I have never seen so many people wave, smile and shout hello at me during a bike ride

Can we learn from the fight against COVID-19 how to work together against climate change?

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“I was amazed by how many others were also taking solace in the simplicity of nature and how much they all seemed to want some human connection, albeit at a distance,” writes a Chicago Sun-Times reader.

Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images

Despite our current dire circumstances, I felt a strange flash of hope today.

After hours of creating e-learning lessons for my homebound students, I hurried outside to enjoy the warm, sunny day on my bike. I was amazed by how many others were also taking solace in the simplicity of nature and how much they all seemed to want some human connection, albeit at a distance.

I have never had so many people wave, shout hello, and simply smile at me during a ride. It seems like we are all craving this simple connection with our fellows more than ever even as we stay at home in isolation to try to slow down the coronavirus.

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I started to wonder. If we can pull together to make it through this crisis, can we also pull together to tackle the next looming threat of climate change? Can we remember how many have suffered and sacrificed this time and take action to avoid the similarly dire consequences of ignoring that danger to our world? That precious and fragile world that we must join together to protect?

I so hope that we can.

Karen Campbell, Bolingbrook

Be permanently prepared

Thanks for the great column by S. E. Cupp in Thursday’s Sun-Times: “America’s lack of pandemic preparedness is unforgivable.”

After almost every disaster strikes, the cry is “Who could have seen it coming?” Sadly the answer is: Almost any expert you might happen to ask. I hope we finally learn after the current crisis that government has a real responsibility to be just as prepared for a natural disaster as for a war. Some significant part of our bloated defense spending should be permanently diverted to disaster preparation for floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics and climate change.

Nature, it seems, is our enemy too. It is time to take these non-military threats to our national security much more seriously.

The other thing I hope we finally learn is that we must never, ever again have the electoral college pick a dimwitted, corrupt sociopath to lead us.

Robert Anderson, Los Angeles

Never forget Trump’s failure

Well, Donald Trump may have actually listened to something other than his own gut and fevered internal voice. After downplaying the coronavirus threat from the beginning, he suddenly is preparing the country for the possibility of 200,000 deaths, or more.

I have doubts as to whether he really believes that death toll is possible. But if we succeed in keeping the death total below 200,000, he will have a bragging point.

If that happens, Trump might just succeed in wiping away memories of delays, misinformation and mismanagement. He eliminated the White House office that was created to plan for just such a crisis as this, and he consistently downplayed the gravity of the situation. And he takes no responsibility.

The furor around impeachment is no excuse for his failure to act. Even President Richard Nixon managed to carry out his duties while being investigated for Watergate. Trump has been incompetent at the job since day one. Any success he has from this point on will be in spite of himself.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

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