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Erring on the side of caution

Reader recognizes opposing arguments in mask mandate but suggests war-effort approach because we’re all on same team

Clearly, Alex Miceli’s commentary in Wednesday’s Morning Read elicited the usual spectrum of reader opinions (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10; “From the Morning Read inbox,” March 11). Such is the mark of very good opinion-section journalism.

My sympathies lie with both sides of the mask mandate. I don’t like wearing them one second more than necessary, yet I’ll wear one wherever I am around groups of others, mostly because of my empathy and respect for the tens of thousands of health-care and essential workers who have put their own lives on the line for the care of ours. That action would include attending any PGA Tour event, where walking, sitting or standing nearby strangers. That a minor temporary and personal discomfort may end up saving a needed hospital bed, or a caregiver, or even a life is a small price to pay until all of us can be vaccinated.

That said, what I do believe is it’s everyone’s individual right to determine his or her mask-wearing when not in large-scale gatherings or close quarters indoors. I get why some don’t like it, yet they have no right to endanger others unnecessarily. It is simply abhorrent to believe that their petty and pathetic feelings have any standing when measured against another human’s desire to remain free of the fear of dying.

When some of Morning Read's readers learn enough that the virus can and most definitively has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, perhaps they will recognize that the callow philosophy of “Americans should manage our own risk” … and “it’s time to move forward and get our lives back” is but another selfish and irresponsible behavior that reminds of our true loss of societal and national greatness. Jay Monahan and Alex Miceli understand that.

We swiftly are nearing the day when we truly can minimize or eliminate COVID’s lethality. Vaccines are now abundant and becoming more available every day. Let's think of it as a war effort and give up this silly notion that the common man is wiser or deserves to ignore the science. Why be so selfish when the finish line is finally in sight?

Steven Lapper
Far Hills, N.J.
(Lapper is a co-owner of Fox Hollow Golf Club in Branchburg, N.J.)

Reader questions Alex Miceli’s logic
It appears as if the PGA Tour's attendance protocol for COVID-19 does not meet the personal objectives of Morning Read’s Alex Miceli (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10). As with most opinion soothsayers, the straddling of the fence ala Jay Monahan is not definitive enough for Miceli.

Uncharted territory may be descriptive of the COVID-19 challenge. If – and it’s a big if – there were a consensus of methodology to handle the pandemic, e.g., masks versus no masks, don't you think that cities, counties, states and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan would implement it?

Will all the young professional golfers getting vaccinated, after greater at-risk individuals receive it, get us to herd immunity faster?

Miceli should ask for the names and addresses of all those in attendance at the tournaments. He could follow up with a questionnaire on whether COVID-19 has spread amongst the guests. This valuable information then could be shared with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and elected officials, plus the PGA Tour. Miceli could stifle the pandemic.

Miceli makes it so easy for us to pick on him!

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.


Commentary on the commentators
I agree wholeheartedly with Morning Read contributor Dan O’Neill about retired athletes taking career positions away from potential career commentators (“Once on parallel tracks, Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam veer,” March 10).

Phil Mickelson would be great for color, but Troy Aikmen doesn’t compare with Joe Buck. But that’s not the world we live in.

On that note, can we please at least retire those who commentate on the Champions Tour? If I have to listen to them one more time say, “That was a great shot, Billy Ray” …

Every round is a carbon copy of the one before it. Typically, even the names are the same; just the venue changes. They are, at best, uninspiring and, at worst, make me long for Johnny Miller to come back, which I never thought I would say.

Nick Faldo, though a World Golf Hall of Fame player and great person, is getting tired and dull. Most of us who follow golf on TV know exactly when he is just making up stuff after a pro makes a bad shot.

Clint Bowyer just came out of his No. 14 NASCAR ride and is commentating on Fox. He is a welcome and needed addition, and his light, irreverent humor is appreciated. Golf could use more of the same. Think Phil Mickelson.

One final note: Stop showing so many 1- and 2-foot putts, and more on shots that aren’t so automatic. Yes, even pros miss 2-footers, but it’s only 1 percent. More cameras and cooler long shots.

Rich Tarvin
Roseville, Calif.

'Ridiculous' decision against Bryson DeChambeau
The story line and subsequent PGA Tour rules announcement on Bryson DeChambeau not being able to use the ninth fairway off the 18th tee this week during the Players Championship is exactly why golf struggles to make it with common people ("Was Bryson DeChambeau crazy to even think about using 9th fairway to play 18th hole at Sawgrass?" March 10).

The goal is to get the ball into the hole in the fewest strokes possible. Here, a guy might use course-management techniques and is judged, tried and convicted even before teeing it up. How ridiculous. 

Aaron Rance
Las Vegas

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