It takes a village, as they say, and I want to send out a big "thank you" to those of you who are sewing and 3D-printing face masks for our community.

I am a nurse-midwife at an Erlanger outpatient clinic. Although we have had plenty of masks and other PPE for staff, we don't have enough to give a mask to every patient who walks in the door.

In the last couple of weeks, a steady stream of hand-sewn masks have been showing up at the office. Sometimes we know who sent them, and sometimes we don't. Many of our patients come in wearing their own masks, but for those who don't, we now have the opportunity to educate them on why it is important to wear a mask in public, and we have a mask to give them to take home to use, wash and reuse.

Best of all, we are able to cut down on the spread of coronavirus by keeping more noses and mouths covered in public.

So thank you, volunteers! Your efforts are making a difference to individuals and to the larger community.

Meg Brasel, Signal Mountain


Be wary about lifting orders

I urge government officials in Chattanooga and North Georgia not to act too soon in lifting their stay-at-home orders to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. doctors dealing with hospitalized COVID-19 patients are finding that the disease affects not only the lungs but also can cause heart inflammation, kidney disease, blood clots, and intestinal and liver problems. Many of these patients could have lifelong problems with these diseases.

If our leaders lift controls over public contact too soon, COVID-19 could have long-lasting and devastating effects on the American people and our economy for years. The Chattanooga area has had relatively few cases so far, but we don't want to see that virus turn around and bite us even worse the next time.

And don't forget: COVID-19 isn't the flu. It is a highly contagious disease for which we have no vaccine and no proven cure.

Just remember, folks — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Allen Chesney


Add Pelosi's name to stimulus checks

The Economic Impact Payments were approved by two co-equal branches of government. If the president gets to have his name on the checks, congressional leaders including the speaker of the House should get equal billing.

Greg Gloss, Cleveland, Tennessee


Let's get back to work and fun, folks

I thought Americans were bold and adventurous. Well, about one-third of us are adventurous, and we want to live life. Because of our faith in God, we are not living in fear.

The rest of the people are letting politicians and bureaucrats control life for them and stealing their liberties more and more each day. With the fear of the virus (no worse than the flu in reality), our federal, state and local officials are taking away our rights to live life at its fullest. With the weapon of fear, they are wrecking our economy and ruining our way of life by telling us what we cannot do. This is America, and we are supposed to be bold people. We are supposed to live free. We are not supposed to live under the government's thumb.

I applaud those who are protesting in other states to regain their freedom to live. We need to wrestle our freedom back from the government. Next election, we need to throw this group of controlling and manipulating politicians out of office. Let's get back to work and fun, America.

David D. Anderson Sr.


Flattening curve or our wallets?

The COVID-19 virus is bad, contagious, and we should use common-sense practices. Because you get it does not mean you will die. In Italy, 99.2% of deaths were people who averaged 80 years old and had serious health problems. How many people here live until 80 with no virus? Do we want to flatten the curve or our wallet? Look at the economy. How many will lose jobs?

Remember swine flu? Around 12,000 Americans died. The flu infects about 15% of the population; most recover. The World Health Organization says this virus has a death rate of 3.4%. The Centers for Disease Control figures 8% of Americans get the flu annually — 26 million, with an average of 36,000 deaths. In the 2017-2018 flu season, there were 45 million cases, 800,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths. Let's say a high number like 30% of our population gets it and the mortality rate is a high rate of 0.60%; that would be 594,000 deaths. That is fewer than deaths from heart disease.

Depending on the restrictions, are you willing to create an economic depression or take your chances?

Lin Crossland


Howard teachers police ravaged yard

Many thanks to Hayden Croxall and friend (whose name I don't recall), who stopped by my house in East Brainerd and offered to remove trash and debris that covered my yard.

They picked up everything they could at this point in my tornado-ravaged yard.

I am grateful to these teachers from Howard High School.

Shelby Watson


Could 'residuals' hurt us in long run?

Like many others, I'm somewhat "homebound." Not as hard to do when you're 85. With time to reflect, I worry about the "unintentional consequences" of our actions (often produced in the "swamp").

Critical parts of our logistical infrastructure may be irreparably affected. Industry, transportation, banking, communication, health care, insurance, etc., may be unable to function as efficiently, if at all. Joblessness will no doubt linger. Despair, homelessness and hunger also may haunt us. The "pros" tell us a "business as usual" strategy would have cost us two million or so deaths. About six-tenths of 1% of our people. How many generals would have accepted these odds when going into battle? Constitutional rights have also diminished, i.e., freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and perhaps others.

I fear that the debt and residual effects may leave too many wishing they were dead.

However, I must applaud our president for his untiring efforts on our behalf.

W.R. Barger, Monteagle, Tennessee


Digital media guru outflanking Dems?

The March edition of The Atlantic has described and exposed the ongoing "2020 Disinformation War," a reality we ignore at our peril.

Enough of the 24/7 guessing game among the "talking heads presuming their predictions about the "horse race." Enough of the reporters and their misguided job description that emphasizes "attack" in their goal to win the daily "gotcha" contest.

The most dangerous Trump asset is digital media director Brad Parscale. He is 6 feet, 8 inches, a massive physical symbol of an equally massive understanding of disinformation and the science of mental manipulation. He is endorsed by a campaign budget of $1 billion.

It's scary to know there are 3,000 data points which form the foundation for figuring out each and every one of us. It's a virtual "one on one" that permits "whispering in the ear" of every voter. The Democrats' most urgent need is to find their own "Brad Parscale." With one exception, the Democrats must stick to the truth and never resort to disinformation. Trump is an easy target. We must hurry. No time to waste.

Blake Moore