Not closing liquor stores under the stay-at-home order seems like a very odd choice from a public health standpoint (“What to know about the order,” March 26). But closing them has an unintended consequence important to the current pandemic. That is that many people who suffer from alcohol addiction would not be able to purchase liquor.

To most people, this may not seem like a big deal, but from working in adult ICUs I will tell you that when a person who suffers from this addiction stops drinking cold turkey, they get very sick. Withdrawing from alcohol is no picnic ­— it often requires ICU-level care. It also requires significant amounts of personnel to keep these people safe while they undergo delirium tremens. In a time when we are facing critical shortages of hospital and ICU resources, this may only add to the situation. Or people may attempt to find alternative solutions to store-bought alcohol, which may also lead to injuries requiring ICU or hospital care.

I don’t know how this consequence balances with the risk to the public health, but decisions in these times are never easy. While this decision may increase the spread of the virus, it will likely also free up hospital resources, which will also save lives as even the most conservative modeling of this pandemic predicts an overwhelming demand for hospital resources.

Ian D. Wolfe, Minneapolis

The writer is an ICU registered nurse.

• • •

Kudos to whoever did the graphic on Thursday’s front page of what’s allowed, what’s open and what’s closed under the stay-at-home order. The grouping of what’s open made sense — hospitals and clinics, post offices and banks, etc. Maybe even the last one: funeral homes, Legislature.

Marc N. Burton, Minneapolis

• • •

What a stark difference exists between Minnesota’s COVID-19 news conferences and the White House briefings to update citizens on the pandemic.

In Minnesota we hear from a lucid, knowledgeable, well-prepared and respectful governor, along with a cadre of experts to back him with the facts. These experts demonstrate the same leadership and straightforward delivery of information.

Leadership seems contagious.

Hats off to the state’s news media, as well — no shouting and talking over each other to get their questions asked. Reporters wait their turn, then listen respectfully for an answer, without rudely interrupting before the speaker has had a chance to answer. If not satisfied with the answer, they appropriately ask follow-up questions.

It makes me proud to be a Minnesotan.

John Martin Ward, Brooklyn Park

• • •

The staggering amount of money the U.S. Senate found for the coronavirus stimulus bill shows that the money has been there for basic needs of Americans all along (“In the end, Senate comes together, passes aid plan,” front page, March 26). Not one senator and not one front-runner in the presidential campaign on either side is worrying about printing money now, and that’s because the government is not a household; it can print money when the need is there.

Joe Biden eviscerated Sen. Elizabeth Warren when he demanded to know how she was going to pay for Medicare for All. But the stimulus bill shows federal spending doesn’t work that way.

We can afford Medicare for All. We can afford to cover every person in this country’s medical care. If we can throw billions to business and the airlines, we can medically cover everyone.

If we can cover all loss of income for millions of workers because of this virus, we can cover the transition costs for private insurance workers as they move into other jobs once private health insurance is abolished. If we can afford to respond with trillions to protect the lives of all Americans rich or poor because of this virus, we can afford to universally cover all Americans, thousands of whom die every year because of not having health coverage.

The not-in-reality politicians running for president and in Congress have been exposed. We are a wealthy country, the wealthiest in the world as Sen. Bernie Sanders says, and we most definitely do have the means to cover all Americans’ health care needs.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis

• • •

For folks 62 and older who have held off collecting Social Security because they will file more than $18,240 in taxable earnings this year, the law needs to change in this crisis. Many small-business owners fall into this category. Let people 62 and older but who have not reached full retirement age collect their Social Security now without a penalty.

Vicki Olson, Faribault, Minn.

• • •

For the past 18 years, I have relied on hydroxychloroquine to help manage my medical issues with lupus, including impacts on my lung and heart functions. Imagine my dismay upon calling my pharmacy for a refill and learning that none is available, due to hoarding and inappropriate prescribing by physicians following our president’s careless endorsement of hydroxychloroquine as a not fully tested and proven treatment for COVID-19.

Bette Braem, Minneapolis

• • •

I was struck by the naiveté of the person who critiqued Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s “Heed the experts, and pray” letter by citing fourth century BCE philosophical arguments usually debated in a freshman philosophy class.

In dealing with real-world issues, for most of us data from experts and actual human experience usually turn out to be the most productive, and a significant amount of data says that faith in fact correlates highly with people who emotionally manage and survive difficult situations.

There’s an old saying: “Pray like it’s all up to God, and work like it’s all up to you ... and, between the two of them, something happens.” Amen.

Leonard Freeman, Long Lake

The writer is a retired Episcopal priest.


Hold your horses, Minneapolis

I’m disappointed in the Minneapolis School District’s decision to move forward with the Comprehensive District Design vote, especially considering the uncertainty of these times. We all agree change and equity are needed, but the district’s approach is ill-informed and lacks details.

I am a single working mother with a kindergartner at Folwell School and am just beginning to learn about Minneapolis Public Schools. I’m shocked by the lack of transparency and resistance to community input. To proceed with a vote, despite our inability to congregate and discuss, sends a message that the board isn’t interested in our needs.

The proposed plan could eliminate most, if not all, K-8 schools. Many parents in the district work multiple jobs and have more than one child. The K-8 model allows parents to coordinate transportation of multiple children in the short time between work shifts.

Also, the focus of the CDD is on neighborhood schools, not choice. Renters make up the majority of Minneapolis households. As a renter, I’m subject to lease renewals and rent increases that may force me to move. With the proposed plan, children living in rentals won’t have the privilege of benefiting from neighborhood schools because we aren’t homeowners.

Even worse, this plan leaves highly mobile and homeless families with no consistent options, as they try to stabilize their lives.

This is hardly equitable.

I ask the board to please slow down and listen to the community. Our schools need change, but that change should reflect the real needs of the community.

Daisy Fontaine, Minneapolis



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