Time to prepare


Now that COVID-19 has reared its head in Florida, it may be time to start taking simple precautions. If contracted, the average person will not suffer more than mild respiratory distress but could still transmit it to other, more vulnerable persons, which could be deadly.


Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently, especially in public spaces. Do not share snacks from bowls others are dipping their fingers into. Avoid shaking hands or kissing strangers. If you have a cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.


It is recommended to have on hand a two-week supply of food and water, but this is not a hurricane. There is no reason to expect the electricity, water or cable TV to go out. The supplies are for your self-imposed 14-day quarantine to protect others from infection.


If you are particularly vulnerable it may be a good idea to start having essential medications mailed to you, if your insurance allows it. Floridians are great at preparing for things, so now is the time.


Matthew C. Woodruff, Gainesville


Two bad choices


The Democratic Party is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand there is Bernie Sanders, the pied piper of socialism, taking his adoring electorate over the cliff of free everything and admiring the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.


Joe Biden, recently resurrected from the dead, is at times a little confused. Joe, it was super Tuesday, not super Thursday. Joe, you are running for the presidency not the Senate, as you told a group of donors. He also botched and mumbled a part of the Declaration of Independence.


These are not gaffes, they are lapses of memory one sees in old age. Considering the choices, is Trump really your biggest worry?


Eileen Maren, Gainesville


Repair the damage


I support Sen. Bernie Sanders for president; he is a principled and honorable man who does not suffer fools gladly. We need that kind of a leader to help right the ship of state. He’s on the right side of climate change, human rights and ways to improve the health care of the population.


Government can best manage risks not handled well by individuals alone — this includes Social Security (so retirees won’t be a burden to society). We need a medical care system for all; too many haven’t been able to get adequate care. (Maybe we need a living wage.)


We have lost many environmental protections during the Trump “administration.” We need a no-nonsense guy to rope together competent experts in the fields covered by the Cabinet officers so that we can repair the damage that has occurred in the last four years.


June Littler, Gainesville


Regressive taxes


If you watched Fareed Zakaria’s introduction Sunday on CNN, it should have been shocking to you that if Bernie Sanders wants us to be like Sweden, then he favors highly regressive taxes.


Under the Swedish system, a person with an annual income of $47,000 pays $14,400 in income tax plus $3,300 in Social Security. If a Swede’s annual income is over $47,000 U.S. dollars, her/his marginal income tax rate (including Social Security) would be nearly 60% on each dollar she or he earns beyond $47,000. In addition, the Swedish sales tax is a whopping 25%.


Sweden is no bargain for small businesses either. Corporate tax rates are 22% and they pay 31 cents more per salary dollar for the employer’s share of Social Security. These facts will become widely known, so votes for Sanders on March 17 are votes for Donald Trump.


Sandy Shuster, Gainesville


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