Regaining civil liberties

Every day some commentator tells us what we already know, that we are going to make it through this virus. My concern is will we recover our civil liberties from heavy-handed predominantly leftist governors who have used this overreaction to abuse our constitutional liberties. When I see a mother harassed for arranging a play date for her child in Wisconsin, a man in cuffs because he dared walk in a public park or public beaches closed by California’s governor-thug who has an unnatural fondness for illegal aliens, I realize why we have a Second Amendment. The groundwork to tyranny is being laid like it always is, in the name of the people. Ask the shop owners who are being driven out of business what tyranny looks like. Look at the statistics for states that didn’t lock down in contrast to the ones that did and the pandemic modeling of alleged experts that proved to be so wrong. What is taking place is a power grab by leftist authoritarians who, in my opinion, place greater value on the Chinese paradigm than that of our founders and are potentially more virulent than the virus itself.

Gregory Bontrager, Hutchinson

New normal?

I read recently online article: "The new normal? US airlines announce requirements for passengers to wear face masks" (May 1). As a society, we are living in uncertain times, and I have advocated that airline passengers, especially those crossing the Pacific Ocean, should wear face masks. It seems (for decades) so many deadly illnesses seem to come from Asia, specifically China and Japan. Had such measures been implemented years ago, it's possible that many so-called "ordinary seasonal flu strains" wouldn't have spread globally so fast. Now, with the pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus, face coverings may be needed on domestic flights. Even if the virus diminishes during summer, we (as a nation) shouldn't let our guard down. As the pandemic of 1918 proved, such worldwide epidemics can come in “waves.” A mask may indeed be "the new normal." Before anyone balks at the idea, I think everyone would want their doctor or nurse to wear a mask during any surgery or invasive procedure. Until we learn more, what we DO KNOW is that COVID-19 is highly contagious. Thus, I support face masks on planes, as awkward as it is, to save lives.

James Marples, Esbon

Ombudsman available

This is a difficult time for every Kansan. Residents of long-term care facilities, their family members, and staff are especially impacted by COVID-19. Visitor restrictions have prevented many families from personally checking on the health and well-being of their loved ones, creating fear and concern. ​

The Office of the Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is available to help. Our program is a resident-centered and resident-directed advocacy program available to anyone residing in a nursing home, assisted living or other adult care facilities across the state. Ombudsmen advocate for residents to address quality of life and quality of care issues along with resident rights concerns. We can help residents and families with concerns related to COVID-19 and related restrictions and facilitate communication with facilities.

While ombudsmen are also currently restricted from visiting facilities, our office remains accessible by phone and email regarding any concerns or questions you may have. For information, please contact the Region 1 Ombudsman, Keri Duree, at 620-728-0180,; or call us toll-free at 877-662-8362. You can also visit our agency website at

Keri Duree, Hutchinson