Mailbag: The fog of despair lifts with every Orange County sunrise and sunset

Mariner’s Mile at sunset
The setting sun is pictured from Cliff Drive above the Mariner’s Mile stretch of West Coast Highway in Newport Beach.
(Daily Pilot)

Sitting home, along with the rest of the world, anxiously watching the news, stressing out, checking my phone, constantly worrying about running out, of all stupid things, toilet paper.

Having spent my entire morning in unsuccessful pursuit of the stupid stuff, tears of frustration falling down my face, I finally start to laugh. To think, not too long ago my biggest concern was the neighbor’s tree blocking my ocean view.

I look over at my dog, who is blissfully unaware of the chaos outside, as only a dog can be, and instead is just thrilled with this, all these additional walks. At least I think he is.

This gives me pause, and suddenly I have had enough of this panic nonsense and make a conscious decision to make lemons out of lemonade.

I turn off the news and turn instead to YouTube to listen to some oldies, to remind me of how things used to be and how they will never, ever be the same again.

The fog of despair is beginning to lift. I watch the sun rise and set each day now from my deck, feeling so grateful to be momentarily insulated from all the wretchedness outside.

And, on a positive note, I have now completely forgotten to worry about where my next roll of toilet paper is coming from. I feel hope, not despair.

And while everyone else seems to feel REM’s “It’s the End of the World as we know it,” I have chosen instead to embrace hope and the mantra of Bob Marley that “Every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

Suzi Scallon

Laguna Beach

Pop the Newport bubble

I had to drive out on the Peninsula recently, and granted it was a gorgeous day. The water looked beautiful when I glanced between houses, and I really wanted to get out and walk on the beach. But I didn’t, because people are dying all over the country and even though in Newport Beach it doesn’t appear that way, it’s so tragically true.

I was shocked. There were dozens of people riding their bikes on the boardwalk. They were skateboarding. People were standing about 3 feet away from each other, if that. I had no idea how many people were out of their houses and actually on the town, clearly oblivious to what is going on in the rest of the world.

The latest figures regarding how many cases of the virus in Orange County are published every day and Newport has been among the top. It has been proposed that it’s because Newport is wealthier, and the residents can afford the tests.

That may be true, but I think what is truer is that the bubble that we have lived in has been breached, and we now know that things that happen in the world can actually affect us. We have lived a lovely life inside that bubble, but now we have to put our big boy/girl pants on and face reality.

So get off the skateboards, the bikes, stop talking on the street, and if you have to talk, stay at least 6 feet away. Don’t kill anyone by refusing to exit the bubble.

Sandy Asper

Newport Beach

Thank you, substitute teachers

Re “Huntington Beach Union High School District extends campus closures to May,” (March 31): The article did not mention that regular teachers and full-time employees of the HBUHSD would continue to get paid during the high school campus closures that now have been extended through May 1.

Many believe it will be longer. A shoutout to the many dozens of substitute teachers who are not being paid and who have already missed canceled assignments over the past three weeks.

They may not see paychecks for quite some time. These subs cannot obviously find similar teaching work elsewhere. In these uncertain times, these dedicated educators will be needed more than ever when classes resume sometime this year.

Their contributions should be recognized as well.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

Assess federal government response when voting

We are all living through frightening and harrowing times. Fortunately, California was quick to decide to close schools, quarantine and make stay-at-home orders. The most disturbing fact is that didn’t have to happen: Intelligence reports were ignored.

We must remember that we are just a little over 200 days away from Election Day. This is not a letter to endorse a candidate.

Rather I would implore us all to make a choice that objectively looks at what has happened. How our federal government, sworn to protect the citizens, has taken the intelligence briefings, how many staff were available to lead through a pandemic, how medical supplies have been made available and distributed.

Further, how testing has been provided to give an accurate picture of the extent of infection. Why didn’t we accept the World Health Organization test used in Germany?

How we assess the federal response, leadership and instructions from the top for the whole country. These are the questions that I would ask us all to consider in the 2020 presidential election.

Margaret Mooney

Costa Mesa

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