Letters to editor for Sunday, April 18, 2021

Readers write about COVID-19, masks, Gov. Ron DeSantis, immigration and other topics in…

Letters to editor for Sunday, April 18, 2021 1

Masks and freedom

Even during the pandemic, we hear that refusing to wear a mask in public places is a rightful expression of personal freedom. Does personal freedom include the freedom to knowingly or unknowingly spread a terrible virus via the air we breathe?

Individual freedom then trumps the freedom of others to breathe safely.

Hello, America, this is us: We made the NBC Nightly News broadcast (in early February). The Nightly News showed a busy store in North Naples where employees and customers were largely mask-free. Store owner Alfie Oakes had filed a lawsuit to challenge Collier County’s mask requirement. 

Another time NBC evidently found us newsworthy, but not exactly in a good way, crowds of adults 65 and older, armed with blankets and chairs, were waiting in line all night (in late December) for the limited COVID-19 vaccine shots when they first became available. This is us?

Betty Tobin, Fort Myers area

A time to aid hospitals

Florida legislators: Please preserve reimbursements to hospitals that employ the heroes who combat COVID-19. Once again, cases are rising, and the need for compassionate, quality and costly care continues to intensify.

As a system of “safety net hospitals,” Lee Health is particularly hard hit if hospital reimbursements are reduced at a time when, if anything, they should be increased.

Think of it this way: Reducing reimbursements to hospitals that are our front-line defense against COVID is no different from reducing funding to law enforcement at a time when crime is rising. Neither makes any sense to me.

(From a trustee on the Lee Health Foundation board.)

L.E. Scotty Wood III, Estero

’60 Minutes’ on DeSantis

The editorial (by the Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board April 8, 2021) summed it up, actually:

The vaccine rollout was “chaotic, minority communities are still under-represented among the ranks of the vaccinated and there was some ‘cronyism’ in how the vaccines were distributed.”

I rest “60 Minutes” ‘ case. 

Richard Quist, Estero 

A sign from DeSantis?

After deciding to prevent businesses from asking customers for proof of vaccination, will the Florida governor now also prevent businesses from posting  “No shoes, no shirts, no service” signs?

Paul Rosete, Cape Coral

Got vaccine out of town

One would think that living in Naples, one of the more affluent cities in Florida, would be enough to get me priority for getting a COVID shot in Naples. I had to drive to Sarasota to get my shots. I had to drive my wife to Davie to get hers.

We both got our shots at a Publix store  Thank God for Publix and for Gov. DeSantis.  

Jim Burkett, Golden Gate Estates

Immigrants and poverty

Your recent (Associated Press) article regarding the surge of migrants at the border contained a reference to a family who fled their country, Guatemala, because of extreme poverty. Douglas Perez was employed picking corn but could not afford to feed his family: his wife and two small children.

However, somehow he had enough money to pay a smuggler $27,000 to bring his family on a dangerous journey to the U.S. How is that possible? I don’t believe there are many American families at the poverty level that could afford that cash payment. Just wondering.

Ed Skiba, Bonita Springs

Profane signs like tweets

I was delighted with your Monday April 5, front-page article on the proliferation of profane signs being displayed. It was the perfect picture: Trumpers addressing an issue, profane and insulting, and avoiding any facts, science or substantive comment. Very much in the tradition of their leader’s tweets.

George Davis, Bonita Springs

Compromise lost in D.C.

As individuals, we weigh the pros and cons to determine which decision will be the most beneficial. Often, this internal debate will render a compromised decision that reflects valid points on both sides of an issue. This is how rational people make healthy, balanced choices.

This internal debate is never a war between pro and con, but simply an objective search for the healthiest path forward.

Unfortunately, in D.C. our bicameral legislative body views debate as a winner-take-all war in which compromise often is viewed as defeat, and therefore, nothing gets decided. The collateral victims are the American people.

Us-vs.-them team sports belong under sports domes, not our Capitol dome.

J.R. Cant, Naples

Haves and have-nots

One day recently the paper ran a story of a woman who was working two minimum-wage jobs and had to decide between medication for her diabetes or pee pads for her three dogs.


In the same issue was the story of billionaires in Southwest Florida.

Nowhere was the dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots so clear. It broke my heart.

Joan Enright, East Naples

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