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According to your recent article, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke is closing all but "essential businesses, getting groceries or receiving medical attention."

Yet he lists "grocery and beverage stores" second on his list, and to make sure no one misses it, "liquor stores" are listed fourth on his list.

Houses of worship are closed, yet selling liquor is open! If Berke were a Republican, he would be roundly condemned by the media.

Overworked hospital personnel, law enforcement and first responders would have much needed relief if there were less liquor consumption during this pandemic. Less domestic violence, crime, auto accidents, etc.

Why no criticism like your paper and the rest of the media heap daily on President Trump, Gov. Lee and others not of their political persuasion?

Jeff Wilson, Collegedale, Tennessee

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'United we shall prevail' through this

For the first time in a century, our nation is truly facing a monumental crisis. It goes without saying that most of us have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime.

So what do we do? We start by keeping abreast of what is said by the people who are actually in the know: doctors, scientists, pulmonary care specialists, etc. Second, it is the responsibility of our political leaders to ensure they (and we) have the necessary tools to confront this epidemic.

One of the best ways that the average citizen can do that is to not listen to or circulate rumors and misinformation. If you hear something that concerns you, take a moment to check the facts for yourself before sharing it.

It's also important to keep in touch. Go for a walk, wave to your neighbor. Keep the bonds of friendship connected. We all need it.

There is no doubt both our country and community will be dramatically affected by this pandemic, but it is equally certain that we will survive and recover. In the meantime, hold each other close, trust in God and country, and united we shall prevail.

Ken Roberts, magistrate judge, Gilmer County, Ellijay, Georgia

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Protect everyone; wear face coverings

There should be no question about the use of face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial studies showed droplets from coughs or sneezes could travel three to four feet, while the latest information suggests greater distances.

If for no other reason, masks, bandannas, or scarves block both velocity and droplets, decreasing the effective spray distance.

By simple physics, any barrier will reduce the potential spread of viral material. The use of barriers of this type, however, does not mean that social distancing and staying home whenever feasible should be relaxed; bandannas and other masks can increase the effectiveness of social distancing.

Paul Jackson

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Is the cure worse than the disease?

What I learned today about the China virus: You can have it or have had it and not even know it.

It can stay suspended in air for 20-30 minutes. It can be passed by talking or obtained by breathing. And, we are supposed to believe that staying in our assigned housing units will prevent it.

We want to help our front-line health care workers, but when you become so afraid of dying that you're afraid of living — is that really life?

Be careful when the cure is worse than the disease.

Mike Wolford

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