Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:

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April 16

Glasgow Daily Times on observing Earth Day:

As the world grapples with the coronavirus, we’ve realized that much of what we take for granted can be altered, if not completely gone, in what seems like no time.

We’ve all taken the health of our planet for granted in some fashion, though this pandemic should be teaching us how connected we are and how much we depend on the same necessities to survive.

April 22 was Earth Day, and it’s a time when we can all think about how important the physical well-being of our planet is, while also considering actions we can take to ensure its health for the future.

Many southcentral Kentucky communities have struggled to keep recycling widely available over the past year due to lack of a market and tariffs. This is a step back in the battle to protect our planet and to keep landfills from running over with trash that can be recycled and reused.

Globally, we still struggle to limit pollution, destruction of rain forests and the overuse of natural resources.

None of us can end pollution or stop global warming alone, but we can all do something through small changes in our lifestyles. We can walk a few blocks to the store instead of driving. We can find ways to still recycle even if curbside service isn’t available in all of our communities. We can support efforts to lower fuel emissions and back plans to advance clean energy initiatives.

You can also subscribe to your local newspaper online and receive the same content as you would by having the print edition mailed to your home. The internet has provided us with means to still consume content and information without relying on something that has to be printed while also still keeping newspapers, magazines and other publishers financially sustainable.

We all have a lot going on during this pandemic, and our future isn’t certain. But regardless of the outcome, we know we’ll need a healthy planet in order to survive.

Don’t forget the 50th edition of Earth Day. Don’t take for granted the place we all call home.

Online: https://www.glasgowdailytimes.com

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April 16

The Courier-Journal on recent protests outside the state Capitol:

Outside the state Capitol, bullhorns blared and protesters shouted insistent, selfish demands.

Inside, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear delivered the latest grim tally on April 15: seven more dead — 122 in all — taken out by the insidious coronavirus.

So when Erika Calihan, ringleader of this band of 100 sign-toting disrupters, says “people are just sick and tired of this,” we’re obliged to remind her of this: Yes, many are sick, more will become sick and more will die if the governor gives even an inch to their clamors to “open Kentucky now.”

To congregate in large numbers, widely disregarding social distancing requirements, in outrage of the stay-at-home order amid an ever-present global pandemic is not only unacceptable, it’s outright dangerous.

Make no mistake: This wasn’t an anti-Beshear protest. It was a pro-coronavirus rally; one with inexplicable political support that threatens lives.

“People are getting restless and nervous,” offered Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Northern Kentucky Republican from Taylor Mill.

“If they don’t feel like there’s a plan and a potential timeline for a return to normalcy, I’m afraid you will see more and more of that and/or people simply disregarding the restrictions.”

Need a plan?

Here’s the plan: Stay home, keep your distance and wait.

Willpower, anger and determination won’t make this virus go away. It is unconcerned with political parties, bank accounts, neighborhoods or jobs. It has no interest in our cabin fever or boredom. The coronavirus has one mission, and that’s to seek, kill and, tragically, steal lives.

Without a vaccine or widespread testing, the greatest weapon we can wield right now is patience, no matter how painstaking it may be. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects Kentucky’s peak to come about April 29.

Rallies like the ones held in Frankfort, as well as Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina, won’t change that timeline. Honk your horns and hurl insults, it won’t matter.

To Calihan and other impatient protesters, we advise this: Let the governor and his medical staff do their job.

It doesn’t make Beshear a “king” or a “tyrant.” This is a time for political leadership, which we believe the rookie governor has shown almost immediately once an understanding of the coronavirus’ dangers emerged.

Bullhorns, whistles, chants and cheers are not part of the solution.

Erika Calihan led the protest that disrupted Beshear’s daily press briefing updating Kentuckians on the number of coronavirus cases and fatalities. Louisville Courier Journal

Yes, undoubtedly, what we’ve experienced in the commonwealth and around the country these past six weeks feels unprecedented.

Households are financially strapped. Businesses are being shuttered. People are out of work, stressed out and fearful. The anxiety is real and can’t be dismissed. And people are losing their lives every day and many more, kept going with ventilators, are fighting to stay alive.

Should there be thoughtful conversations about “reopening” Kentucky? Of course, and we applaud Beshear’s efforts to discuss those steps not only in Frankfort but also with peer governors in Columbus and Indianapolis.

Elected Republican and Democratic leaders should huddle with owners of both small and large companies and municipal officials across Kentucky and help Beshear’s administration devise a “next-steps” plan of attack.

Instead, on April 15, we got moronic chants of, “Facts over fears,” by individuals who had little regard for social distancing.

Here are the facts: Beshear announced 88 new cases, putting our confirmed cases total to 2,291.

The only strategy that will help to save lives and get people back on their feet is a united front.

“We can’t be divided,” Beshear said. “People are dying. We’ve got to make sure we protect those around us. It’s just us against the coronavirus.”

Common sense has to prevail during these strange, surreal and dangerous times.

What unfolded on April 15 outside the Statehouse contradicted that sound judgment.

Online: https://www.courier-journal.com

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April 15

The Daily Independent on acts of solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic:

Many experts speaking about the coronavirus have referred to the 1918 Spanish flu that struck during the time of World War I. The flu killed more than 20 million worldwide.

The coronavirus also is a reminder of World War II in that American citizens contributed to the war effort in a variety of ways, much in the same way neighbors are helping neighbors today.

During World War II, Americans bought bonds, rationed food and other consumer goods, grew their own vegetables and went to work in wartime industries, especially women. Women and children knitted socks and packed boxes for soldiers, rolled bandages and made surgical dressings.

In eastern Kentucky, individuals and organizations are doing what they can to help in any way they can.

Neighbors are checking on one another, offering to delivery groceries.

Pharmacies and grocery stores are offering pickup and delivery, social distancing their customers and taking cautions to protect their employees from infection.

Restaurant workers muddle through to feed people and keep their businesses running.

Those who can sew (and those who can’t very well) are making masks and other items for use by front-line workers.

Food is donated to health care workers and first responders to show appreciation.

Kudos to all who have made a contribution, even if that contribution is simply staying in and staying safe.

It’s unlikely coronavirus will be resolved soon. Not only do we have to pull together until the problem is solved, we must continue to help each other after we have conquered the coronavirus. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this is a turning point for humanity. It’s a time for human beings across the globe to practice empathy for one another and to come together to support one another. We are doing it. Let’s keep that feeling going beyond the pandemic and into the future, for as far as we can imagine.

Online: https://www.dailyindependent.com