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Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers write in about the future of health care, the lack of affordable child care, and more.

Making House Calls

It was with some dismay that I read Dr. Shantanu Nundy’s Perspective (“COVID-19 Has Finally Brought Health Care Into the 21st Century. Here’s What’s Next,” May 2). I am an older physician, having practiced for almost half a century, but I am hardly resistant to change. I appreciated the value of staying connected with patients via telehealth during this extraordinary year. And, yet, there is no better way to establish rapport and to develop the type of relationship that enables patients to rely on the advice of their physician than to see them face to face. Touch is central to the doctor/patient relationship. In spite of so much new technology, a physical exam is still central to making a diagnosis. For patients to trust their physician, a virtual visit just will not do. These visits may well be part of the future but it would be a sad future if they become the norm.


Dr. Roberta Berrien / Dennis

After returning to my usual job last year after 14 days working in a COVID ICU during the peak of the pandemic, I was met with an empty clinic and hospital. The world had gone virtual in my brief absence. Fast-forward to 13 months later: Primary care is seeing patients in person, at most, one day per week, while the remainder of the visits are virtual. Contrast that with specialty practitioners, I being one of them, who have been seeing patients primarily in person during this time period. I tried virtual visits, but due to the acuity of my patients (cardiac and advanced heart failure), I quickly realized I needed to lay eyes, hands, and stethoscope on them to accurately assess them. I’ve had diabetic, hypertensive, chronic lung patients tell me they hadn’t had a foot or eye exam in nearly 18 months until I examined them. That shouldn’t be health care in the 21st century; it should be malpractice.


Peg Sullivan / Hartland, Vermont

Home School

I loved Janelle Nanos’ Connections essay (“Will Our Kindergartener Remember Garage School?” May 2). We did the same thing in our three-car garage. One dad was a painter and painted the whole thing, one dad worked at a flooring store so he threw down a 30-by-30 rug, and we got a bathroom put in! We have a real teacher, however, and she reads the lessons ahead of time and she teaches the kids instead of them being stuck on screen. It’s been such a blessing—but now, the question is: How do we go back to normal?

Sheridan Ohlson / York, Maine

Crisis of Care

I agree 100 percent with Elizabeth Warren (“The Pandemic Made This Clear: We Need Universal Child Care,” May 9). The information Warren provided [in the Perspective column] for taxpayers, many of whom will balk at the idea of paying for universal child care, highlights that we are currently paying for many corporate investments built into the tax code. I would rather pay for universal day care for our future generations than pay for the robots that will take their places in the workforce. In the long run, the economic benefits of universal child care speak for themselves.

Tricia Kelly / Clinton

I am 66 years old and have been a child care professional for nearly 40 years. While I appreciate Warren’s support for better funding for child care centers and teachers as well as cost savings for parents … this is old news. Repeat, repeat, but nothing ever happens. I have never made more than $21 an hour, even as a director. My grandson attends four days a week and his parents pay nearly $20,000 a year. It is my fervent hope that maybe someday is here and there will be change on both sides: better salaries for those of us who nurture, teach, and love the children, and a way for working parents to afford it.


Dori Burke / Randolph

Working parents should have made a plan for how they were going to care for the children they spawned. “Research showed that before COVID-19, even among dual-earning couples, mothers were spending twice as much time on parenting responsibilities as dads.” How about dealing with the social issues of dads not taking responsibility? I wouldn’t put my own kids in day care. Why do I want to pay for that for someone else’s kids?

Sandy68 / posted on bostonglobe.com

Home Sweet Home

Let’s face it: The relationships between mothers and daughters are complicated (“Moving Homeward,” May 9). Many of us, like the Connections author Maya Gacina, work through the issues and come out with a happy ending. It made me think of my own relationship with my mom, and, despite a little bump in the road as a teenager, it was always rock solid. Your mother could and should be your best friend, and in this troubling time, we all need good, solid, and special friends.


Claire Amirault / Amesbury

I always needed my mom; although she has been gone for six years, I still need her more than ever. Moving home past the age of 40 really drove that home.

MyLucy / posted on bostonglobe.com

Chief Concerns

Amanda Milkovits’ piece about Chief Tony Roberson was extremely informative (“The Education of Anthony Roberson,” May 9). While Milkovits painted an admirable picture of Roberson himself, she also did an outstanding job of making clear why his story is so important. Putting people like Roberson in positions to influence the state of policing is so very vital.

Constance Putnam / Concord

Congratulations Chief Roberson. You earned the role and we look up to you. This goes to the simplified core of what needs to be done for all kids growing up in difficult circumstances, without regard to skin color or background. They need mentors, positive role models, and a few “chances.” When we sow those seeds, we see the successes of the Chief Robersons of the world.

LLDad2 / posted on bostonglobe.com

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