Town Square, July 29, 2020

The Dorchester Banner welcomes readers’ comments on topics of public interest.

Town Square is an opinion column to which readers can submit their views. As a true community newspaper, we’re always looking for ways to include local thought and pertinent viewpoints. This column is a way to share those thoughts. Civility and fair comment will always prevail.
Many readers commented on the news that Dorchester’s public schools would open online Aug. 31 with virtual learning.

GOOD FOR SOME: This is great for the unemployed parents who sit around the house all day. They can easily keep their kids home with them all day. This hurts the Monday-through-Friday, working-class people. This is not beneficial to the children. If you’re able to keep your kid home, and that’s what you want to do, that’s your choice. There should be the choice of sending them to school as well.

VIRUS SPREADS QUICKLY: I’m not a stay-at-home parent. I’ve worked throughout this entire pandemic and have even cared for patients who have tested positive for the virus. With that being said, anyone could unknowingly bring the virus home from work, the store, etc., pass it to their children, unknowingly of course, send them to school and boom there’s your outbreak.
Schools close again and no one has a plan in place for their children. I understand that this affects everyone differently. I’m just trying to offer a different perspective.

EASY PASS: Nobody wants to learn on a computer. Some people don’t learn well this way. And for the people who never do work or anything in school, this is like an easy pass for them.

QUESTIONS: What about families that have poor, spotty or not enough internet? What about parents who have to work five days a week? What about those who cannot help their kids with homework? Why are we paying taxes and not getting what we pay for?
Eastern Shore residents are alarmed at the possible loss of Maryland State Police Trooper 6 medivac, based in Easton, a result of COVID-19-related budget cuts.
WHY US?: We pay our taxes just like the rest of the state. Why cut the eastern Shore?
KEY PART: One of the primary reasons Shock Trauma is so successful is the positioning of these life-saving units that can have every Marylander to their specialized care in minutes, not hours. Trooper 6 is such a key part of Eastern Shore.
TAG FEES: I believe tag fees were raised years ago to pay for the helicopters? Guess that doesn’t matter and I’m sure the fees won’t be lowered by the state.

CAN’T BE REPLACED: The fee on the tag does go to the help support the MSP Medivac Operations.
It does not cover all of the cost. The expense of operating the birds is an expense beyond what the fee can cover. The expense, though, cannot be valued in dollars.
The expense is measured in lives saved. When you start putting a budgetary line item cap on people’s lives, we have a fundamental problem.
The troopers and pilots who fly those helicopters and provide medical aid are a special breed and part of a comprehensive medical response that also includes the world’s best trauma doctors, the world’s best trauma nurses and the world’s best staff.
I have never been a patient, but I have seen more than my share take a ride. More times than not, they make it home, because of the team
This program is essential to our community. It provides a service that cannot be replaced by a civilian crew and be any where near as effective.

ESSENTIAL: Yet we can spend money in other nonessential places. I’m in southern Dorchester County, and it’s not uncommon to use the medivac at least once or twice a month just in our little fire district for car accidents, etc.

UNITE TO STOP IT: I am a Dorchester County native and my nephew is a corporal in the Maryland State Police serving at the state Capitol. I cannot imagine the thought process that would lead to the conclusion of shutting down this service on the Eastern Shore. Please, everyone on the Shore, fight the good fight to stop this!

Some folks are concerned about the status of their unemployment benefits. Not everyone sympathizes.

YOUR FAULT: If you’ve been getting $800-$1000 a week from unemployment for the last four months, and you don’t have anything saved up and are now panicking because that extra $600 is about to end, that’s completely your fault.
Even if you put $250 of that money away a week for the last 18 weeks, you’d have $4,500 to work with until you went back to work or found a temporary job to make ends meet until your regular job brings you back in.
You also could’ve gotten a part-time job this whole time, and you still would’ve gotten that $600. It wouldn’t have affected the unemployment.
Essential workers have been working five or six days a week throughout this whole pandemic, watching you post pictures of hikes, adventures, cool stuff you bought, all while not seeing an extra dime!
So if you don’t have a penny in your savings, and you’ve been completely relying on that unemployment, welcome back to the real world. Everywhere is hiring. Lace up your boots, and welcome back to work.

NEED TO SURVIVE: It’s not like we asked for it to be $600. When we ask for help, taking unemployment, when we need to survive, we don’t choose how much we get. This is a resource for a reason. You can’t call the government and say, “You know what, instead of $600 I think $300 will do.” So we shouldn’t be made to feel like trash for what is given to us.

Town Square – your public forum – is moderated by Dorchester Banner Editor Dave Ryan. Email your comments to dryan@newszap.com.