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Letters to the Editor, April 3

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Wondering about those in charge

As a resident of Marco Island, we love our little corner of paradise. We built our home here, pay our taxes, shop our stores and partake of all things Marco Island. Except, currently using our very own beach. That privilege has been taken away from the vast majority of those who live here and support the Island year round.

I see that the part-time tourists at Hilton or the JW Marriott can use the beach, week-long timeshare owners can use the beach, condo renters and owners can use the beach, but those of us who invested in the MICA Residents’ Beach Pass and live full time on the Island are excluded … what did we do wrong?

Sure, I get the social distancing thing. When I am at the grocery store, city sidewalks or Mackle Park, it is a lot more difficult to distance ourselves than if I was on our wide open beach. I understand the closing of the public access to the beach – especially after the nationally televised debacle of spring break and the consequent blaming of Florida for our nation’s coronavirus woes.   

Residents’ Beach is not public access. It is a member only controlled space that not only requires a valid annual pass, but also a Marco Island resident requirement to purchase said pass. This pass completely regulates and prevents the spring break crowd scenario. 

The medical pundits continue to say, shelter at home – but – they want us to get outside, walk, run, bike and get some exercise on a daily basis. Not only is it good for your physical health, it is necessary for your mental health as well. How many of us use the evening stroll on the beach for exactly that purpose?  How thrilled we are when we find a special shell and the world around us is fine for a few moments of our day.

We can social distance ourselves. You trust us on our streets, stores and pharmacies but you don’t think we can handle ourselves on our own private beach?  The beach which just happens to be the largest open space on the entire Island.

It is time for some logic here. Re-open Residents’ Beach. Control the access as before to those who are in possession of the valid photo ID pass. No pass – no entry. It is pretty simple and it makes total sense.  I am not alone in this thought. We Islanders are happy to follow rules, but rules that don’t apply to all or defy common sense, those make us wonder about those in charge.

Proud residents.

John R. Johnson and Dr. Eva M. Kubinsky, Marco Island

Shame on you

Amid the ever escalating horror of the Covid 19 virus, yesterday our City Council voted to allow hotels on Marco Island to stay open.

In one breath they declare a state of emergency and post a sign at the bridge saying, “Island closed to visitors” and then in the next breath they continue to allow huge hotels like the Marriott and the Hilton to stay open which only encourage visitors to come onto the island, potentially endangering our community to the spread of this virus.

If this isn’t the definition of stupid, I don’t know what is ...

It is totally irresponsible to the public they should be trying to protect. Our population is primarily elderly, those who are at highest risk of this deadly virus.

To the Marco City Council, I say shame on you!

It is your job to protect your citizens not corporations.

Barbara Findlay, Marco Island

Let the Marco Island voters decide

The good news is, medical marijuana is legal, available and helpful to so many patients here on the Island. But, Florida may someday legalize recreational marijuana.

May I suggest that selling recreational marijuana on Island would not be in the best interests of Marco Islanders, though, some may disagree.

By printing, signing and submitting our petition, this puts the question on the August ballot for you, the voters, to decide and not politicians and profiteers.

Remember, you are not voting aye or nay on the question, rather, you are requesting that this question be put on the August ballot.

For a copy of the petition, email: vbingle@naples.net.

Please stay safe during these challenging times.

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

How coronavirus spreads quickly

Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor is quoted in Saturday’s Naples Daily News as saying about a proposed stay-at-home order, “How this is going to protect our people. I don’t understand it.”

Then let me explain. Only one thing matters in the spread and control of an epidemic: the average number of people who catch the disease from someone who is currently infected. This quantifies how contagious a disease is. If the average infective gives the disease to more than one other person, the disease takes off; to less than one, the disease dies out.

Data show that without any action to keep people away from each other, a person infected with COVID- 19 gives it to an average of about 2.4 other people. This is why we see Florida’s number of cases double every few days.

Government action is required to keep people away from each other — not entirely, just enough so the average person encounters maybe one-third as many people each day as they otherwise would. Asking, or requiring if necessary, people to stay home is one way to achieve this.

I’m a bit disappointed if our elected officials still don’t understand this basic fact, because Health Department experts must have been telling them for weeks now.

Bruce Weide, Marco Island