Take mask wearing seriously, or else

A recent newspaper letter said masks are ineffective against coronavirus. However, the October/November 2020 issue of Brain and Life says the New England Journal of Medicine (April 15, 2020) cited an experiment which concluded, "of the hundreds of droplets generated when a person speaks a simple phrase, nearly all were blocked if the person's mouth was covered by a damp washcloth."

Brain and Life goes on to say that, ideally, masks for non-health care professionals should have a tight weave; the "outline of individual fibers shouldn't be visible when the material is held up to light." Masks should have "two layers of high-quality 'quilting' cotton" or "a layer of cotton with a flannel inner layer [and] should cover the nose, mouth, and chin with no gaps and stay put when the wearer is talking."

The manager of a local pharmacy told us what scares her is that viruses stay in our bodies forever. She added there's so much we don't know yet about COVID-19 and its long-term effects.

We know five people who contracted it; two didn't survive. Protect yourself and others. Don't wait until it "hits home" to take it seriously.

Betsy Chesney


We must do better for all in America

Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic with no end in sight. Infection rates are rising in our area, Tennessee, much of the U.S., Europe, Russia and beyond. The many vulnerabilities of American society (inadequate health care availability and the means to pay for it, inadequate safety nets for those in vulnerable job markets, poor health for too many in America, public education that doesn't help every student rise equally and the fact poor and minorities are more affected) have been exposed and will stay with us unless we get the will to change.

We must heal our society and work to implement solutions for all people. Let's pay what it takes to educate all students well, modernize our convoluted health care system so all can get the care they need, and streamline our tax system so all people and companies pay their fair share. Surely we in the top half can pay a little more to help those in the bottom half who are not so lucky.

We need to push our society to a healthier lifestyle. Eat better, eat less and move our bodies more. This is the American dream we aspire to and can achieve.

John Hubbard


Support for Hunt to be commended

The response to Will Hunt's "coming out" announcement, as reported by TFP, was "classmates who were standing in ovation." Such a response in the Deep South should be cause for rejoicing.

Four factors behind the student response are: 1) the clear 2015 messaging from Headmaster Burns to faculty/staff about the need for "a task force to study sexual identity and gender expression," 2) the associate head describing (circa 2016) to faculty/staff the head's distress over learning two faculty were out of line with behavioral expectations in the classroom, 3) establishment of the administrative position dean of community and brotherhood, and, 4) manning the counseling center with four outstanding men who have huge hearts for boys.

As a teacher/administrator/coach (1977-1987), (2005-2019), I never thought my job was to counsel students on sexual orientation, but, in my second tour of duty, I did feel that administration said to all employees: "Make sure every boy here is loved and treated with respect, equality, dignity and value."

What I do know is that Will's classmates "were standing in ovation," and that is uncommon. That is adolescent behavior, in 2019, to be celebrated.

Richard Campbell


Faulty America, we still love thee

In our daily lives, self-interest and patriotism do not compete with each other, they co-exist. In this sense, we are exceptional people. If you grew up during the Cold War era, thousands of Americans were fighting communism in Southeast Asia. They were described as arrogant and failed to relate to the cultures of Third World countries. Therefore, they were called ugly Americans.

In recent months, we have seen the new generation of ugly Americans in our own city streets. Their goal is to promote socialism and communism through lawlessness and offensive behavior. State governments have refused to control the disobedience and rioting. Police stood by following the orders of mayors. The greatest virtue of American patriotism and respect for fellow citizens is vanishing.

We all realize we are not a perfect nation. When we do ugly things, we admit our foolishness and try to do something about it. Yet, we share a common bond. America with all thy faults, we love thee still!

Amos Taj



Trump representative of all Republicans

Republican voters should be ashamed of themselves, but they're not. Republican voters should be aghast at the behavior of their party leaders, but they're not. Instead, Republican voters embrace the criminal negligence resulting in the deaths of more than 220,000 fellow Americans — so far! It's not Donald or Mitch or even Marsha. They only represent the people who continue to support them

Pro life? How is that possible with those COVID numbers? Pro family values? How can you claim that when children are separated from their parents and put in cages? Pro Christian? When did Jesus tell his followers to fill their hearts with hate, and when did Jesus ever promote anger, violence and bigotry? These are all Republican Party policies. I don't blame Donald Trump for being who he is. His entire life, he has proudly behaved in a way that proves he is a deplorable human being. Evidenced by his TV appearances, Donald Trump may be a rude representation, but he has not destroyed the Republican Party. He's revealed it. On Nov. 3, D = Democrat, R = Russian.

Jonathan D. Nessle


Early voting customer service praised

I would like to give thanks to those involved with early voting at the Hamilton County Election Commission office.

I am limited in my physical abilities. I walk with a cane and have next to no balance. I recently went to cast my vote, got in line and waited, like everyone else. Out of the blue, a policeman said to me, "Come with me." I will admit that I was a bit startled and worried, but off I went. He told me that they were making every possible accommodation to handicapped individuals. He walked me to the front of the line, where a poll worker escorted me to an open window.

The accommodations were not "special" as I can only imagine some are thinking. I see these as both moral and ethical, and a way to make sure that everyone can cast a vote.

Thank you to all who were at the Hamilton County Election Commission office that day. Your smiles, great attitudes and helpfulness were greatly appreciated by me.

Mark Grantham

Lookout Valley