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I want to suggest, strongly, to the well-coiffed president and governor that it is time to release beauty and barber shops from the present order to close those businesses. They have their personal groomers, so they don’t seem to realize what the “common people” have to go through to obey the “stay in” order.

My husband and I are on the verge of ‘’trimming” each other, which could possibly not make it to our 70th wedding anniversary coming up in July.

Please, let those people out to ply their skills. We promise to obey the 6-foot order and not push and shove to get in. “Decently and in order” is our motto.

Joan Sharp


Trying times

require patience

Waiting in lines is a new way to shop.

One afternoon, I went to a store in Burlington, Ohio, to purchase some hardware. There was on orderly line of about 20 people spaced apart at least 6 feet. One man was unhappy and mentioned that he was impatient. I explained to him that in 1947, in the British zone of Germany, we stood in line for hours in lines that extended around the block and filled the sidewalk with people to try to purchase a portion of the 800 calories allocated for each person per day. Many times the stores ran out of supplies before we reached the door.

We don’t have that problem here. Man, be patient. You are not starving. This thing will pass.

Klaus Staerker

Proctorville, Ohio

Freedom must yield to public safety

Placing much of the nation in hibernation has resulted in stressing our service-driven economy to its limits. This paralysis threatens the existence of small businesses and throws their workers into financial limbo. Protests by workers and small business owners voice concerns over their economic survival. The protesters claim abuse of their civil freedoms.

People often claim freedoms associated with U.S. Constitution, namely the Bill of Rights. Yet, these freedoms extend only as far as not to infringe on freedoms and rights of others. The ability to continue to work and not spread COVID-19 depends on ability to effectively screen the population and take appropriate action with contact tracing. Resuming business as usual without a sustainable plan promises to morph into a response stronger than “stay at home,” namely “shelter in place.”

The question raised in response to “get back to work” becomes: “What is the value of human life?” Actuaries would give one answer, but individually we would sacrifice all our possessions for our own lives. Without life, what good are any possessions? Still, without sufficient means for food, shelter and modicum of health care, we risk life similar to the years of the Great Depression. To avoid this dichotomy of choices, the time has arrived to focus on what truly represents essential services.

We must marshal our limited resources against the insidious COVID-19 and future pandemics. Not winning this pandemic war portends a lifestyle reminiscent of the middle ages with recurrent plagues as a way of life. This fight of our life requires understanding the enemy, speaking the truth, and choosing a dedicated path for the common good. Helen Keller’s words encourage us to work together not at opposite purposes: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Roger Combs


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