Letters to the Editor, May 22

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

‘Constitutional rights taken away’?

Lately people drag out “Old Glory” or dress up in it, put on camouflage, grab an automatic weapon, claim their constitutional rights are being taken away and demand their freedom. What constitutional right or freedom has everyone been denied?

We limit speech when it endangers others (yelling fire in a theater). We close and limit beaches (shark threat, high bacteria levels, pets, hours of operation). We limit access to retail stores (bomb threats, active shooters, structural issues, license violations, so on). We close restaurants and bars for food poisoning, infected meats or vegetables, or ill staff members and regulate hours of operation.

What freedom? Everyone is free to go wherever they please, but I could be denied access to a restaurant or store for lack of shirt or shoes, or lack of an available table before (the COVID-19 pandemic). It’s no different now, but for other reasons (pickup only, capacity limit, or mask requirement). Any business could be shut down if it’s a threat to public health, and that has not changed.

People should read the Constitution, especially the Preamble that defines its purpose (to) “promote the general welfare.”

And please stop using “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is from the Declaration of Independence.

Mary Rogan, Naples

Mask is a courtesy to restaurant staff

I have lived in Southwest Florida for almost 20 years and in Naples for the past 10. In that time, I have worked in advertising, marketing, photography, as a pastry chef and as a restaurant manager, district manager. The Floridian response to COVID-19 has been alarming.

We closed our doors to wait for more information about the virus to keep each other healthy and safe. Now that we have reopened, the threat is far from ended in Florida, and we as an industry are struggling to decide how to serve our community. We are pummeled with expectations of service, cleanliness and consideration; but in hypocritical, entitled defiance, our patrons have no interest in complying with those same graces.

Our community desperately needs caution and empathy to guide our actions. We need to wear protection to keep each other safe. My mask doesn’t protect me; it is worn for the benefit of others.

Servers, clerks and business managers are willing to risk their own health and that of their families. Let’s do them the courtesy of keeping them safe in return. Let’s show compassion and kindness to those serving us in spite of health risks. Wear a mask.

Daniel Vogel, East Naples

Relieved about southwest Florida healthcare

My wife and I have been coming to Naples from the Philadelphia area since the mid-90s and bought our first home in the downtown area in 2000. I am diabetic and have coronary heart disease, so one of our primary concerns was the quality of health care.

Philadelphia has outstanding health care facilities, and I had the impression health care in Florida was not necessarily the best. I’m sure there are others in our community who have had the same concerns. I am writing this to assure them that based on my experience, health care in Naples is excellent. I recently had a number of interactions with NCH and they were all very positive.

In January 2018, I had a heart attack and was told I needed bypass surgery. I was very concerned. I didn’t know the doctors or the hospital, and I had in the back of my mind my questions concerning health care in Florida. I even thought of flying home, but my cardiologist in Philly made it clear that was not an option. I went ahead with the bypass and things went very well. I have since learned that NCH does many of these procedures every year.

More recently, I have had two additional interactions: a heart catheterization and surgery to have my gallbladder removed. I experienced good care in both cases.

I take a great deal of comfort knowing that if I have a problem, great care is just around the corner.

Richard Seidel, Naples

More:Letters to the Editor, May 8