‘Fire’ in a crowded raceway

Reading the article in Sunday’s Journal about the opening night at the Ace Speedway in Alamance County, and viewing the photos of the event, left me with one simple thought: Over the next few days and weeks, as some number of those who attended — with no social distancing, virtually no masks, and little contact information to allow tracing —develop COVID-19, as they surely will, and some percentage of those seek medical care at area hospitals, they should uniformly be denied that care.

Clearly some judges, county administrators and business owners have enabled the rights of citizens to do very stupid things, and on Saturday close to 4,000 chose to avail themselves of those rights. So be it. But when those actions endanger the lives of other citizens, particularly the health care workers we all rely on for care, we should all assert that those rights come with consequences.

Free speech is the most fundamental right protected in our Constitution. Anyone can stand in an open field and shout “fire.” But no one can shout “fire” in a crowded theater because it endangers the well-being of others. That is exactly the situation we are now facing as our state and nation reopen. We can all make our own decisions, wise, unwise or downright idiotic.

But those decisions should be followed by public actions that protect us all, and most importantly, our health care heroes.

Bruce Davidson

Winston-Salem

Fear versus caution

I’m surprised by the number of articles that have mentioned the “fear” people have of COVID-19 — and not just in the quotations of those who protested stay-at-home orders. Sure, some have been fearful, but I’ll venture to guess that the majority have been reasonably cautious instead.

We wear masks, sanitize surfaces, stay a safe distance away from those we don’t live with, and, when reasonable, stay out of buildings other than our homes. These actions arise out of love, for ourselves and others. As we move into new phases of reopening, I encourage readers to love one another.

After all, it’s what Jesus would have done.

Kat Bodrie

Winston-Salem

It’s time for healing

So he wants to continue to be president of the United States? He likes the power to degrade whoever he wants to. He has people under his thumb.

We know his work, his mind and his mouth. He seems to have no respect for anyone.

People who follow him with guns and a screaming attitude are willing to fight you to get your space. America — land of the free, a country that has good and bad history. We had to fight for independence and keep the riffraff out. Now it seems America is in pain. People are dying. Family members are losing their loved ones, and this person and his gang members are more concerned about keeping the White House.

When will we have a healing president, a president who reaches out and says what can I do for this country and the people who live here?

The sting of what is happening is real. Time to remove the stinger and get medicine for our hurting country.

James Fleming

Clemmons

Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to Letters@wsjournal.com or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to journalnow.com/site/forms/online_services/letter.

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