Letters to the Editor, March 8
Floridians died needlessly
The proper conclusion from examining these two states’ (Florida and New York) death data is that something like an extra 30,000 Floridians might have died needlessly because of this state’s failed leadership. Public health policies really do affect outcomes.
Once it became clear that certain policies could mitigate some of the damage, New York took real action to try to stave off the pandemic. Florida’s incompetent state 'leaders' did nothing but try to prevent competent local officials from taking similar steps. As a result, after May 2020, Florida has suffered about twice as many COVID-19 deaths per capita as New York.
The true picture is more subtle, but it’s clear from closer examination of the above data (available on covidactnow.org). About half of New York’s deaths occurred within the first couple months of the pandemic during a horrific first wave that struck there earlier and harder than in any other state. Most who eventually died in New York during this phase already had contracted COVID-19 before countermeasures like mask mandates went into effect in late April 2020.
A recent article (“Florida and New York share an Interstate, but their COVID cultures are worlds apart,” Feb 28) compares the COVID-19 situations in Florida and New York. Unfortunately, it begins with the dangerously wrong suggestion that public health outcomes in the two states have been unaffected by their starkly different public health policies, arguing that the states have 'remarkably similar but no less tragic death tolls (as of Feb. 21, Florida at 68,955; New York at 66,466, out of total populations of 21.78 million in Florida and 20.21 million in New York).'
Bruce W. Weide, Marco Island and Columbus, Ohio
Governor's behavior inexcusable
It was totally appalling for DeSantis to bully high school students on Wednesday about wearing masks. He's frequently said the state of Florida is about personal freedom. Aren't high school students free to make their own decision about their health? How do their parents feel about the governor bullying their kids?
Does he have any idea what these students have experienced in the pandemic? Does he care? Let's review student life in the last two years, starting from normal education, social and sports events that leave lasting memories. Next was virtual schooling with no activities. Next was hybrid school in many locations with masks worn for hours each day. And now hopefully some normalcy. That's quite a journey. The cost in lost growth and development, and likely trauma/mental health issues created, has I'm sure left a lasting impact for them.
So these students go to a conference with an Ivy League-educated governor and father of three, and this is how they are treated. It's inexcusable.
Bill Abrahamsen, Bonita Springs
Oppose development proposal
Writing today in protest of the proposed development of the area known as Riviera Golf Course. The reasons we are against this development are as follows:
1. The loss of the fully developed oak trees on this property
2. The loss of the flood plain the protects the existing homes in the area
3. The harm to the environment due to water runoff to the existing estuary
4. The increased construction traffic
5. The increased demand on existing services: Fire, police, medical emergencies
6. The possibility of the development being abandoned in case of a financial crisis
7. The loss of wildlife habitat
Understand the desire of the county to expand and add more housing to the county; however, infringing on an existing community of 600-plus homes plus the surrounding communities is not in the best interest of the county. With so many new developments, having trouble getting supplies and workers it is time to stop all future growth.
If this land was to be developed as a green space, no objections. More information at Stakeholder Outreach meetings, March 7 and 28 at 5:30 p.m., New Hope Ministries.
Linda Pulver, Naples
Congressman Donalds a disgrace
I hope everyone saw our disgraceful Congressman Bryan Donalds sitting between Congresswomen Boebert and Greene grinning as they heckled the president. He obviously was happy with their rude and disrespectful behavior. He has no place representing a place like Naples.
Benjamin Glick MD, Naples
Sandwiched between extremists
It was disturbing to see our congressional Representative Byron Donalds sandwiched between extremist right-wing Congesswomen Lauren Boebert and Margorie Taylor Greene, all of them laughing and heckling the president of the United States during the State of the Union speech.
Is Donalds really the kind of person we want representing Southwest Florida in Washington?
Neville Williams, Naples