Op/Eds

04/01/2020
I am an ER doc. I am lucky. I work in a place where I get the chance to help people when they are worried, sick, or in pain. I get to work with members of an incredible healthcare team and solve mysteries, provide reassurance, and feel connected to my community in ways that many do not. It is a gift and a privilege to do this. Thank you for this gift. I have worked in the Porter Emergency Department for 12 years. The “guy” who hired me, Dr. Fred Kniffin, handed me his ED director job in 2012 as he moved upwards in the ranks of administration. As you might imagine, he is a really hard act to...
03/26/2020
Call it the silver-lining syndrome, or the bright side of human nature, and we see in the depth of uncertainty and hard times to come the human need to help and prevail.  So it is that three funds sprung up through individual efforts last week to raise $100,000 for local food shelves and homeless shelters, and this week another $50,000 challenge grant was launched by the United Way of Addison County (see story on Page 1A) to help its member agencies meet their needs in the health crisis to come.  We also see three area businesses combine forces to produce 1,600 gallons of hand sanitizer by...
03/26/2020
In 1924 a virus outbreak overtook the state of California in unprecedented ways. The virus, known in Latin as aphtae epizooticae is a hardy virus that can spread rapidly. Virus particles can survive for two weeks on wool and for three months on leather, rubber, and hay. It can live on people’s clothing and in their throats as they travel. Cars or trains can carry the disease across town, county, state, or international lines.  Once infected, one may not show symptoms for days. And those who survive the virus can carry it for up to 18 months after they become infected, making the spread of the...
03/26/2020
After 35 years in reporting, I thought I’d been through a lot as a journalist. Martial law in the Philippines. A couple natural disasters — the big ice storm and rampant flooding in Addison County — in 1996. A double-murder/suicide. A visit by the Dalai Lama. Local soldiers deploying (and returning) from wars in the Middle East. A major downtown renovation project: the Middlebury rail bridges project that is still in progress. A train derailment. I’m now adding a new one to the list: COVID-19. The first, and hopefully last, worldwide pandemic I’ll ever have to cover. It is the biggest...
03/26/2020
Ten years ago this week, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. As the United States faces its greatest public health crisis in a century, the Trump Administration is actively supporting an effort by Texas and other states to have the entire ACA struck down in federal court, with nothing to replace it. The ACA, often known as “Obamacare,” provides protection to far more than the 20 million Americans who purchase health insurance for themselves and their families on federal or state exchanges such as Vermont Health Connect. Major provisions...
03/26/2020
Editor’s note: This is the 51st in a series of essays on the history and meaning of the American political tradition. In 1893, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America, the city of Chicago hosted a World’s Fair, appropriately named “The Columbian Exposition.” It was a celebration of the world’s achievements in science and industry, architecture, literature and the fine arts, and of the progress of American civilization.  Among the events marking the opening of the fair were academic lectures, among them a scholarly paper read by a young historian from...
03/26/2020
Spring has officially arrived from an astronomical standpoint. As a person who shares her birthday with the Vernal Equinox, this yearly milestone has historically borne a quality of lightness and hope. Daffodils from the American Cancer Society and brightly wrapped presents have consistently adorned my celebratory table. I can recall numerous afternoons and evenings of festivity throughout my 46 years, accompanied by friends and family to witness my beginning of another trip around our brightest star. Understandably, this particular year has felt distinctly different. My daily walks and...
03/26/2020
An open letter to Joe Biden from a multi-generation Vermonter: Mr. Biden, it appears you will be chosen over our adopted son, Bernie. It also appears you are not as ignorant of history as the current man in the White House. Given these two facts, I hope you can recall how our country was saved during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln gathering a team of rivals around him. Then our world was very likely saved in the WWII by Winston Churchill putting together a team of rivals in his government. Today, Democracy and decency need to be saved in our country, maybe even in the whole world. In the ...
03/26/2020
In the very near future most Americans will receive a check from the government as part of an attempt to stimulate the economy. Windfall income is always welcome and it is easily spent. But, I am writing as a member of the Middlebury Task Force on Homelessness to request that each of us search our heart and ask if we really need this gift, or if there are others who need it more. Having worked with other community members for the last two months on short-term solutions for the problems of homelessness in our community, I can state that all of us have been blindsided by COVID-19. We are now...
03/26/2020
“Trump said Monday that the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States could last until July or August … one day after he said the virus was under control.” — Washington Post, March 16, 2020   Some impressions from the Early Coronavirus Era: COVID-19 has created a serious crisis around the globe — and it’s also exposed a serious lack of leadership in the White House. The messages coming from President Trump and his team have until this week downplayed the risk to public health and have instead focused on the pandemic’s financial impact. Every president worries about the health of the...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100