I know the economy is suffering, parents have to work, children must go to school and businesses need to continue to operate. However, I believe many people still remain blind to the coronavirus being a killer. If it does not kill a person, many victims remain with debilitating and potentially fatal medical conditions. Why is there a rush to reopen movie theaters or indoor dining without proper ventilation? Why have malls featuring Santa Claus? I am a compromised, older individual who is tired of being shut in, but I’m also afraid of dying. As a society, we need to give pharmaceutical companies time to develop vaccines and develop more methods of controlling and eliminating the virus. Yes, we have to give up some pleasures, customs and gatherings today to ensure tomorrow is free of the fear of dying or being sick. Epidemiologists predict COVID-19 will be unabated until at least spring. If we continue to ignore safety measures, I believe we will be looking at years instead of a few more months. Thousands more will die alone. To me, this is the reality. I believe it’s time to wake up and ask: What is the rush?
Cuomo’s new travel rules create concern
I believe that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new quarantine rules, while well-intentioned, are unworkable . Many tens of thousands will travel by car to restricted states on Thanksgiving. Will roadblocks check that they have been tested for COVID-19 within three days of their return? One would think the overcrowded rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike and I-95 would be a coronavirus breeding ground. For people planning to return via air or train after Thanksgiving, has Cuomo ensured there be sufficient testing facilities in the restricted states open on Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving? These last travelers might have to reschedule their flights and trains just because they could not get tested as per Cuomo’s guidelines.
Police need more crisis training
Kudos to Jayette Lansbury of the Narional Alliance of Mental Health for advocating more crisis intervention training for police departments. I believe this should be required for all police departments. Too many people with mental health concerns are arrested for actions that result from their mental health issues. I also believe that their confinement only exacerbates their anxiety and results in serious outbursts, and solitary confinement makes it worse. Now is the perfect time for this issue to come up. Counties and police departments throughout New York State have been mandated to submit plans to the governor for ensuring that local police meet the specific needs of people they encounter. The Crisis Intervention Team training will go a long way in meeting the mandate. To me, it is well worth the cost. Lives will be saved.
David J. Sills,
LIRR riders deserve answers today
Pat Foye, Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman, and Phil Eng, Long Island Rail Road president, to me, have a serious problem when it comes to keeping promises for new LIRR service [Report: MTA faces ‘dire’ fiscal crisis," News, Oct. 14]. The MTA threatened a 50% reduction in LIRR service if it doesn’t receive a second federal bailout, this one for $12 billion. These proposed service cuts conflict with previous commitments of new service on the Hempstead branch for the New York Islanders’ Belmont Arena at the Elmont LIRR Station (the first new station to open in 50 years) in October 2021, a 40% increase in rush hour service upon completion of the $2.6 billion Main Line Third Track and 24 trains hourly during a.m. and p.m. peak supporting the $11.2 billion East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal, both in December 2022. There are also expected reverse peak service increases on many LIRR branches in December 2022. They are all 12 to 24 months away from promised dates for first day of service. Commuters, taxpayers, transit advocates, Islanders fans and elected officials are all waiting for some answers today, not next year.
Editor’s note: The writer is a transportation advocate and historian who worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office.
Transgender article touches the heart
As a transgender woman still dealing with coming out at work, I found your article about Wynne Nowland to be very reassuring to the transgender community . I loved how the article touched on many issues relating to our concerns regarding coming out professionally. Family and friends are always considered regarding our transitions as well as how we will be received in the work force. I feel as if this was written just for me.