• With President Donald Trump catching COVID-19, together with many others at the White House and upper levels of government, we are all glued to the news for developments. The coronavirus doesn’t usually clear up in a couple days, so Trump’s bout with the disease he once called a hoax may not be over. But the White House is offering very little for substantive updates on the president’s health. The Trump administration hiding from the truth is no surprise (especially when former press secretary Sean Spicer once hid in a bush to get away from reporters). In times of emergency, no public entity — whether it’s a county government or the White House — should hide the truth from the people it serves. 

• While we are taking a poke at the University of Oregon and beer pong on our cover this week, it’s also a good time to remind people that we can’t just blame our latest COVID surge on the UO. For one thing, blaming a particular group is counterproductive. COVID-shaming is a thing, and it should not be. It’s not just students who are partying in small groups, and it’s definitely not only students we see not wearing masks (looking at Donald Trump right now). As Jason Davis, Lane County Public Health spokesperson, tells us, “We as a community really have to be more positive about the whole process.” He says because of the shaming that goes on around having the coronavirus, county contact tracers have trouble getting people to call them back, and they see students and others not self-quarantining because they are afraid others will judge them for having gotten the virus. “Learn how to treat people and be respectful,” Davis says. “We can deal with really hard things in our community with positive prosocial behavior” that can actually lead to improving the situation, not making it worse. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio needs volunteers, money and all the help we can give him in this run to return to D.C. for Oregon’s 4th District. You must have seen the vile TV ads constantly running against him and showing us how much money is pouring into his opposition’s campaign. This is a weird district. Hillary Clinton won in 2016 by only 554 votes. But DeFazio is now one of the most powerful members of Congress, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Oregon is fortunate to have him. We need to keep him. 

• Before Peter DeFazio became the longtime congressman in the 4th District, there was Rep. Jim Weaver. Weaver was born in 1927 and served six terms in the House of Representatives, from 1975 to 1987. He was known for being pro-environment and against the Vietnam War and nuclear power, not easy stances in a district that encompasses not only Eugene but less liberal Roseburg. Weaver died here in Eugene in the early hours of Oct. 6. The Jim Weaver Loop Trail around Waldo Lake honors him for his work to preserve Oregon’s wilderness.

• Fungal symbiosis may not be your thing, but it’s a subject that’s sending David Wagner’s “It’s About Time” October feature from the Weekly around the world. Wagner even heard from a botanist in Vietnam, who wrote to him in Vietnamese. Thanks to Google Translate Wagner found that the Vietnamese botanist really understood and summarized the phenomenon for his own readers very well. EW goes global!

• Neighbors have been asking who is the lone hoopster working on her moves and mid-range jumps every morning at the local pocket park. It’s Taylor Mikesell, and if off-season dedication and drive translate to on-court success, she will soon be a household name with Duck basketball fans. We’re hopeful that we can keep COVID in check so that this savvy Maryland Terp transfer gets to thrill the crowds in Matthew Knight Arena.