New York

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, May 19

Your Voice

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Enforceability of mask order unclear

When you publish a photo on the front page of the Sunday May 10 paper with a large red-letter sign exclaiming “Wear a Mask.  It’s the Law!” I feel you have some journalistic responsibility to spend a couple sentences discussing the nuance of this statement.
I realize that executive orders have some legal weight, but they are not actually laws.
Are there laws regarding mask-wearing?
Doesn’t the executive order allow us to be outside without a mask as long as we social distance?
I believe that mask-wearing and social responsibility are important during this crisis.
But I feel your picture with no explanation feeds the confusion and maybe even the outrage of those who don’t agree.
Paul Cuddihy
Editor’s Note: The governor’s executive orders do have the force of law. But with the mask order, no precise enforcement procedures have been put in place and no penalties have been assigned for violating the order. The governor left it up to state and local police and local governments to decide how or if to enforce it.

Library is working on reopening plan

I want to thank readers of this paper and readers of all types for their continued support of our Schenectady County Public Library.
The dedicated staff and board work toward reopening every day. Reopening will be coordinated with state and regional library systems, Schenectady County Public Health Department, and the county’s needs for our employees to help with basic services.
It will be safe for patrons and staff, including the complicated business of handling materials. It will be caring for the residents of the county and the staff. Most importantly, reopening will be gradual. Social and recreational uses may be many months away.
Specifically, the library will offer, in the next month, some gradual curbside services and very limited hours at some locations. We look forward to enriching our common life and bringing the joy of literature to the county.
Dr. Bill Levering
The writer is president of the SCPL Board of Trustees.

Human interaction is what’s normal

Reading “Brave New World” and “Fahrenheit 451” in school, alarmed the public of many things that we see imposed upon the population today.
Social distancing, techno teaching and the blatant disregard for people dying are found in these two novels, which were written over 65 years ago.
These characteristics were written in as societal “norms,” but they were comments upon the destruction of a society, not the betterment of one.
When people lose their contact with one another, when schools turn to “video teaching,” when people’s deaths are dealt with limited participation and without proper reflection, society loses its grip on what makes us valuable as a species: human interaction — love, friendships, smiles, hugs, eye contact, support and hugs.
Are we really ready to embrace a mythical “new normal” that exists without these things?
Mark Ralbovsky

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