence of disease in Douglas County. And yes, most will escape unscathed. But as you get out of your car to go into the store on a busy afternoon I hope you will stop to consider that it is quite likely you will encounter the virus there and what you might want to do to protect yourself. And others, should you be a carrier despite having no symptoms.
It’s easy, and generally free, to get vaccinated here. And, really, how much trouble or inconvenience is it to wear a mask for the few minutes that you are inside a public space? Certainly a lot less inconvenient than getting sick, ending up in the hospital or dying.
Every day now we read stories of people who are sick regretting that they didn’t take the simple steps available to protect themselves. Please don’t be one of them.
Supporting those with developmental disabilities
As a new member to this community, I have been shocked and proud of the local support for charities and keeping our community safe and happy. I never expected to see this level of support from a relatively small community. The Douglas County area is full of wide-open spaces and wide-open hearts.
With COVID-19, our community has had to make changes to how a lot of services operate. These changes have been made with the public’s interest at heart but there is a subsection of our community that is being hit harder than most.
Our adult community members with developmental disabilities have relied on community services to stay socially, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. With COVID-19, almost all of the services closed temporarily and some have closed permanently.
The US Census Bureau estimates that there are 48,905 residents in the Douglas County area as of 2019. Of that total, 8 percent are living with a disability. (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/douglascountynevada/DIS010219) Nearly 4,000 of our community members are going through COVID-19 without the same level of community services as they have had pre-COVID-19.
The Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2021 has identified this as one of the most important issues facing our community. To address this, we are hosting a prom-style event for the adults of our community with developmental disabilities so that they can have an unforgettable night socializing and dancing the night away.
Details for the event:
Douglas County Community Center
Grandview Dining Room
5-8 p.m. Sept. 11
Our class is working hand-in-hand with our community and service organizations to provide this event at no cost to the attendees.
We are asking for our community to rally together to support a very important cause.
We have donation opportunities that include monetary donations, volunteer time, and gifts for a raffle-style drawing for attendees. We are seeking anything and everything to make this a successful event for all attendees.
If you are interested in providing a donation of money, time, and/or gifts, please contact:
If you are or know of someone who has a developmental disability and would like to know more about attending the event, please contact:
The goal of this event is to bring together this subsection of the community and to provide an escape for them to enjoy. With enough community support, we can make this an annual event and have a compounding positive impact.