End mask mandate
Every N.C. adult has now had ample time to obtain the COVID vaccine, and we’re now vaccinating teens 16 and older, a low-risk group. It’s time for the N.C. mask mandate to end.
The science shows that those who are vaccinated are at almost zero risk of getting or transmitting the virus. Vaccine recipients have done their “patriotic duty,” as the president characterizes it. Allowing them to unmask rewards them for complying with recommendations, and it could also incentivize others to get the vaccine.
Many who aren’t vaccinated, however, have chosen that option for a variety of reasons. Why should the rest of us continue to protect them?
The measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID and prevent our hospitals from being overrun worked. It’s time we recognize that and get back to normal.
Dr. Tim Eichenbrenner, Charlotte
The May 9 Forum writer who suggested North Carolina should follow Montana (and now South Carolina) in ceasing the federal unemployment stimulus compensation needs a dose of reality.
First of all, North Carolina’s unemployment benefits are among the lowest in the country and the state pays unemployment for less time than most other states.
Many of the jobs now available are minimum wage. It is not fair to ask someone who may have made more than $10 an hour to go back to $7.25.
If employers would up the ante, perhaps they could fill their positions.
Maybe a better proposal would be for all those who never lost their jobs to COVID and were able to work from home to return all the stimulus monies they received for themselves and their children.
Pat Lindquist, Shelby
I have grown agitated by all the outcries from the right-wing media about high unemployment benefits driving workers from the workforce. The employers have a ready solution to the problem: Pay higher wages.
Gary Johnson, Charlotte
Regarding “25 years in prison. $45 as compensation. NC is failing the wrongfully convicted,” (May 10 Opinion):
I am no bleeding-heart liberal, but I am a retired prison professional with over 20 years experience in some dangerous places.
I have long pondered how many innocent people are incarcerated. If there are a million and a half people incarcerated in the United States and one-tenth of 1% are innocent, that’s 1,500 people languishing in prison for the mistakes of others.
The state of North Carolina should automatically award compensation to someone proven wrongly convicted to remove the time delay and solidify the payment so as to eliminate the randomness of the timing and award amount.
Codify the payment and time frame and try to help these men live out their lives with peace and dignity.
Charles Young, Charlotte
Regarding “An ‘equity lens’: New Mecklenburg budget emphasizes environment, housing, education,” (May 7):
I find it sad that Mecklenburg County leaders seem to think that withholding funds will motivate those within Charlotte-Mecklenburt Schools to do better by students of color.
Tomorrow I am going to get up, drive to school, and teach my students. I’m going to do that for a fraction of the money I could make working downtown for Wells Fargo or Bank of America. No amount of money you can allocate or withhold from CMS can motivate me to do more or otherwise for these amazing young people.
Shame on you for thinking it would.
Ginny Brown, Huntersville
Regarding “NCDOT officials: Opening of I-485 toll lanes now faces delay of up to 2 years,” (May 9):
The N.C. Department of Transportation seems to have a serious problem in its management staff.
NCDOT began a road widening project on U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock that was less than 5 miles long and the initial roadbed had been established. This was a widening project. There were multiple delays. The USA fought and won WWII in less time than it took NCDOT to finish that project.
I do not know what is wrong in the department, but the delays are costing N.C. taxpayers millions of extra dollars.
Bob Burroughs, Charlotte