In social distancing, ask first what you are doing to protect yourself | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
A temporary closed sign sections off a Chipotle restaurant for social distancing to protect from the coronavirus  in Los Angeles, July 20, 2020.
A temporary closed sign sections off a Chipotle restaurant for social distancing to protect from the coronavirus in Los Angeles, July 20, 2020. [ RICHARD VOGEL | AP ]
Published July 21, 2020

Appropriate social distancing behavior

Use your manners

My husband and 7-year-old son went out on their bikes yesterday for a relaxing ride. They were on the shared path near North Shore Park, riding along the water. They were moving closer to a man who was walking towards them. He was not wearing a mask. The walker apparently felt my son was getting too close to him and held his arms out straight. As my son passed, this perfect stranger smacked him on the head.

Is this absolutely obnoxious behavior what we have come to now? Everyone has the right to enjoy public paths. When my son asked me why a perfect stranger who could have been his grandfather hit him on the head, I told him that it was not an acceptable way for a responsible and civilized adult to behave.

I walk every day and people run and walk by me frequently. Of course, I just hold my breath for a minute and accept the responsibility of what I am doing rather than place it on others for my health. Before you wag your finger at others about social distancing, ask yourself what you are doing to protect yourself. Wear a mask and use your manners.

Catherine Nelke, St. Petersburg

For shopping to be a pleasure, mask up | July 17

Masks on

A shout-out to Publix for its decision to start mandating the wearing of face masks for shoppers at its stores. Now all we have to do is convince Gov. Ron DeSantis to expand upon that and require the wearing of masks in public across the state.

Michael Miller, Spring Hill

What’s in a name? | Editorial notebook, July 17

An honorable name

I am puzzled. Isn’t the naming of a person, organization, municipality or a football team, after an individual or a specific ethnic group always done as a gesture of honor, not as an attempt to demean or disparage? Obviously, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Atlanta Braves still think so.

Colleen Paglen, Treasure Island

Equality for all

Is it unreasonable?

As a citizen, I am truly concerned with the tone and the different directions that we seem to be going. I do not feel that there is enough of a collective desire exhibited for us to come together as a city and a nation. This divide will only lead to anarchy.

The true issue at hand surrounds the quest for equality. Why is it unreasonable for a people to want and demand equality in education, employment, housing, access to medical treatment and judicial fairness? It will take a committed effort for everyone to understand the present divides before a solution can be gained.

In this election season, is it not fair or unreasonable to question those seeking office as to whether they are committed to a solution for equality? Organizations such as the Urban League of Hillsborough County, an organization committed to economic equity for the African American and minority community, can be your barometer for politicians’ dedication for equality within our county.

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Stanley Gray, Tampa

The changing Democratic party

The new left

As a no party affiliated registered voter, I don’t for the life of me understand why the everyday Democrat doesn’t see what has happened to their party and leave it immediately. The party has changed to the point where it is unrecognizable. Their goal is to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialism, which leads to communism. Do you really want total government control of you? Do you want to pay outrageous taxes? Do you like the thought of standing in line for food? Do you like the thought of the confiscation of your savings and 401(k)s? How about the thought of calling 911 only to hear this number is no longer a working number?

Larry Biddle, Brooksville

Foreign tourists

Will tourism still exist?

I wonder how many international seasonal visitors will return this year? Foreign countries are denying entry to Americans. In turn, foreigners are leery of entering the United States. With COVID-19 out of control in the United States, I suspect it could be another kick to the tourism sector. And Gov. Ron DeSantis is not helping one bit.

John Craven, Kingston, Ontario

The Republican party

The very elders they now must safeguard

For too many years, the Republican Party has enjoyed unwavering support from America’s seniors. Many older Americans have selfishly bought into their anti-science narratives on climate change and healthcare reform, the negative consequences of which disproportionately impact the young and future generations. We now find ourselves presented with a global pandemic that disproportionately targets the elderly. Is it any wonder that many young people are reacting to this pandemic with apathy and selfish disregard? An argument could surely be made that they learned this behavior from the very elders they are now being asked to safeguard.

Scott Simone, St. Petersburg

The Republican Party now belongs to Roger Stone | Column, July 16

The pardon process

The overarching guiding principle of good governance is that unrestricted power leads to abuse regardless of who is in office. There needs to be a governmental check on the president’s power to issue pardons.

Pardons should not be an extra-judicial process. Justice has to be continuous, cohesive, systematic, and as objective as humanly possible to bolster our American ideal of justice and fairness. Pardons without review and consent are contrary to nearly all of those qualities.

Eric Harmon, Tampa