Protect home ownership

According to The Washington Post, April marked the largest one-month increase in mortgage delinquencies ever recorded in the U.S. The number of borrowers who stopped paying their home loans spiked by 1.6 million.

The increase is attributed to the record unemployment in the nation.

While people are arguing over just how badly President Trump screwed things up, or accusing President Barack Obama of some nonsense or other, Americans are in danger of losing their homes. We should all be calling our legislators, Republican or Democrat, and demanding that they provide relief for homeowners. Mortgage payments should be frozen until the virus has passed.

Home ownership is not just the American dream, it is a stabilizing force in American life. It represents the largest financial investment that most Americans are able to make. Most homeowners are decent, law-abiding citizens who have invested in their communities and don’t want to make trouble for other people. Owning a home also promotes holding a job. It promotes other purchases, which helps the economy.

After the Great Recession, millions of Americans lost their homes and that made the recovery more difficult — though the banks sure made out like bandits. They got to sell the houses all over again. We can’t allow that to happen now. We’ve got to protect homeownership.

Phillip Bent


Hazards in gyms

In response to the letter about reopening gyms and churches (“A gross mistake,” May 27):

It isn’t the machines in a gym that will infect everyone — it is the other people in the gym, huffing and puffing and blowing and coughing out the virus they don’t know they are carrying that can poison everyone in the building.

There is no ventilation system that can filter out the virus. There was a choir practice with 60 members attending; with one carrier, singing out the virus with every breath. More than 40 people were infected in that one choir practice.

I, too, would like to get back to my gym, with enhanced cleaning practices in place. But I cannot trust the other people there not to infect me. This is a time to think of not infecting others as much as we want to stay safe ourselves, which is why I wear a mask everywhere I go.

Anything else is selfish and self-serving.

Deborah Price


Missing the flock

I read with interest the story about the Rev. Ron Baity in the May 15 Journal (“Local pastor: ‘Let us go back.’ “). I can understand how he misses seeing his flock packed into pews at Berean Baptist Church. When the stay-in-place order came down and our church, St. Anne’s Episcopal, closed its doors to worship and announced our rector would hold church via Facebook (and later Zoom), I was disappointed. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to watch church on my computer.

I had my doubts, but I went online to see what it was like and by the end of the service, my initial qualms had disappeared. I could see the faces of my church family. We “virtually” passed the peace among each other, shared our prayer requests and enjoyed the beautiful voice of our rector.

Is every service perfect? No, but the hiccups make it authentic and I feel God is with us, even if it’s online “where two or more are gathered.”

I recommend Rev. Baity and other pastors who are asking, “Let us go back,” to give it a try. They may be surprised at the positive response.

Judie Holcomb-Pack


Tired of division

I am so tired of people demonizing the “other” side. Whether it is Democrats lambasting Republicans or Republicans accusing Democrats of “murderous wishes,” all of this is disturbing. We are all in this together. COVID-19 is attacking all of us, and everyone is suffering.

In part, the virus is thriving because we are not unified in fighting it. It would be great if our president could unite us in this battle, but clearly that is not going to happen. That means we the citizens have to unite our efforts.

It is ironic that last weekend we celebrated those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the rest of us yet it seems so difficult for so many of us to make what seems to be a small sacrifice in wearing masks, socially distancing and washing our hands for the good of the entire country. We are either the United States of America or not. Lately, it’s been looking more like not.

I am the daughter of a decorated military veteran, U.S. Navy, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I am glad he isn’t alive to see all of this.

Helen Akinc


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