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COVID-19's new normal

Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned

Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York on March 18, 2020. Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. Credit: AP/John Minchillo

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As thousands of people can’t apply for unemployment benefits because they can’t access the system, why not provide a form to be downloaded and mailed in [“Filing for unemployment: What to know,” News, April 5]? This would also benefit the postal system. It is unconscionable that so many people cannot receive benefits they are due.

Marc Eiger,


There is a basic question underlying the annual gathering of Jews and other family members and friends at Passover: Why is this night different from all other nights [“Passover celebrations transformed by virus,” News, April 7]?

There have been times throughout Jewish history when it has been difficult to gather together for a Seder. Some countries prohibited Jews from practicing their religion. There have been wars. There have been times when Jews were enslaved or imprisoned. But I don’t think there was ever a time when Jews lived near each other, in a country where they were free to practice their religion, but they could not celebrate Passover at the same table. May this never happen again, and may we remember this year throughout the rest of our lives so that we appreciate the joy of gathering together in person.

Lennard Axinn,

Huntington Bay

How about telling people to cover their mouths when they yawn [“Experts: keeping safeguards,” News, April 8]? I’ve observed this at stores twice in the past two weeks as well as having seen on the television news some people yawning on lines in Florida. Nobody seems to try to cover up. This seems almost as bad as sneezing or coughing.

Eileen Maida,


I’m responding to the letter writer who looks forward to an article listing the coronavirus miscalculations of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to balance the criticism of President Donald Trump [Letters, April 8].

None of those four politicians is president of this country. None is leader of the free world. None has actions and words that influence the entire world. None has control over national government agencies that can handle a pandemic response. None has the access to worldwide intelligence that Trump has. The president was elected to do all of those things. It’s his job. And if the people who voted for him held him even 1% as accountable for doing that job as they hold Democrats, we’d all be in a better place right now.

Robert Emproto,


President Donald Trump has turned out to be prescient, but perhaps not in the way he intended.

In his inaugural address, he spoke about “American carnage,” at the time mostly in his mind. Then, in 2018, he disbanded the National Security Council’s global health security office, which was designed to tackle pandemics. Last year, Trump ignored the national intelligence director’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment” warning about a potential flu pandemic. Now, thanks to his mismanagement of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy, he may end his time in office by leaving the country in real “American carnage.”

One way that Trump could personally lessen the crisis is to provide beds in his U.S. hotels and golf resorts. Trump’s empty facilities could temporarily be donated to the national medical community as his part in diminishing the crisis. This would be the act of a true patriot. But Trump is not a real patriot. Selfless acts don’t seem to be in his nature. So the “American carnage” will continue.

Bill Bernstein,

Dix Hills

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has received high marks for his handling of the state’s response to the coronavirus from a health perspective [“Poll: Voters give Cuomo high marks as leader,” News, March 31]. It is perfectly understandable to shut down as much social activity as possible and as quickly as possible to control the spread of the virus. But it is also critical to protect the economic health of the state — and the country. Medical care, state government, and families can’t perform when the tank is out of gas.

It’s time to create a Business Restart Council that would certify the public health and safety plans of businesses so that they can come back and people can begin to return to work. The plan could include unique and innovative solutions that meet each business’ needs. A plan for a dog grooming establishment would clearly be different from one for a restaurant. But each business should be given guidelines and an incentive to develop a unique plan that works. This could even result in a cottage industry of sewing masks and protective gear in garages.

Gerry Ring,

Old Bethpage

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