Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Why I’m angry

I am pissed — excuse my language. This message is for the people who throw caution to the wind. My elderly husband recently had a medical emergency through no fault of his own but the only hospital bed available for him and his needs, after a brief stay at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, was at Mercy Hospital in Portland, more than two hours away.

He couldn’t stay in Bangor or Waterville, which would have been closer. No, those people who said “frig to the mask” and ignored the precautions about COVID-19, and went to parties, weddings, Thanksgiving gatherings and church and ended up with the virus, took that option away from us and others. They have and continue to take the beds from others because of their selfishness.

My husband and I are not of the “herd mentality,” as some have referred to mask wearers. Do we trust all the information the government has stated about this virus? Hell no, but we do recognize that there is something very bad circulating in the air with so many falling sick and dying. That is pretty hard to ignore. So we wear masks to protect others and only hope that gift is exchanged.

We have found that for the most part, people do care. When one of them, of the herd mentality that “the government isn’t going to tell me what to do,” falls ill from the virus or one of their loved ones get COVID, and there are no available beds left, they will understand the feelings I am going through. I guarantee they will be pissed off, too.

Diana Bowley

Sangerville

The challenge of peace

In the Ralph Bunche Park across from the United Nations building on 42nd Street in New York City is the “Isaiah Wall.” Inscribed on the wall are the words of Isaiah 2 verse 4, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” This is the promise of a world at peace.

These words also inspired the Charter of the U.N. Isaiah promises no more national conflicts threatening life and no need for hypervigilance disturbing life’s tranquility.

I maintain this mindset despite what I see on the mass media. I gained this from the Holy Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we see human struggles are lived out. However, the promise remains. The world begins with peace in Genesis and ends with peace in Revelation. We need this peace within; peace with others nationally and peace globally. Peace ensures life.

It is time for America to relearn peace. Despite our differences, we are all Americans hoping for a united peace. The Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 verse 9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (daughters) of God.” Peace is challenging, but obtainable. This is the challenge of peace.

James Weathersby

Augusta

Keep trying

If protecting a neighbor isn’t good enough reason for wearing a mask, try this one. Heard of the new COVID-19 variant, more contagious, erupting in England, spreading like California wildfire? Why now? To be blunt, it is ignorance.

If someone is too brave to wear a mask, if their companionship is too valuable to refrain from those parties, or if they have a Santa Claus syndrome and must travel over the holidays, they should consider this recent outbreak. I believe this outbreak is a direct reflection of people not following present guidelines.

Due to continued obstinate resistance, this virus has been allowed to simmer over time; allowed to transmit from person to person; permitting the virus more opportunities to replicate. With each replication comes the chance of a mutation, a simple genetic error that can have deadly consequences. These simple genetic mishaps usually lead nowhere, a genetic dead end. Often they lead to changes in surface proteins.

However, vaccines often target these proteins in their attack on a virus. The change in these proteins can reduce the efficacy of a vaccine. Viruses are beautiful mechanisms of biological evolution. The more they replicate the more they change. Adaptive change is their forte. They can become more infectious, more virulent and more lethal; they can learn to hide in our own cells, akin to an old Soviet sleeper cell, reactivating years later to cause harm and havoc.

The longer this virus survives, the more mutations. And a potential grim reaper. Viruses keep trying. Always. And you?

Ken Burke

New Portland