Covid Is Not Gone
To the editor:
The Covid-19 pandemic is still very much with us [“Cape Cod Has Entered Its 6th Covid Wave,” May 12, front page]. Now is no time to let down your guard. I wear a mask in indoor public spaces like the grocery store, and I urge you to do the same. Get vaccinated. Get your boosters.
I understand that people are tired of taking precautions. Vaccines are doing a lot to protect us from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. For those who do come down with Covid, symptoms may be mild, but it is still no day on the beach.
Under pressure, public officials have dropped mask mandates. But over 1 million Americans have died. About 700 new cases are reported in Massachusetts every day. The risk of community transmission in Barnstable County was recently raised to “high” from “moderate.”
Convincing ourselves we are “getting back to normal” is having dire consequences. Several recent events on the Cape where large groups gathered resulted in dozens of new cases despite precautions like showing proof of vaccination, masking, and widely spaced tables. Attendees who were exposed may have infected others before testing positive.
It is not easy to get tested on Cape Cod, with only a handful of testing sites, some not open when you need them. Not all pharmacies stock at-home tests. Those that do may be understaffed.
The pandemic is less of a threat now than it was a year or two ago, but it is still a threat. Hospitalization is not as frequent as in earlier “waves.” The data used by public health authorities underestimate the actual number of cases. Long Covid is real and affects many.
Mask mandates may be gone, but Covid is not. Please continue to protect yourself — to protect the entire community.
The writer represents Eastham on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.
Murals Have a Place
To the editor:
Regarding Edina Kopits’s letter about the mural at the Nickerson Service Station in Eastham [May 12, page A2], I respectfully disagree. Expressive and interesting murals have a place everywhere, including our beautiful Cape Cod. Murals are far from characteristic of a “decaying city” but of a lively artistic community.
I recently spent some time in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, Fla. The colorful and creative designs on their many murals added to the vibrancy of the city. There is plenty of room for this type of expression on Cape Cod.
The Decay at Nickerson’s
To the editor:
My husband and I have lived on Oak Road in Eastham for going on 10 years. For most of those years we have driven by the decaying former Nickerson’s Garage, wondering if anyone was going to do the responsible thing and clean up the mess.
Then, one day, we saw a flurry of activity there. What has for years been an eyesore was being turned into a canvas for creative souls from all over. What fun! We chatted with a couple of the artists and came away thinking this was a vast improvement over what we’ve been living with.
Don’t get me wrong — I don’t love every aspect of it. I wish the artists had been inspired to make their efforts more representative of the Cape. While the lighthouses, turtle, and seagulls are Cape Cod themes, the girl on the left side of the mural seems out of place.
My question to the people who have criticized the art project: where have you been all this time? To the letter writer who referred to the murals as a sign of “urban decay,” how would you describe what was there before? Why have I never heard Bruce MacGregor, the owner, or the town taken to task over allowing this property to decay as it has?
I’m not holding my breath waiting for something to happen to rectify the situation. In the meantime, I will continue to pass by, dreaming of inhabiting those fanciful lighthouses, chuckling at the pirate seagulls, and waving to the cutest little narwhal ever.
An Inaccurate Headline
To the editor:
In a world where there is increasingly false information imposed on us, I was stunned to see the headline of Nadine Beauchamp’s obituary in the print edition dated May [page A15].
As someone who was a very close friend of Nadine’s since 1980, I would in no way ever describe her as an “opinionated artist.” If an obituary is meant to pay tribute to one you loved, this headline does not, mainly because it is not accurate — unless you count all artists who have opinions about art to be “opinionated.” Nadine was warm and supportive of artists she liked and expressed her thoughts with passion.
All of us who knew her well are offended that this farewell notice contains this inaccuracy. I hope that the newspaper apologizes and republishes the obituary with a more fitting headline. My suggestion would be simply “Lifelong Artist.”
New York City
For Diplomacy, Not War
To the editor:
Political experts in Europe rightly question President Biden’s “switching the war aim from Ukraine to Russia” (New York Times, May 2). They also take issue with his personal attacks on President Vladimir Putin. No wonder there is a lack of consensus among NATO allies, some of whom see the U.S. “dragging everyone into a different war,” as French defense analyst François Heisbourg put it.
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledges U.S. support “until victory is won,” she ignores broader questions. Will the Ukrainian military be able to expel Russian forces from the Donbas? Why put more Ukrainian lives at risk from protracted conflict? What will be the global impact of wheat shortages and the rising cost of bread?
Even more alarming is Putin’s apparent readiness to deploy nuclear weapons. Bluff or not, such threats are real, according to CIA Director William Burns. Instead of stoking the war with an increasing flow of weapons, the U.S. should encourage Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to find a diplomatic solution — now, when both the Ukrainian and Russian sides can claim “victory.” Accountability for Putin and his military leaders can come in time through a war crimes tribunal.
NATO’s goal should be to reduce the risk of a nuclear war and achieve peace through diplomacy. The U.S. must stop both its transfers of sophisticated arms and its verbal attacks on Russia’s president.
L. Michael Hager
The writer is cofounder and former director general of the International Development Law Organization in Rome.