The USNS Comfort medical ship moves up the Hudson River...

The USNS Comfort medical ship moves up the Hudson River as it arrives on March 30, 2020 in New York. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/BRYAN R. SMITH

As hospital beds are needed more [“‘Floating hospital,’ business limits on way,” News, March 19], now is the perfect time to identify and prepare sites for patients. Logical sites would include empty supermarkets such as former Pathmarks and Waldbaums. Malls and unused school buildings are other options. Countless others, with slight modifications, can service thousands of Long Island patients. We should begin analyzing whether they can accommodate our future needs.

Leigh Block,


As a physician for 40 years, my heart breaks. In my wildest dreams I would never have thought that things would get this bad in America. A shortage of vital medical equipment and the inability to protect our front line medical warriors is unimaginable [“Hospitals search for essentials,” News, March 21]. While I agree that the buck stops with incompetent President Donald Trump, I think the situation is largely a reflection of the overwhelming and complete ineptitude of our leadership at all levels.

Partisan politics is destroying our country from within. Things are made much worse by the sense of entitlement of many fellow Americans. The unnecessary hoarding of supplies, the obsession with the stockpiling of toilet paper, and the general attitude of “as long as I have mine, to hell with you” is a caricature of the “ugly American” and is completely abhorrent.

America needs a reset of sorts, a sea change of culture that begins from the top down. For the immediate future, however, we need to supply our front-line physicians, nurses, technologists, et al., with necessary supplies and equipment so they can do their jobs while protecting their own health and welfare.

Joel Reiter,


Why are physicians prescribing Z-Paks and hydroxychloroquine to patients who don’t need it [“OTC meds, more drying up,” News, March 24]? The reason for shortages is that physicians did not learn to say no to patients who demand medications yet don’t need them. Did they not learn anything from the anthrax scare when prescribing Cipro just because patients wanted it? Did they not learn anything from over-prescribing opioids? Physicians take an oath to do no harm but they continue to harm those who truly need medications but now can’t get them.

Jeff Moskowitz,

North Babylon

Turning cruise ships into hospitals is not a bad idea, but they are expensive to operate and are not registered in the United States [“Looking to up hospital capacity,” News, March 22]. The government should consider turning hotels that are now mostly empty into hospitals. They already have rooms and beds and better bathroom facilities. We would be bailing out the hospitality industry and could help with employment.

Peter Abela,


Spring is the season of growth, but people and the economy are dying. We are all doing the best we can with our health, financial situation and education. How is the government stimulus package helping?

In 2018, the economy was strong. Taxpayers are penalized now because the stimulus awards are based on prior earnings. What about now? I have been given a $16,000 pay cut so others’ jobs can be saved. My husband must decide if he should go to work at a group home with  infected patients or not get paid. Our family of five will make $25,000 less this year. Yet we won’t receive anything from the stimulus package.

Also, my school district is so far in the dark ages of technology that we don’t have the ability to organize an online drive for children, never mind facilitate internet learning. I train online in corporate America, providing tools to help people, and offered to help my school district, but my emails drew no response. We pay some of the highest school taxes in the country, but in a crisis, can we educate our children? I am a frustrated Long Islander.

Andrea Mueller,


Your editorial “Too much at stake in census” [March 30] makes a good point, but let’s suppose that everyone knows about this by now. Newsday also has stated that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State has climbed past 60,000 and the number of deaths spiked by hundreds. The total deaths surpassed 1,200 as of March 31. Suppose you filled out the census two weeks ago and have since lost a family member who lived with you? How will we have an accurate census? I guess the simple answer would be that we won’t. Maybe the U.S. Census Bureau could consider some flexibility this year.

Susan Hennings-Lowe,


During these troubling times dealing with the coronavirus, the public could use a little more positive media. All news media report the number of infected persons and deaths, statewide and nationally. Ramped-up testing will show numbers going up every day, but it seems the number of recovered persons is rarely reported. This would help alleviate some of our constant worry and ease doomsday thoughts. I’m not looking to minimize this pandemic, I’m just trying to ease our human emotions.

Albert Ryf,