Letters to the editor April 23 to 29
In one of the most popular sci-fi films ever, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), the outer space alien Klaatu, after landing in Washington D.C., demonstrates his overwhelming power by causing everything to shut down, temporarily, across the planet. His warning was this: If nations didn’t stop their destructive march to nuclear conflagration and interplanetary pollution, Earth would be destroyed. The film ends with assembled world leaders seemingly ready to negotiate a peace.
Transpose this cinematic scenario to the current moment. Imagine that the leader of the U.S. calculates a political advantage. He rouses his most rabid followers, who see in this threat to humanity a sinister internal plot to undermine the economic supremacy of America. “Liberate us from the fake invaders! Attack!” the President cries, ignoring the pleas of leaders in the U.S. and abroad. The soldiers surrounding the spaceship have already been rendered powerless by the menacing robot Gort. The rebels, carrying their assault weapons and wearing the emblems of fealty to their leader, converge and fire on Klaatu as he attempts to depart.
Klaatu and his people from a distant galaxy have no special feelings for the human race. They are simply an irritant—more, a menace to peaceful beings. However, the actions of this inexplicably foolish leader demand a forceful response. Perhaps one that doesn’t incinerate all life on Earth but would allow other benign species to flourish… one that completes the task not with a fiery blast but a silent, slow, efficiency.
During these challenging times, postal employees are working hard to ensure residents stay connected with their world through the mail. While service like this is nothing new to us, we need help in the communities with social distancing.
For everyone’s safety, our employees are following the social distancing precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials. We are asking people to not approach our carriers to accept delivery. Let the carrier leave the mailbox before collecting the mail. With schools not in session, children should also be encouraged to not approach a postal vehicle or carrier. If a delivery requires a signature, carriers will knock on the door rather than touching the bell. They will maintain a safe distance. Instead of asking for a signature on their mobile device, they’ll ask for the resident’s name. The carrier will leave the mail or package in a safe place for retrieval.
We are proud of the role all our employees play in processing, transporting and delivering mail and packages for the American public. The CDC, World Health Organization and the Surgeon General indicate there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.
With social distancing, we can keep the mail moving while keeping our employees, and the public, safe.
U.S. Postal Service, Westchester District Manager
If you are getting your stimulus check from the federal government and you have your job and job security, if you’ve suffered no adverse economic damage, take this money and donate it to a food bank, animal shelter, equine therapy stable, or any one of thousands of non-profits devastated by the financial consequences of these stay-at-home orders. Their margins have always been paper-thin, and now the estimate is that donations across the board are down 50 percent or more. Many won’t survive.From a biblical, charitable, patriotic and many other lenses, this seems like a neat idea. And if you can’t do that, at least wait until your local businesses open back up and spend there. Splurging at Amazon could almost seem to be gross and the opposite of shared-sacrifice.