Corona struggle nothing new

I couldn’t help being a little bemused by the recent opinion piece from Jonathan Crimmins (“Life in the time of Coronoa,” The Times Record, March 20.)  The gist of his commentary, apparently, was to give advice to us all with regard to our current Coronavirus pandemic.  While his words were obviously intended to be positive, it was just a bit like me going to my grandparents ( they have all long since passed away) in 2008, if they were still alive, to try and console them about that economic collapse.

I don’t know how old Jonathan is, but I doubt he can be classified as a Baby Boomer or from the Greatest Generation.  Apparently he is not aware that those of us who are still alive from those generations have seen one crisis after another in our lives. Events like the Great Depression, the Polio Crisis, the TB Crisis, World War 2, the Korean War, Vietnam and the draft, the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Thalidomide worldwide crisis, and the assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King were all “stressful” times that our generation had to deal with and live through. Not to mention 911 and now Global Warming.

Mr. Crimmins, this is nothing new for us.  While this current “crisis” is certainly nothing to take lightly, our generation has had to respond and deal with all this, many times in our lives. The saddest thing about what is happening now is how little we and our country and our government have learned.  This is not the first time our country has been ill-prepared.  It is not the first time our government has failed us or reacted too late, or made bad choices and decisions, or has failed to take the necessary steps to prevent future mistakes or get prepared for future crisis.

Mr. Crimmins, your concern and comments are well taken, but remember, there are many of us who “you” can also “learn from” and “listen to” to help you understand how to get through this and other life’s crisis.

Jeff Runyon,
Brunswick

Finding back against COVID-19

Some thoughts on how best to provide effective, meaningful stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

First, ramp up funding to our healthcare system – provide cash grants to purchase equipment and supplies, pay overtime to the heroic front-line personnel who are facing unprecedented risk to care for us, and hire as many more qualified caregivers as our medical centers can find. Potential personnel shortages are as much a worry as supply issues.

Second, reduce the hardship facing everyone who is or will soon be out of work – ramp up spending on paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, food aid, food stamps, and Medicaid to provide a lifeline to the people with the greatest need.

Third, focus any cash stimulus on need, not simply to fuel random consumption. Americans in distress will spend the funds immediately, providing the desired stimulus. People who don’t need extra cash will save or invest it, rather than spend. The current proposal, which limits funds to low-income people doesn’t pass the straight-face test. These are the people who need it the most.

Finally, protect businesses with loans and loan guarantees, not cash grants, and target the loans to the most vulnerable businesses, not the most politically connected. The bigger the business, the stiffer the terms should be, such as limiting stock buy-backs and executive compensation.

Let’s take the time to do this effectively. After all, we’ll be paying for it for many years to come.

Peter Simmons,
Brunswick

Today’s government doesn’t inspire

Who in heaven’s name is in charge of our country? In this crisis, we are so far behind where we need to and should be. And, for God’s Sake, why are Mike Pence and Jared Kushner managing this rapidly spiraling disaster?

We are in a truly unique and dire situation. Our executive branch and Republican Congress are totally unqualified and too afraid to speak truth to power to lead in a crisis of this magnitude. Thank God that we have great heroes on the front line, including new ones such as grocery store and pharmacy workers and so many more.

We need our best and brightest…now! We need Franklin Roosevelt’s honestconsistentinformative, and inspirational “fireside chats.” 

Where is our Winston Churchill with his courage, his infectious character (no pun intended) and highly visible leadership? He led by example: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.” He motivated the public to act courageously and believe in their ability to overcome all odds, “We shall go on to the end…we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength… we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds… we shall never surrender.” 

We need hope! Not lies, promises and narcissism. Our military, our businesses and our skilled workforce must be repurposed to meet critical new priorities. And, along with our first responders, they must have the necessary resources to do their job safely. There is no logical reason that we are not kicking butt and taking no prisoners.

Our president provides totally invaluable division, whining, blame and excuses. Go play golf for a year. Americans are ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work. We need to be challenged and led. Unfortunately, until we fix the situation, Mr. Trump, the buck stops with you — period!

Glenn Michaels,
Brunswick

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