Waiting room politics should be kept neutral | March 3 column
Politics aside, the shouting is toxic
I couldn't agree more with Barbara Fredricksen's column on offensive TV in doctors' offices. And how about the knee-jerk vituperation that instantly rained on her head ?
Medical studies have shown the ill effects of noise on human beings. It is mental assault, distracting and stressful. It raises blood pressure and worsens anxiety. Angry voices especially are an act of bullying and aggression, like window-rattling rap: "I can make you listen to my insulting racket, and you can't do anything about it."
I don't care if it's Fox News, Jerry Springer or a screaming soap opera. It's toxic. Often, the volume alone is sickening, whatever the content.
I would love to see a crusade to acquaint the doctors with this concern. We have no-indoor-smoking laws because of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Why couldn't patients have a right to a waiting room that isn't a hostile environment ?
There are closed-caption options. There is noncontentious programming or music. Exactly who is insisting on the obnoxious background noise? Is it the physicians, trying to inject their politics into the doctor-patient relationship? Like the doctor who notified his patients that those who voted for Obama should take their business elsewhere ?
Is it the staff ? I've found some who would very graciously turn the TV down or off — as well as those who acted like it was an indecent suggestion. I think it says a lot about the doctor if the staff is arrogant and unaccommodating, so, yeah, I don't go back there.
Or, is it the inconsiderate patients who are so addicted to outrage and controversy that they have to be immersed in it everywhere they go, other people be damned?
I think the folks who wrote to express their contempt for anyone's views but their own made Barbara's point. I can't imagine them tolerating being made to listen to what they don't believe and don't want to hear, repeated ad nauseam.
I've never encountered the liberal media morass, but I would dislike it being dinned into my ears in the doctor's office, too.
Nancy Boudreau, Brooksville
Veterans agencies are there to help
The recent veterans fair sponsored by U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent's office and staff brought dozens of health care vendors together with the Department of Veterans Affairs, veteran organizations and some local representatives who help veterans and their dependents with benefit claims.
Those seeking help from representatives should understand that every veteran organization elects or appoints a service officer so the organization will be prepared to assist with claims for pension, compensation and other benefits for veterans or their dependents. Scores of these veteran organizations are available.
The recent DAV request to assume the duties of the County Service Officer fired up conversations throughout Hernando County about long overdue claims for many veterans, especially Vietnam veterans who suffer the effects of Agent Orange.
Clinics and veteran organizations can tell veterans where to go and whom to see if their service officer is unavailable.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville
Gated living hurts our democracy | March 8, letter
Gated living isn't selfish; it's secure
This is a retirement community, not an area of selfish people.
My husband and I retired from Kansas City, Mo., after he put in 30 years in an automotive plant and I spent 25 of my years selling real estate and raising six children. We travel to Kansas City to visit children and grandchildren, and we're gone for extended periods. We contact security and they will be extra vigilant checking doors and windows while we are away.
We don't have to worry about break-ins like so many homes in Spring Hill, according to the arrest and crime reports.
Before you paste the word "selfish" on people in Timber Pines, you should visit and check what Timber Pines does for Hernando County and Spring Hill. If we were selfish, we wouldn't adopt families at Christmas or have walks for cancer drives or volunteer at hospices, hospitals and blood drives, or donate gifts to veterans or do the many other activities for the entire community.
Most of us are grandparents and great-grandparents, and after living here since 1995, I've yet to run into one selfish person. I've had the good fortune of always having wonderful, caring, generous neighbors.
If you ever choose to visit, call me. You might like it here. Thank God we have freedom of choice.
Mary Ann Burton, Spring Hill