A Suffolk County crossing guard works her post near Lindenhurst...

A Suffolk County crossing guard works her post near Lindenhurst High School in November. Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

Ambulette drivers are unrecognized heroes

The ambulette industry transports clients/patients to hospitals, doctors, and chemotherapy and dialysis treatment centers. Staff drivers are frontline workers just like other health care heroes, but we rarely get credit.

We knowingly transport COVID-19 clients, especially for dialysis and chemo treatments. We do it without question because we know clients may die unless they get their treatment. The state doesn’t pay the ambulette industry as much as others in health care — as a matter of fact, drivers have not received a raise from the state in 10 years — yet we are out there and exposed to COVID just as nurses and doctors are.

We get thank-yous from our clients but never from the state, nor do we get any media recognition. It would be great if we did.

— Wayne Miller, Islip Terrace

The writer, president of Choice Medical Transport, has driven ambulettes for 35 years.

Consider disabled cops to be guards

I remember growing up in Levittown and crossing Hempstead Turnpike at Wantagh Avenue every school day for years. Our crossing guard, Blanche Warro, was wonderful and formidable. With her uniform, whistle and pointing finger, she controlled that intersection and protected us kids. I believe she was hit by cars several times but kept coming back.

Crossing guards are important and appreciated. With a shortage of guards, police officers who are out on disability could fill this gap. Many may be physically capable of doing this, although they might be unable to function in their usual capacities.

Other county employees might also be potential fill-ins, though they would need proper training, of course.

— Jim Intravia, Medford

Passing this COVID test was a breeze

In this current climate of anti-everything, it is nice to shine a light on a program and people who are doing things with quiet excellence.

My husband and I were exposed to someone with COVID-19. We are fully vaccinated and boosted but have grandchildren under 5 who are not eligible for vaccine protection.

My first step was to go to the state testing website. We quickly located a community testing site at Stony Brook University. The website was clear and easy to navigate. Testing appointments were readily available. After registration, we received much-appreciated email and text reminders.

The testing location was well marked, accessible and incredibly efficient and well-organized. Best of all, the people at the testing site were professional and respectful. Our results were sent through confidential emails within 30 hours.

Much thanks to the federal government and New York State, but mostly to the hardworking people at Stony Brook. We give them an A+ for testing (and, thanks to the vaccine, our results were negative).

— Elizabeth Schwartz, Mount Sinai

Without masks, every picture tells a story

While purchasing a breakfast sandwich at my local bagel shop, a man placed his order and bantered with the owner. He was not wearing a mask. When he left, a patron asked the owner, "Why did you not question his lack of a mask?" Her reply was that business has been slow. The patron then asked, "Why do you have a sign on your door that says masks are required?" The owner shrugged her shoulders.

Some of my friends share their own stories of unmasked people who snap at them when reminded about mask protocol. There are many.

Our forefathers had in mind a more perfect union. We are not.

— Anne Mateer, East Northport