More info about shelter volunteers

According to a March 26 story in the BDN, “Some food pantries have even closed their doors because of a lack of volunteers” during the coronavirus outbreak.

My husband and I are over 60 and have been pantry volunteers for 10 years. Sixty-five percent of the volunteers at this pantry are over 60. The lack has nothing to do with unwillingness to work. Currently, we cannot work there.

For health reasons, Good Shepherd Food Bank has recommended that partnering food pantries encourage volunteers over 60 to stay home. There was no mention of this anywhere in the article. That information would help the reader understand the reason for the concerns of the article.

Kathy Dyer

Houlton

Making the best of it

Mention COVID-19 and conversations turn to concerns about financial solvency and medical care. I want to remind us of something: You and I are lucky enough to live in a country where government is “of the people, by the people and for the people.” COVID 19 is a beautiful reminder and opportunity to uphold governing ourselves.

We don’t have to wait for a higher authority’s permission or get group approval for the application of ideas or changes in behavior. In the blink of an eye, each individual can take action.

We are so creative. All we have to do is work our lives around four simple behaviors: work at home when possible; wear manufactured or homemade masks and/or cough into an elbow, when in public ( masks will not restrict the virus completely, but by restraining large droplets and limiting hand to mouth contact, they can help); maintain six or more feet of distance when in public and at work; implement easy to use methods by which to protectively isolate or sanitize hands and surfaces.

With respect to COVID 19, if we handle ourselves, I beleive our country can remain financially solvent and the health care we seek will remain abundant with required supplies and well-rested, capable personnel.

Icing on the cake: this virus allows us to break with the everyday — reviewing where we’ve been and with what intention we want to live our lives going forward. Let’s take this opportunity and make the best of it.

Tammera Fenn

Charleston

Let’s not abandon freedom

Ronald Sweet’s April 1 letter to the editor questioned why the U.S. death rate could rise to 100,000, blaming this tragedy on government “ineptitude, incompetence, and inaction.” Like Sweet, I pray we can do better than these numbers, but I disagree with his analysis. I urge him to remember that information from the Chinese government, a regime which denies the reality of Tiananmen Square, is unreliable.

Responding to this epidemic, the Chinese government conducted mandatory checks, forcibly separating children from their parents to quarantine them. Government drones hovered outside homes to monitor movement. Citizens posing a risk were ordered to stay indoors. Masks were not optional, but were mandated.

Sweet’s disapproval of our government’s response indicates an awareness of the freedoms he is afforded in this great country. These freedoms come at a cost. Increased government surveillance and mandated isolation tactics employed by the Chinese government would erode the freedoms established by the Bill of Rights. These liberties are the cornerstone of this great nation, and they should not be sacrificed.

Detesting this epidemic and praying for relief do not require abandoning our principles of freedom.

John Drews

Milo

Mired in hate

The hyperbolic vitriol thrown at President Donald Trump in these pages is borderline maniacal, but worse, it has no value. This country is facing a virus problem of herculean proportions. We need everyone to do two things: Acknowledge the problem, and do everything possible to solve it.

Contrary to the popular views expressed in this paper, I believe Trump, with the guidance of his coronavirus task force, is trying desperately to mitigate and eventually defeat this horrible scourge. He is being informed by some of the brightest scientific minds on the planet in the field of epidemiology, and, indeed, he is listening to them. He wants this virus defeated. He wants America to return to the normalcy that we all enjoyed a few short weeks ago.

Therefore, I find it incredulous that this positivism and hopefulness is vilified by the never-Trumpers and the withering complainers in the mainstream press. Rants that he has been too late responding, when in fact he reacted quickly with travel restrictions, and that there are not enough supplies when no one could possibly have had a prepared stockpile of supplies to support such a leviathan challenge, are groundless.

The time is now for this mindless complaining to stop. This is a war. We need to get behind our commander in chief and his superbly talented team. We need to work together to end the ravages of this disease and get this country back on its feet.

Unfortunately, there are those who seem absolutely mired in useless hate.

Doc Wallace

Rockport