WestportNow welcomes letters from readers on matters pertaining to Westport and Westporters. Those of 300 words or less are given preference. Letters are edited for grammar, clarity, and accuracy. Publication shall be at the sole discretion of WestportNow. Third-party or anonymous letters, those signed with a pseudonym, or letters appearing in other publications are not published. WestportNow does not publish letters endorsing or opposing any political candidates.
A postal address, e-mail address if available, and day and evening telephone numbers are required for verification purposes, although this information is not published. Letters may be submitted by e-mail to [email protected], via fax at (203) 286-2099, or by mail to 150 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880.
In Connecticut alone, approximately 250,000 of adults have diagnosed diabetes, types 1 and 2. An additional 83,000 adults are estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes. For these people, Insulin is a necessity, just as food and water is for the rest of us. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have increased up the prices of Insulin significantly, nearring a rate of unaffordability for some.
At the upcoming special session of the Connecticut General Assembly, a bill will be voted on, capping the price of insulin in Connecticut. Insulin is not something that should carry a financial burden for those in need. Continuing to allow pharmaceutical companies to raise the price of Insulin deprives people of their basic needs.
Insulin is more expensive than ever, type 1 diabetes patients – who generally must inject themselves every day — paid an average of $5,705 for insulin in 2016, nearly double what they paid four years earlier. This bill would cap the price of Insulin and its supplies at $100 per month.
It is of utmost importance that we take measures and prevent the prices of Insulin from skyrocketing further. Supporting this bill would ensure that Insulin is not only affordable, but accessible to all of those in need of it.
In the upcoming week, our Connecticut senators and representatives will gather for a special session to discuss four important bills. One of these bills would allow the state to use federal funds to purchase absentee ballot boxes for every town hall in the state and mail out absentee voter applications to every registered voter for the upcoming November election.
This bill is critical to ensuring that every citizen is able to vote in a safe way. The current policy allows citizens to mail in their vote if they are not in the state at the time of the election, or if religious obligations or illness prevent them from voting on Election Day.
However, this current policy does not include those who will remain at home due to COVID-19. The bill would account for these people who feel unsafe leaving their homes at this time, especially those who are compromised.
This bill will protect our citizens’ right to vote, while also limiting the spread of COVID-19 by eliminating long lines at the polls and unnecessary contact with others. I encourage you to support this bill and urge your legislators to vote for it as well.
Next week, the Connecticut General Assembly will be conducting a special session to pass several important bills, notably those regarding healthcare issues such as expanding telehealth and capping insulin prices.
During the pandemic, it is both more important and more risky than ever to have access to medical care. Those who need doctor visits the most, like the elderly, may have the most to lose by visiting a doctor’s office in person.
Those in rural areas may have trouble easily accessing a doctor at all. Our legislature needs to expand access to telehealth, or online doctor consultations, for this reason. It would allow high-risk as well as rural individuals to receive the healthcare they need without putting themselves and others at risk.
The other healthcare-related bill in question, an insulin price cap, is also desperately needed. The United States’ insulin costs are astronomical––averaging $360 a month compared to $112 in India, the next most expensive country, and nothing at all in many European countries.
The bill, if passed, would limit the cost of insulin and other diabetes supplies to $100 a month. If our legislature passes this bill, it would make Connecticut the most affordable state for insulin in America, and would unburden the hundreds of thousands of diabetics paying hundreds of dollars a month just to live.
Yesterday a group of Westport students and graduates of Staples high school, along with youth activists from Weston and Stamford (DOPE) held a Black Lives Matter protest in town. One of those students was Niah Michel, who earlier this year wrote a letter to WestportNow about the racism she and her peers experience at Staples High School.
Yesterday, we came to the bridge with our signs. We chanted, we marched, and we listened. I have always known how lucky I am to live in a town where so many speak out for what is right.
I have stood with many of you on that same bridge over the years, protesting the wrongdoings of our country. So yesterday, I was not surprised to see a crowd of that size coming out against racism and police brutality.
But something was very different about this protest: it made us feel uncomfortable. And that is what has been missing.
I know that these are unprecedented times and that the health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance. However, the current plan for the graduating seniors is simply not good enough. We have all been anxiously awaiting the big plans that have been repeatedly hinted at in emails, to end up with a virtual graduation.
The past eight weeks have been especially hard on the seniors. They left Staples at the last minute for a “two-week hiatus” that turned out to be permanent — not realizing that they would never walk those halls again, never get to say goodbye to classmates and teachers.
My daughter wept as she turned into the Staples parking lot to pick up her lawn sign, seeing the school one last time. They have missed out on so much, on so many memories, on once in a lifetime moments that they will never get back. On top of that, they may not even be able to physically attend the colleges that they all worked so hard on getting into.
Given that our neighboring towns have been able to figure out a way to do something creative and special for their seniors, not simply a “Zoom” graduation, it is clearly not a state regulations issue or even a county issue for that matter.
I am a Westport resident. I also have the privilege and honor of serving as the Chief Quality Officer for the Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System, the largest health care provider in the state of CT.
As a resident and public servant, I feel obligated to respond to Fred Kuehndorf’s letter to the editor entitled, “Letter: ‘Giving Into Fear’ Re Keep Beach Parking Lot Closed” posted on Westportnow.com on Thursday, May 7, 2020.
Mr. Kuehndor’s interpretation of the publicly available data on the COVID pandemic, as well as his citations of various news blogs, are inaccurate and do not reflect the opinion of subject matter experts at Yale, or at any other health care organizations (i.e. CDC, WHO, DPH).
Unequivocally, COVID-19 is much more invasive and fatal than influenza. Preliminary data suggests the mortality rate of COVID-19 global is between 1-4%.
I would like to respond to the “Don’t Open Beach Parking Lots” letter and petition. In my opinion, the folks signing the petition are giving in to fear, and are ignorant of the actual risks of COVID. It would be nice if our town officials and state officials would actually comment on the statistics that are available online — in regards to COVID.
We are very concerned about the opening up of the parking lots and beach area even at 50% capacity. It is apparent to myself and others that we can’t trust people to be compliant with social distancing on the boardwalks, paths and beaches.
Just this past weekend there were clusters of teenagers and people,who were clearly not immediate family, together on the beach.
As someone who loves to walk Compo South through Longshore and around the beach, I completely understand the appeal — especially these last couple of weekends.
What has been wildly disappointing is the level of entitlement and arrogance being displayed by so many people. Westporters, by and large, are a privileged group and should be better than this.
Fairfield county is the epicenter of the CT Covid-19 pandemic, with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths. During this time, the only ask of most of us is to wear a face covering while in public, and to stay 6ft from others.
May 6th is National Nurses Day. I invite the community to join with me in saluting the compassionate and committed nurses of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County who are working tirelessly on the frontlines of the pandemic in our local communities.
These dedicated professionals are caring for patients and families 24 hours a day, bringing healing and comfort to all, regardless of their financial circumstances or the extent of their clinical need.
We are grateful for the outpouring of community support for Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County during the current crisis. This support honors our nurses by providing them with the vital resources they need including Telehealth equipment to supplement in-home visits with patients, personal protective equipment (PPE), and emergency funding to care for those who are unemployed, uninsured or underinsured.
In this time of terrible uncertainty and profound challenges, now more than ever, we are grateful for the courage and caring of our skilled team of nurses.
Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County