Now is the time

Editor:

Who remembers first hearing the phrase: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country?

Was it in world history or civics class? Is it from a World War II movie? Hamilton maybe?

I’ll give you a hint: If you are as old as me, you were sitting in front of a typewriter, in typing class, and you had to hit the return at the very end. Mr. Charles Weller, a typing instructor, developed this phrase around 1920 or so and it popped into my head today, years later.

If you are like me, you are home-bound, maybe learning something new or just resting a lot, and spending more time on your computer to keep updated on what’s going on around the globe.

The “now is the time” phrase popped into my head while I was looking up information on candidates running for office and thinking how I must do my part, come to the aid of my country, if you will, by making sure I vote and I get others to do their parts, too.

Since most of us are not politicians, coming to the aid of our country looks a lot like what people are doing to help each other during this pandemic. People are delivering food and masks and supplies, checking on neighbors, waving from afar, putting encouraging words in chalk on sidewalks, bears and hearts in windows and encouraging us to shop local.

Those with children are doing triple duty of parent, teacher and still going to work if they can. Teachers are distance-teaching on television, meetings are being held through internet apps, stores are providing shopping assistants and pick-up service.

I’m struck by how much energy and commitment it takes, and of course, nobody is perfect at every aspect of their lives these days. There isn’t enough time in the day to do so much, but we must press forward.

Those hearts and bears and chalky words on the driveway lend us hope and all the people still working to provide essential services are certainly coming to our aid.

We have some hurdles ahead when it comes to voting, and I encourage all of us to vote by mail. In the meantime, we can surely look at who is running for office and what the incumbents’ records actually are relative to what we are going through right now and what is ahead.

I’m reminded of another call to action that we all know well: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” by JFK. Let’s exercise our right to vote and be informed voters by going to the websites of all candidates running for office to learn what their contribution has been or will be.

Please answer the census and make sure you vote because now — right now — is the time to come to the aid of our country and every single one of us should be doing our part.

Michelle Ethridge

Los Lunas

Save the Postal Service

Editor:

They’ve served America since 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. They’ve served our cities and rural areas through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night. They’ve served through world wars, civil war, and depressions.

Today, the 600,000 employees of the United States Postal Service risk their lives to keep us supplied with goods, legal documents, essential medicines and personal letters.

But a 2006 GOP bill forced the USPS to pre-pay employee retirement benefits until the year 2056, adding about $4.6 billion per year to the post office’s expenses. To meet that threat, along with competition from the Internet and private delivery services, the USPS cut costs and raised fees. They survived.

Today, though, the USPS, battered by a drastic drop in revenue due to the pandemic, along with a direct attack by our current president, may have to close its doors in June.

To limit the economic devastation of COVID-19, Congress has put together a second bi-partisan economic relief bill, including a $10 billion loan to keep the popular Postal Service running — chump change compared to the $500 billion that President Trump gets to hand out as he pleases. But Trump says he will veto any bill that funds the United States Post Office.

Why? Well, GOP legislators have tried for years to force this vital service, along with our public schools, into privately owned, for-profit systems. And today there could be another incentive. The GOP has also tried every thing possible to make it harder for eligible voters to vote. And if there’s no mail, voters might have to risk infection this year by showing up at the polls in person.

Please help save our Postal Service and our elections. Call, mail, email the White House to demand funding for the USPS. And go to the post office and buy stamps, mail letters, and send packages.

If Americans throughout the country take more business to the post office, it can boost the USPS revenue stream enough to give them breathing room through this current debacle.

Laura Sanchez

Los Lunas

Nurse gives advice

Editor:

I am a nurse. Currently, my professional position does not require hands-on care.

I wash my hands, wear a mask and gloves when I am in public areas, the store, the gas station, etc.

I do this out of respect and care for you, your family, your child, your pregnant wife, your elderly grandparents, your chronically-ill neighbor, your friends.

You may feel healthy and like you have not been near anyone with the virus. But, symptoms may not show up for two weeks, or you may not have any symptoms but be carrying the virus. Who knows if the person 6-feet away from you, coughed and spread something to you. You cannot see it.

Personally, my daughter has several auto-immune illnesses and asthma; she is on immunosuppressant medication so she cannot fight off illnesses easily; she is allergic to at least two of the current possible medication treatments for the virus. She is extremely homebound now.

We have not been able to visit family or grandchildren, especially those who live out of state.

As businesses hopefully re-open soon, please continue to wash your hands, wear gloves if you have some, definitely wear a mask, bandana or scarf over your nose and mouth when you are in public or around other people, at least until the virus is cleared from our community.

If the virus flares up because we weren’t careful, everything will get shut down again, more lives will be lost.

Take care, show love and kindness for each other.

Angie Madrid

RN, BSN, C-MS; NMMRC

Rio Communities

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