Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the set of The...

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. Credit: Handout

Reading the letter with the picture of Andy, Barney and Opie about a simpler life in Mayberry from the 1960s’ “Andy Griffith Show,” and how it helped the writer emotionally heal from COVID-19 [“Thanks to Mayberry, life is good again,” Just Sayin’, May 9], I had to laugh.

While I regularly watch the latest TV news and commentary, my wife connects with her happy, uncomplicated childhood years watching Andy and the gang in Mayberry. Feeling more “well-informed,” I’d occasionally make fun of her need to find solace in the simplicity of our youth and couldn’t resist a bit of condescending humor, asking, “How’s life in Mayberry?” Occasionally, I’d watch an episode and inevitably walk away satisfied with one of the simple but profound lessons of life that Andy would invariably pass on to Opie.

Now, suddenly, I’m not so smart. The world is upside down. Amid today’s global pandemic, the value of appreciating the simple things in life like taking a walk or reading a good book can help us stay calm, be less fearful and be more optimistic. Pessimism, negativity and depression are our enemies as much as the virus itself. Maybe we need a bit more Mayberry.

Robert Coleman,

Glen Cove

Catholics suffer the consequences

By no means do I make light of the COVID-19 crisis we New Yorkers are facing, but the inability to allow Catholics to gather for Mass and partake in receiving the Eucharist is unconstitutional.

While my parish is livestreaming Masses, the inability to receive the Eucharist is distressful for Catholics. The Eucharist is not a symbol for Catholics, but the body of Christ in which grace is received. If I can commute to New York City to work and navigate the aisles of BJ’s for groceries, I believe we tough, smart New Yorkers can congregate for Mass. My suggestion is to allow Mass via a drive-in environment where the Eucharist can be safely distributed. As an individual with a compromised immune system who is able to safely navigate work and stores to provide for her family, I should be able to worship and receive Communion (safely) as well.

I never thought in my lifetime, living in the United States, I would be forbidden under law to practice my faith in a communal setting and be barred from receiving the grace of Jesus Christ in the form of the Eucharist. This is unprecedented and unacceptable. Which reopening phase is religious worship categorized within?

Debra M. Eannel,

Seaford Harbor

Yearning for an old, familiar feeling

Why do anti-abortion advocates protest and accept spiraling projected increases in death to return to “business as usual” before stemming the pandemic? During World War II, citizens patriotically accepted rationing, grew victory gardens, etc. A president led us with accurate information and got production going promptly for what we needed to fight the war.

The current president: says something one day and retracts it the next; denies responsibility for anything; constantly lies (“Everyone who wants a test can get one”); feeds inaccurate, possibly deadly advice to the public (injecting disinfectant, pushing unproven medications); doesn’t follow standards he sets for others (face masks, social distancing); says states should bear the burden (imagine states responsible for producing World War II armaments); claims he can do whatever he wants (has he read the Constitution?).

I’d love to visit friends, go to the library, get a haircut, get my hearing aids adjusted, drop off large bags to Big Brothers/Sisters, etc. I yearn for a president who knows how to solve problems; unite, not demean; accept responsibility; get back respect rather than get distrust from other countries. I know what it feels like to be proud of America. I want to feel that way again.

Clare Worthing,


Reopen indoor tennis while we can

Tennis players are rejoicing that New York State has eased restrictions on outdoor play. Unfortunately, these restrictions remain on indoor facilities. United States Tennis Association Medical Advisory Group guidelines detail how safe play and return to indoor tennis can be achieved.

Social distancing indoors can easily be accomplished as the spacing in tennis facilities is vast, with proper sanitizing and staggering court times. Recently, many Long Island indoor clubs have closed and been converted to housing, warehouses or multisport facilities. Taxes on these clubs are high, and their real estate value makes these large indoor spaces tempting targets to sell for maximum value, not as tennis courts. The few remaining indoor clubs on Long Island are mostly owned by families who love tennis and are happy just to break even. The cost to purchase or rent a Long Island property and convert it to an indoor tennis facility is not economically feasible. As these indoor tennis facilities remain closed, their economic viability becomes more tenuous.

Unless our politicians soon embrace the safe reopening of indoor tennis facilities, there may be fewer indoor tennis recreation facilities to return to when this pandemic ends.

Jonathan Klee,

Sands Point

Editor’s note: The writer is the USTA Long Island regional director and an owner of Serve It Smash It Win It in Inwood.