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We can’t postpone taking care of our mental health until after the pandemic | Letters

Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.

Our mental health matters

Mental Health Month

Each year, May is designated National Mental Health Awareness Month to bring the topic of mental health to the forefront for all of us.

This May, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, symptoms typically associated with anxiety and situational depression are, unfortunately, top of mind for an increasing number of Americans. Feelings of sadness, fear, grief and isolation are rampant as the pandemic continues to make an unprecedented impact on the physical, emotional and financial health of millions.

Our normal lives may be on hold for the foreseeable future, but taking care of our mental health isn’t something we can pause until further notice. Individuals struggling with depression should contact their clinicians as they normally would to discuss options for continuing treatment. Psychiatry practices are considered essential services and therefore remain open to avoid a lag in treatment. Our practice has incorporated sanitary and safety protocols to ensure the physical health and safety of our patients, as well as to comply with social distancing measures. Still others are offering telehealth options for patients to continue with their treatment from home.

Depression will not wait for the pandemic to pass. Those struggling shouldn’t either

Dr. Kenneth Pages, Tampa

Local governments go too far

Why would Tampa Bay need a stay-at-home order? | Editorial, March 23

A sign at the entrance of the Pinellas County St. Pete Beach Beach Access Park warns visitors that the beach and parking lot are closed, April 28, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

What is a lot scarier than coronavirus is the unprecedented overreach of local authorities to dominate every aspect of your life, from travel to assembly to earning a living to the hours you can go outside to what you are allowed to buy to worship. This virus will pass but the erosion of our most basic rights will not. Too many died protecting them over the past 250 years.

John Spengler, Spring Hill

Now choice matters?

The concept of choice

I find it humorous that many Republicans, from the U.S. attorney general to local politicians, are saying it’s illegal to limit people’s freedom of choice during this crisis. They instead preach personal responsibility.

If only Republicans would remember the part about “personal choice’’ at all other times and not just during this crisis. Republicans are the party of the exact opposite when it comes to abortion and many other social issues. Pro-lifers have been slowly legislating your “personal choice’’ into non-existence.

It’s bizarre to preach personal responsibility when the president himself claims no responsibility for anything that’s happening. And so it goes on down the line. I’ve seen many accounts of people still calling this a hoax. I wouldn’t count on personal responsibility to limit or defeat this pandemic.

I hope that at election time people remember the difference between rhetoric and actions and choose accordingly.

James Riley, Dunedin

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

DeSantis’ show and tell | April 29

President Donald Trump listens as Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., talks about the coronavirus response during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, April 28, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) [EVAN VUCCI | AP]

Memo to President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis: The pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not declare victory until you’ve crossed the finish line.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

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