Following the perusal of John Balentine’s opinion piece (“Post-pandemic depression rears its ugly head,” July 16), I became rather depressed.

Why? How many mores times must he rail about the same topics, always providing us with lies and Republican Party-based propaganda, especially when he is presented with real alternatives, i.e., numerous, fact-based and articulate responses issued by readers of The Forecaster?

Mr. Balentine admits: “I’m no psychologist.” Indeed, neither is he a scientist, health care professional, historian or thoughtful individual. If he attained the knowledge these aforementioned individuals possess, his view that “Many have realized they no longer trust … any of our other critical institutions in general,” would be shown to be completely false. Why?

Despite Mr. Balentine’s misguided concept of civic duty (see my letter: “Balentine, GOP obsessed with individual freedom,” July 9), scientists, local/state/national governments, churches, police departments and the media (not Fox News) all undertook important roles in safeguarding the public against COVID-19. One might ask how many lives were saved from COVID-19 by these named groups and institutions who honored the true meaning of collective (not individual) freedom by implementing lockdowns and mandating social distancing protocols to protect all citizens. Answer: thousands of lives saved! If we followed Mr. Balentine’s beliefs, it would be better to die than wear a mask!

Speaking of masks and vaccinations, Tucker Carlson and his cohorts on Fox News have offered “alternative facts” (e.g., vaccines are dangerous, contain magnetic beads/microchips, etc.). However, they fail to mention that 99% of all new COVID-19 infections are associated with individuals who have not been vaccinated. Go figure!

Want a “cure” for post-pandemic depression? First and foremost, trust experts who are dedicated to ensuring your well-being. Second, and equally germane, educate yourself and trust your own common sense.

John M. Mishler