Letter: Events that haunt us forever

Graphic by Lori Deaton

What’s the tragic event in your life that most haunts you? You’ll remember where you were, probably even feel yourself in that very air and taste the emotion that coursed through your body as you realized what was happening. You probably weren’t able to do anything about it, but if you could have, you would have.

Mine found me in a Shakespeare class at the University of Texas on Aug. 1, 1966. I was seated near the front of the room, away from the large bank of windows overlooking The Tower. Shots rang out. We were hostages under gunfire for the next hour and a half. There was nothing we could do but hide in the tiled halls of the windowless basement and wait. Someone had a radio tuned to the news. Reporters were reading names of the wounded and dead in real time as they were collected off the streets and sidewalks above us. Suddenly, Paul Bolton, the news director, stopped the listing and asked for the last name to be repeated. It was his 18-year-old grandson.

If any of us could have done anything to stop it, we would have.

Today, we’re living a lingering tragedy from a viral pathogen. There are things we can do to save ourselves and those around us.

Instead, on the Fourth of July, a trio of Republican candidates hosted a gathering of about 500 unmasked constituents to shake hands, hug, get up-close-and-personal, supporting Trump’s theory that 99% of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless.”

[As of July 23, the] U.S. death toll stands at more than 140,000.

The hosts of this party — Sen. Chuck Edwards, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Madison Cawthorn — apparently echo their leader’s beliefs about the potency of COVID-19. If they’re this cavalier about the most virulent killer of our time, do you think they really care about things like equity in pay, racial disparities, public education, our environment or health care?

Don’t let this coronavirus haunt us more because we fail to do what we can to stop it. And for goodness sake, elect Democrats Brian Caskey to state Senate District 48, Roy Cooper to governor and Moe Davis to Congress in District 11. They’ll work with us to put safest practices in place so we don’t have to be haunted forever in memory of those we infected.

— Suzi Leonard

Editor’s note: Leonard reports that she has volunteered for Caskey, who is running against Edwards. Xpress contacted Cawthorn, Edwards and Forest with a summary of the letter writer’s points, but received no response for publication.


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8 thoughts on “Letter: Events that haunt us forever

  1. Curious

    Cawthorne is, according to one website, “against government-backed medicine.” It appears he had large medical bills because of his accident. I’m curious as to how these were paid. Is he on Social Security disability? How is his current medical insurance paid? Does anyone have answers? Could anyone summarize for non-legal readers the upshot of Cawthorne’s case against the insurance company: https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20180509902

    • luther blissett

      We don’t even need to look at the small print of his settlement. He wants people with pre-existing conditions to be thrown to the wolves unless they’re protected by the kind of wealth he and his family have at their disposal. The whole “triumph over adversity” schtick is a whole lot easier when you’re rich. In the mean time, most of the counties out west have a median household income under $40,000.

      • NFB

        And yet, many of those counties will vote for him. I don’t get it either, but there you are.

    • henry

      Cawthorn received a $3 million settlement from his friend’s car insurance, when the friend fell asleep while driving. Cawthorn had his feet on the dash.

  2. henry

    Most of the traumas in our lives are one time tragic events that stay in our memories forever. Now in the time of the Covid pandemic, we are living in a long term ongoing trauma that is heightened by the prospect of daily perpetuated distortions by our dysfunctional president, resulting in a worsening situation. The only comfort is believing we will come out of this traumatic era when we elect more caring leaders, Joe Biden, Roy Cooper, Cal Cunningham and Moe Davis.

  3. VoteBlue

    We need to look deep into why these candidates (Edwards, Cawthorne, and Forest) are so complicit in their attack on their constituents. This isn’t about freedom. If that were the case, they would be against wearing pants and shoes into stores and restaurants. It’s about bowing to the chief, hoping to pick up the shrinking few riding on the coattails of a disastrous White House response. If you don’t care about yourself, care about the people who follow you blindly. Wear masks and stop killing people.

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