Eliminate stigma about HIV/AIDS
Dec. 1 commemorated World AIDS Day, and this year’s theme is global solidarity and shared responsibility ["Report: State pledges to end HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2024," Our Towns, Dec. 1]. The global COVID-19 pandemic serves as a daily reminder that no one is safe until everyone is safe.
We cannot leave people behind in our response to HIV/AIDS if we’re going to end the epidemic. We must eliminate stigma and discrimination, highlight the experiences of people living with or affected by HIV, and put human rights and gender-responsive approaches at the forefront of our efforts. That includes ensuring the sexual and reproductive health of people living with or at risk for HIV is respected and protected.
— Vincent Russell, Smithtown
The writer is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.
LI needs restaurant vaccine mandate
With COVID-19 cases rising again and the omicron variant lurking, it’s about time Gov. Kathy Hochul or our local county executives impose a vaccine mandate for indoor dining at restaurants and catering venues ["Be wise in face of omicron," Editorial, Nov. 30].
This has been successfully done for months in New York City, where the COVID-19 rate is now much lower than Suffolk County’s.
With most of the state’s 12-and-over population having had at least one vaccine dose , we should not be kowtowing to those who refuse shots by giving them free rein to potentially spread the virus.
Let’s hope our public officials take the necessary measures to ensure that this is both a happy and healthy holiday season.
— Phyllis Lader, Blue Point
Those of us who believe in science and protecting our family and community are being faced with yet another threat from the omicron variant of COVID-19 ["Virus positivity rate on LI approaching 5%," News, Dec. 1].
It is exasperating and infuriating that many anti-vaxxers are blaming President Joe Biden for not managing the virus. It is the lack of a consolidated effort by the American people to get vaccinated that continues to threaten our safety and damage the economy. Other countries are not as fortunate as we are to have access to vaccines.
We have enough for every person to get the shots, but there is such a campaign of disinformation that confuses and muddies the message about the vaccine’s efficacy.
We should be unified in keeping each other safe.
Who are we and what will become of us if we don’t care for one another?
— Brenda Ferrante, Lindenhurst
Blame inflation on wages going higher
We have all heard almost every reason in the book for prices going through the roof ["Druggists feel pinch," News, Nov. 29]. Supply-chain issues, COVID this, COVID that, higher demand, lower demand.
Almost every politician has weighed in on the issue. They have all stayed away from, in my opinion, a huge cause.
I’ve seen that some companies are giving $250 to $3,000 signing bonuses, and starting pay for unskilled labor in some areas is up to $24 an hour; $15 per hour to make French fries.
Where did anyone think this money was going to come from? Higher prices. So the minimum-wage worker is now in the same boat as before with the old lower wages. Now, higher salaries come with higher prices.
— Mitch Rakita, Lake Grove
Time for fans to fight all the high prices
The Mets have signed Max Scherzer to a three-year, $130 million dollar contract ["Mets bank on Scherzer with record annual deal," Sports, Nov. 30]. When will the fans say enough is enough to giving billionaire owners more money so they can give millionaire players more money, all on the backs and wallets of the fans?
The fan has to pay outrageous prices for tickets, parking, a hot dog and a beer. The games take an exhaustingly long time to play, which means the fan is paying even more at the concessions. Enough!
It’s time for the fans to have some say. Stop going to the games and paying for the TV packages. Hurt the owners in their wallets.
— Paul O’Donoghue, West Hempstead
Candidates should stop their robocalls
Calling for increased penalties for telemarketers who continue annoying us with spam and scam messages, even if we are on a no-call list, is just the start ["Hochul signs bills to take on robocallers," News, Nov. 9].
Can we add all the bothersome robocalls from elected officials, political parties and political action committees endorsing favorite primary and general election candidates?
Will Gov. Kathy Hochul and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) do the same when running for reelection in 2022?
— Larry Penner, Great Neck