As Long Island quickly approaches its most beautiful seasons, one can sense the COVID-19 crisis is resolving much like the flu and common cold [“LI ready for phase 3,” News, June 18]. Despite the sunshine and warm weather, however, we still encounter COVID-19.
It’s very important to wear face masks, a simple measure to avoid spreading viral particles in a mist produced by a cough or sneeze. The major point of any mask is proper use and, although many are wearing masks, I see only a few using them properly. The N95 mask should be snug, no space under the chin or over the nose. The sides should fit tight.
Many people’s nostrils peer over the top, which is almost akin to not wearing a mask at all. It’s equally important to wear them properly. While it’s true the mask is not 100% preventive, it is very capable of blocking viral spread. Even if you are young and healthy, if you catch the virus, you will bring it home to family members who may be more vulnerable. This is a responsibility not only for your welfare but also for the welfare of others.
Dr. Glenn Messina,
I am shocked that President Donald Trump was allowed to hold an indoor rally on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the pandemic in progress. This creates the quintessential super-spreader scenario and could potentially cause thousands more individuals to become infected and carry this beast home to their families and communities. I also believe that neither the Democratic nor Republican convention should be held for the same reason. Wake up! Why put so many people at risk, including the medical personnel who will have to care for these patients?
The South Korean COVID-19 performance, to me, has been nothing short of spectacular. We need to send medical teams there to learn from their medical professionals. The United States and South Korea both reported their first coronavirus cases on Jan. 20. Since then, the United States has seen about 25 times more deaths per capita than South Korea. That country was well prepared, and its people should be proud how the government responded. Despite being a Republican, I see our inept leadership, headed by President Donald Trump, as letting Americans flounder amid foolish and partisan politics. More than 120,000 Americans have paid the ultimate price.
Dr. Joel Reiter,
Wearing a face mask is an act of love.
Centralized districts would save money
Long Island consists of 124 school districts and a multitude of water, sanitation and police districts [“LI schools need help from state,” Editorial, June 17]. Each year, their costs are going up, the highest in the country. Why can’t we create a centralized education department in each Nassau and Suffolk and consolidate districts according to certain parameters? The two centers would be in charge of basic rules in education with certain leeway granted to the newly grouped districts. It is outrageous to support 124 superintendents with an average salary of $245,000 — besides other overall high administrative costs.
Because of high real estate taxes and overall county costs, residents in their early 20s are leaving Nassau and Suffolk. The same age group likely will also not move to Long Island. If this trend continues, Long Island will be left to only some rich people in the Hamptons and on the North Shore and to poor people subsidized by the county and state. Even people 75 and older may be forced to either live with their children or to move to the South. Let’s stop the notorious annual spending increases.
Consider facts from the past two years
Suffolk County police union spent $329,600 helping Timothy Sini get elected district attorney [“Suffolk cops unions’ contributions,” News, April 12, 2018]. Consider this: The district attorney is responsible for ensuring that police are held accountable for wrongful actions.
Police overwhelmingly ratify with an 84% margin a new six-year contract [“Suffolk PBA ratifies contract,” News, May 21, 2019]. I wonder whether Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone negotiated a hard bargain — which would be good for taxpayers — since it was so approved so readily. Suffolk County police union spent $830,000 supporting Bellone’s reelection. I wonder whether these facts might be related [“Bellone spent $3.5M on reelection bid,” News, Dec. 5, 2019].
You would hope our district attorney and county executive would recognize apparent conflicts of interest. If we really want change, we need to start with changing the laws that allow powerful police unions to contribute huge sums of money to help elect (and influence) public officials, the same ones supposed to be policing the police.