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Citizens' rights are being violated

Demonstrators block the street outside of the New

Demonstrators block the street outside of the New York State Capitol Building on April 22, 2020 in Albany. Credit: Getty Images/Stefani Reynolds

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We should not be called protesters, science deniers or selfish to want to stop a wholesale suspension of the Constitution [“Protesters not who they think they are,” Opinion, April 22]. Our Constitution is not relegated to a specific point in time and should continue to be applied to the modern era. We have flipped the meaning and intent for the use of quarantine by quarantining people who are not sick. To me, the use of masks and gloves significantly lowers the risk of exposure to all people thus makes the stay-at-home orders a violation of the First Amendment, which protects the right to peaceably assemble. To contrast: Mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, kill more than 50,000 people worldwide every year, yet we do not mandate people to stay indoors year-round.

Private businesses were not given a chance to decide for themselves how to adjust to the situation. In my view, their fundamental property rights of the 14th Amendment were violated, compounded by financial hardship thrust on them. We can have a balance of protection and liberty when the Constitution is followed. We have to demand it since we learned again how swiftly our rights are disregarded by government officials.

Chris Wales,

Mineola

Nursing homes not built for this

For the past 20 years, I have been a clinical consultant in nursing homes in the Northeast, nearly all of which are expected to abide by clear practice standards and guidelines as set forth by the federal government [“Faith of elder care patients confounds,” News, April 23].

However, those standards do not encompass the extraordinary clinical demands of a pandemic like COVID-19 for many reasons. Perhaps the most basic one has been carelessly overlooked by authorities. Simply put, facilities have a federal obligation to provide socialization, recreation and movement activities for most residents which, by default, take place on a continual basis in dayrooms and dining rooms from breakfast to dinner. Such areas were never constructed with the spatial requirements that “social distancing” demands. As a result, residents have been sequestered to their rooms and are in bed all day and all night in semi-isolation. Since they are moving less, they are less mobile and therefore more prone to upper respiratory infections and other serious problems related to immobility. Nurses, long-term-care physicians, activity therapists and other health professionals can only do so much when the odds are stacked against them.

David Horvath,

Long Beach

The mess that the nursing homes are in falls on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s shoulders [“Eye on nursing homes,” News, April 24]. Right from the beginning, everyone knew that COVID-19 was detrimental to our senior population. Preparing the nursing homes for this onslaught should have received the same priority as the hospitals. Cuomo raced to have additional hospital facilities built that were underutilized. Why weren’t these facilities and the manpower that came with them then used to relieve the stress on the nursing homes? Forcing nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients, when we still knew so little about the virus, was a recipe for disaster.

Nursing home operators should be held accountable for not pushing back hard enough on the state for help when their buildings became overrun with the virus. My mother is a resident in a nursing home, and I pray that she survives this pandemic and Cuomo’s decisions.

I would like to thank all the certified nursing assistants whose caring and professionalism have kept nursing home operators from looking foolish since I see the operators as more interested in hiding information than sharing it.

Liz Kelly,

Lido Beach

Trump flip-flops on reopening

President Donald Trump presented a cogent, three-phase guideline for the states to reopen. The very next day, with his “liberate” tweets, he incited his base to ignore his own guidelines with their protests. What kind of leader is this man? Is everything just a publicity stunt to him?

Cathy Merritt,

Selden

Heroism reminiscent of exploits in WWII

When I see the daily heroism shown by nurses and doctors in our hospitals it brings to mind Winston Churchill’s famous quote on Aug. 20, 1940. Referring to the fighter pilots’ World War II defense of Great Britain, Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed.” These doctors and nurses risk their lives and take that risk back to their families.

Vincent Fiordalisi,

East Norwich

All residents should fund schools

I understand the great challenge of school funding because of COVID-19 [“Schools may feel crunch,” News, April 20]. Robert Dillon, superintendent at Nassau County BOCES, said that all options, including rescinding the 2% tax cap, should be considered. I strongly disagree. The 2% tax cap should remain, and another source of funding, such as an income tax on non-property-owning residents, should be implemented. Why are schools funded by property owners and not all residents? Now is the time to consolidate school districts, reduce the number of top administrators and fund schools by all residents.

Victoria Cautela,

Oakdale

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