Time to show the best in all of us

It is time for us as Americans to make patriotism first. We must put selfishness and political differences aside and join together to conquer this virus. This is an "act of God" beyond anyone's control. No one is to blame. Not Trump. Not Pelosi. Not AOC.

We will all suffer together. If we show the will and determination, we will conquer this together. Ben Franklin famously quipped "we must hang together or surely we will all hang separately."

Help your neighbors and your friends. America has always been great. Let's demonstrate the best of America, especially in Chattanooga. We are a wonderful little city. I love this place. Please show your kindest and best side to all.

Let us unite. Be the spirit and heart of our wonderful city.

Jim Howard


Prepare for action dealing with pets

What can you do right now? Educate others that their pets are safe to keep with them during this pandemic.

* Have a plan for your pet. There have been stories in the news over the past weeks about people who do not understand how the coronavirus spreads, thinking they could catch it from their pets. Some have asked for euthanasia of healthy pets due to this misinformation.

You cannot catch the coronavirus from pets. The CDC and the World Organization for Animal Health have issued advisories saying there is no evidence companion animals can spread the coronavirus.

Shelters are seeing an uptick in surrendered pets, due to myths about how it spreads but also due to those who get sick and don't have a plan for their animals if they become too ill to stay home with them. This plan should include contact information of several people who can be called upon to care for your pets.

* Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand for movement and relocation of pets if necessary.

* Pets should have proper identification: a collar with an ID tag and a microchip with current, up-to date contact information.

Mary M. Weber Marr



Support Girls LEAD Act to raise leaders

Throughout the world are girls with the potential to be their nation's next great leader but who face too many obstacles in realizing their potential.

Evidence shows as more women enter positions of leadership, their nations witness gains in economic growth, democracy and sustainable peace. But we can't expect young women to have the confidence and skills to take on leadership roles after being systematically excluded from these opportunities in adolescence.

As a male college student, I know how important education can be. But in too many parts of the world, girls and young women do not have the same opportunities I do.

Currently, 132 million girls ages 6 to 18 are not in schools due to gender inequality, so we must begin supporting girls today.

That's why I'm encouraging Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, to join Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in signing on to the Girls LEAD Act, which aims to improve U.S. foreign assistance for girls around the world to be equipped to take on leadership roles and increase civic and political participation.

I urge Sen. Blackburn in this effort.

Akbar Rahmani

Save the Children Action Network intern