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COVID’s horrible toll on Floridians keeps growing even a year later | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Kyla Harris, 10, writes a tribute in November to her grandmother Patsy Gilreath Moore, who died at age 79 of COVID-19, at a symbolic cemetery created to remember and honor lives lost to COVID-19 in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami.
Kyla Harris, 10, writes a tribute in November to her grandmother Patsy Gilreath Moore, who died at age 79 of COVID-19, at a symbolic cemetery created to remember and honor lives lost to COVID-19 in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. [ LYNNE SLADKY | AP ]
Published Mar. 20
Updated Mar. 20

Living in a pandemic hula hoop space

I just got my COVID vaccination. Here’s how | Editorial notebook, March 16

My 92-year-old-father, who lives alone in his own home in Spring Hill, is one of those with little understanding of computers. I cannot tell you how many weekday mornings I sat at the table waiting for 7 a.m. to get on the Publix site to try to schedule his vaccination appointment. I spent weeks, but all I got was waiting, then the 60-second countdown, screen refresh, then another 60-second countdown. My father was becoming more anxious and despondent as we kept failing. Finally late last month, we got him an appointment. My father received his first vaccination at a Publix in New Port Richey. He will receive his second Moderna shot later this month.

My 26-year-old daughter is a Type 1 juvenile diabetic (since age 9 1/2) and has a gastric pacemaker as a result of an uncommon side effect of her diabetes. Given this combination, she was considered vaccine eligible, which pleased us all. As the pandemic progresses, the number of coronavirus cases among my circle of acquaintances, friends and family increases. Relatives of dear friends have died.

This pandemic has taken safety and trust from my father and an 89-year-old-friend. Both have suffered a year lost to loneliness and isolation. My friend’s memory and her walking have declined over the year. My father’s posture is more bent over, and he moves much slower. Fortunately, he is still rather sharp mentally. We’ve had the talk that it’s time for him to move to Pinellas County to be closer to me, his only child.

Although life has not stood still over the last year, I feel like I’ve done little but tread water in the same hula hoop space. Get your vaccination and be safe.

Carla Reiniger, Safety Harbor

‘Red meat’ cartoons

Lisa Benson and Tim Campbell cartoons | March 18

The political cartoons in Thursday’s Times are disturbing in their bumper sticker, throw red meat to the base, depictions of complex subjects. The steamroller labelled “Dems” rolling over the delicate plants of the economy is ridiculous. The Democrats (and a majority of Americans) would like to see the mega rich billionaire class in this country pay fair taxes. They recently “walked the walk” by pushing through $1,400 relief checks to middle class Americans (not a single Republican voted for it). It lifted millions of people out of poverty. If the mega rich we’re paying their fair share, life wouldn’t be so grim for millions of Americans.

The second cartoon of an immigrant child having to choose between shirts saying “Trump’s fault” or “Biden’s fault” is just as bad. Immigration has been a difficult nut to crack for generations. Trump’s handling of the border was not only incompetent but could be considered criminal. Biden has been president for eight weeks and has been (rightly) focused on getting the pandemic under control and getting relief to the American people. The surge in traffic at the border is as a direct result of Biden and his administration being decent and empathic to people fleeing poverty and violence. Both of these cartoons promote a false and misleading narrative.

Jeff Cutting, Brandon

Cartoon not funny

Lisa Benson cartoon | March 18

Once again the Lisa Benson cartoon (a steamroller labeled “taxes” crushing some seedlings representing the economy) is devoid of any relation to actual facts. Her cartoons are almost inevitably wrong on the facts, and generally reflect a purely knee-jerk right wing or Trumpian perspective. As a review of the data would show the modest increase in taxes proposed to raise revenue by the current administration would still be far below historic levels of taxation under both Democratic and Republican administrations since World War II. And most glaringly lacking is a figurative representation of the $1.3 trillion Trump-era tax cut which has put our country in an unprecedented level of debt — by an administration incidentally which pledged to “wipe out” the national debt in eight years. Perhaps Ms. Benson should have depicted the steamroller as trying to first get itself out of a very large hole in the ground, as that would more accurately capture the economic reality of four years of Trump and the Republican’s handout to billionaires who reaped all the benefits of the tax cuts.

Tom Mieczkowski, St. Petersburg

Can’t take care of our own

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody files lawsuit over Biden’s immigration moves | March 14

We Americans are unable or unwilling to feed and house our own. There are thousands of hungry families with children, living on our streets today. If we can not help our own unfortunate, how can we afford to take care of the thousands of immigrants crossing our southern border every day? Who is going to pay for what they need?

Renee Hunter, Oldsmar