I’m all for everyone getting the COVID-19 vaccine. But as more people become eligible, seniors who can’t get the vaccine will find it more difficult to get appointments ["Cuomo: NY expanding vaccine eligibility to 60+," News, March 10]. My wife, Joan, and I are in our eighties and had been trying every day to schedule a vaccination. Even before people over 60 became eligible, I found it difficult. It seemed almost impossible. We checked CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and other venues every day. Finally, at 5 o’clock one morning, instead of seeing "appointments unavailable," I scheduled my vaccination and got my first shot. But Joan, who’s in a wheelchair, must wait until May, when our pharmacist fortunately said he would come to ur home to give her a shot. I believe that everyone older than 75 and all essential workers should be vaccinated before eligibility is expanded again.
George S. George,
Hate crimes must be addressed more
A recent surge of attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have occurred because many blame them for COVID-19 ["Protesting Asian hate," News, March 15]. In the past year, an estimated 3,800 instances of discrimination against Asians have been reported, and it is likely many more will take place. After the report was released about the eight people killed, it was found that six of them were Asian. Hate crimes against Asians have been rising so fast that 503 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported the first two months of this year. In these incidents, around 70% involved verbal harassment, around 20% were related to avoidance and shunning. The remaining 10% involved physical assaults and, in some cases, death. Racism and discrimination against Asians and other minorities have been going on for a long time, and although many have stood up against it, I believe it will keep spreading around the country unless more people speak up.
Editor’s note: The writer is an eighth-grade student at Portledge School in Locust Valley.
RIDE Act would hinder drunk driving
One of the main objections to interlock devices to prevent drunk driving is the cost ["Slam the brakes on drunk driving," Opinion, March 12]. I just purchased a new 2021 car with all the latest safety devices available. I do not drink but would have gladly purchased such a device if it were standard on all vehicles. I suggest the cost be covered by a surcharge on alcoholic beverages. Congress should Pass the RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone) Act, which would advance driver monitoring technology.
Michael A. Blume,
Heat pump helps address climate change
I urge James Muller to reconsider returning to oil heating for his North Babylon home ["Homeowner cools on heat pump," News, March 15]. In my view, 18 months is not remotely long enough for a green-energy heat pump to pay for itself. Meanwhile, consider the real full cost of oil heating. Oil delivery cost to a single household is one thing, but the cost of fossil fuels to our society and economy is overwhelming. The climate change it causes is already creating challenges, even on parts of Long Island, where communities have begun to retreat from the water. Nationally, we are beset by extreme weather and reeling from disasters. As electricity becomes increasingly a renewable power, electric heat pumps will be a relatively cheap home heating, ventilation and air conditioning method. With all the rebates and promotions, and with a little co-operation from PSEG Long Island, it’s economically desirable for homeowners, too.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization.