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Why to wear the mask

Today you and I are in a pandemic like nothing the world has seen in many years. Our brothers and sisters the world over are dying and suffering. We are of the human race. Now is the time we must do what's right, not only here in the U.S., but show all what steps to take to help check the virus in its tracks.

That's why I'm making a plea for everyone to join together to lower the curve. While scientists work to find a cure and better treatment, we must help out and make good decisions.

People of Arkansas and the world, we must wear masks in order to help our fellow men and women. I've heard some say they aren't going to wear a mask because it takes away their constitutional freedom, etc. Let me be clear: It's because of our love for freedom from fear and harm that we do our patriotic duty to help defeat this virus. This is what freedom is all about.

So I will wear a mask in all public places and anywhere people are gathered. Please join me and be a responsible man or woman who shows a mature, considerate, respectful attitude for all. To do anything less is shameful and selfish.

JOHN BRIDGES

Lonoke

Mistakes of the past

I had a great aunt named Verda Robins, who was raised on a farm near Nashville, Ark. She married Howard Perrin, and the two were fixtures in education in Benton for many years. Verda taught, and Howard was the superintendent of schools. Verda attended Ouachita Baptist, and while there contracted a new and dangerous virus that became commonly known as the Spanish Flu. It is estimated that the virus infected a third of the world's population in 1918 and 1919. Estimates of mortality vary widely, ranging from 17 million to 50 million.

Verda left college and returned home to recover, and recover she did. However, while there she transmitted the virus to her grandmother, Nancy Jane Price, who died from it on Oct. 11, 1918.

I guess there is something to the old truism regarding history--that those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.

DAVID T. JONES

Heber Springs

Cover up billboards

Billboards are a blight across Arkansas. Wherever practical the Arkansas Department of Transportation should plant pine trees in front of the billboards to block them out. At a minimum, ArDOT should quit mowing in front of the billboards. This would allow nature to grow up trees hiding these offenses.

People who dislike billboards should avoid patronizing businesses that advertise on them.

ROBERT BURNEY

Conway

We must speak out

We are losing our moral compass. It seems the group losing the last election only wants to fight, bring false accusations and deride our president rather than working with him, solving critical issues facing this country. I don't like the manner in which he answers his critics; it's childish. But by the same token, so are the reactions of his detractors. I believe the previous three administrations combined did not do as much good for this nation as President Trump has done. Economically, foreign trade and militarily wise, we have improved. Minorities have more and better-paying jobs than previously.

Growing up in the late '40s and early '50s, we faced polio, flu, measles, mumps, whooping cough and other diseases without vaccines. We didn't shut down schools, close factories, quarantine people, or wear masks. Diseases were part of nature around us. We were concerned, but not to the point of panicking. If you were sick, you stayed home.

We must get our kids back in the classrooms and into society. Accepting some risk that some will get sick and some will die is not new to our world. We face far greater risk of losing a generation of children who go uneducated by not opening our churches, schools, factories, businesses, and colleges.

I believe groups like BLM, Antifa and radical Islamists are out to destroy our great nation. Our motto should be "all lives matter," not a select group matters. We owe fairness to all people. It's time Christians and Republicans speak out against those who would tear down our country. As a Navy veteran, former federal law enforcement agent and educator, I will never take a knee to my flag; I will always pledge my allegiance to the flag, and above all to God and his son Jesus Christ!

CHARLES L. YARBROUGH

Sherwood

Thanks to columnists

Here is a huge thank you to Mike Masterson for his defense of the Buffalo River, and for calling out the inexplicable, unconscionable actions of the Arkansas Farm Bureau's objections to protecting it.

Also, amen and amen to Bradley Gitz's "Not for kneeling" essay.

And as a certified "word nerd," I do love Brenda Looper and Bernadette Kinlaw. Please, both of you, try to inform people how to properly use "me" instead of "I."

Unlike those who sing the praises of the digital paper, I still hate it, but I am so glad there is a newspaper available in any form that I've almost quit complaining.

GWEN DIEMER

Sparkman

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