Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor
The first responders
EDITOR: First responders are not just the folks in uniforms. First responders are the cashiers and shelf stockers in the supermarkets. First responders are the cooks who provide meals for needy kids and the homeless. First responders sanitize our public spaces and bathrooms, deliver our online purchases, serve our meals, care for us in hospitals. First responders are our friends and neighbors who put their own health on the line to keep us all safe and alive.
Cursive is important
EDITOR: I wonder why high-pressure tactics were used in an article to persuade people to drop cursive in schools (“Kids can’t write cursive — no big deal,” March 8). Big guns were brought out. The pro-cursive movement is a “right-wing conspiracy,” with an appropriate quote from the paranoid fringe. Teaching cursive was described as an indoctrination tool for unruly children to mold them into “a fine platoon of soldiers.” Compared to my instruction in cursive, it was ludicrous.
The coronavirus pandemic teaches us not to place our eggs in one Chinese manufacturing basket, which suddenly becomes inaccessible. We assume there will never be widespread system failures requiring nonkeyboard communications. Printing is slow and awkward. More importantly, we would lose handwritten works of statesmen, theologians and long-ago writers if people can’t read cursive, which is already happening. Sure, the “official” version would be on computer, but how could we verify it is real?
In the TV series “Man in the High Castle,” a filmmaker from the Reich is making a film claiming America was always under the Reich. Her boyfriend says no one will believe it. “This will be the only version available,” she replies. “In three generations no one will remember anything else.”
EDITOR: Two stories in the news caught my attention: people buying hand sanitizer at dollar stores and reselling at up to $70 a bottle, and the attempted sale of fake virus testing kits. It doesn’t take long for people to figure out how to profit from a disaster.
In a society whose founding principle is selfishness (see Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”), the most greedy are the most successful. This problem is often framed as a class struggle between the haves and the have-nots, but I think it goes beyond that. In a world in which the shallowness of existence is mitigated by unending material acquisition, the well-to-do have the most to lose.
We need a major reframing of priorities in which the sole purpose of life isn’t to make money. This isn’t a new idea but one that predates our “advanced” civilization. Perhaps the destruction we have wrought on our planet will eventually force this change when people become as terrified of climate change as they are of coronavirus.
The main objective
EDITOR: I’m a big-time fan and admirer of Bernie Sanders and have been for 30-plus years. I believe in the political and social values he espouses, and I’ve actively engaged in promoting those progressive ideals. But I say to Sanders supporters who promote not voting if Sanders doesn’t win the Democratic nomination or not voting for Joe Biden if he does, it is foolish, selfish and, even worse, dangerous.