Richard Davis

Our secondary plague

Trump has sabotaged efforts to address the pandemic because he is too obsessed with his re-election. He has also created a new kind of existential anxiety that will only be cured if he is voted out of office.

I am trying to see all of the positive things that have come about as a result of the pandemic. We have more time to do the things we have been putting off for so long, we can read all of those books that have been on our reading list, and we have time to connect with family and friends, even though in-person contact is rarely an option.

But it seems to me that most people have had enough of the pandemic, and they have run out of patience.

After all, most people are not taking the long view, because their lives have been so disrupted and they are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.

It didn't have to be this way, and that is the greater pandemic tragedy that Americans have been subjected to.

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Masks are an effective tool — if used correctly

‘I have seen too many people who either don’t seem to understand how a face mask is supposed to work, or they think half a job is better than none’

Over the past few weeks, I have been tempted to create a squad of the mask police. I have seen too many people who either don't seem to understand how a face mask is supposed to work, or they think half a job is better than none. When I...

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Unsung heroes

The housekeepers, maintenance personnel, and food-service workers are the invisible foundation of our institutional health care systems

All those who are treating COVID-19 patients are risking their lives. Doctors, nurses, respiratory, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, lab techs, social workers, and a host of other professionals are on the front lines of an unprecedented health care battle, and they are making do with dwindling resources. It's...

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Coronavirus: How much of a threat?

We are being bombarded with information, misinformation, warnings, and all kinds of reports about the spreading coronavirus. How do you know what information is factual, and how would you deal with an outbreak of the virus in your community or in your home? Should you be concerned, or is there just too much fearmongering and hype to take this new disease outbreak seriously? The only accurate, factual, and up-to-date information is being provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the...

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Buyer, beware

Anyone who is 65 years or older is most likely receiving notices about changing their Medicare plan by postal mail, email, or a variety of other media. Medicare open-enrollment period is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and anyone enrolled in either traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan can switch coverage. New coverage would begin on Jan. 1, 2020. It is important to understand the history of the Medicare Advantage program. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed into...

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Mission of friendship

In February, 13 people from the United States - most of them from Vermont - moved very far out of their normal comfort zones and spent five days living among people in the village of Kaiguchu, about two hours north of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The Guilford Community Church has cultivated a connection with the village over 15 years - a world that, for the most part, is much like life in the American West of the mid-1800s. There...

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Our hospital — and our money — at risk

When a small community hospital makes a $1.655 million mistake, there needs to be some degree of accountability to the public to let them know what happened and how it happened. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital paid that amount in civil claims because it “knowingly presented false claims for payment to Medicare and Medicaid,” according to a Feb. 27 news story in the Brattleboro Reformer. It appears that the problem resulted from errors in coding and that the money in question was...

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