It’s been stated over and over: This pandemic is not political, it’s a health crisis.

Evangelical Community Hospital President/CEO Kendra Aucker — noting her job as a health professional is to protect her employees, patients at the hospital and the public — reiterated the need to stay away from politicizing the current health crisis.

Unprompted, she took issue with public statements made by sheriffs in local counties, and locally elected officials regarding issues surrounding the pandemic.

Let’s not forget those who venture to work each and every day, suiting up in pounds of protective gear just to take care of those with the virus. Let’s not forget those who risk coming face to face with the virus each and every day. To ignore warnings is to further endanger all of those working to tamp down the threat, and the spread.

Everyone is frustrated. It’s understandable, but it’s also a reminder how blessed we are to live in such a free country. Sacrifice is not something we’re used to.

Travel in the area, and aside from venturing into a store — where masks are required for entry — it’s hard to find many donning the protective gear at all.

It’s a choice, yes. And, it’s a risk... to you, and others.

The risk comes in that science has proven this highly contagious virus can be transmitted asymptomatically. An unmasked person may have the virus, and never know it, as they continue transmitting it from person to person for days.

Are masks 100 percent effective? Of course not. That’s why social distancing is encouraged.

Both have proven effective. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t work together to reduce the spread.


It’s great to see some sense of normalcy returning to the valley. As most area counties are now in the Yellow Phase of the governor’s recovery plan, we see businesses opening their doors, construction starting again and roadwork resuming throughout the area.

Dozens of volunteers fanned out across area cemeteries this week to replace torn, tattered and weathered flags ahead of Memorial Day next week. It was a refreshing site, both for the tribute to our fallen and for those of us glad to see such events continue in the age of COVID.


Kudos to state Rep. Lynda Schlegel-Culver for co-sponsoring legislation that would freeze the pay of state lawmakers and high-ranking officials across the state. It’s long overdue.

Pa. lawmakers rank only behind New York and California in pay and are among the nation’s largest legislative bodies. Lawmakers starting salaries are now over $90,000 annually.

The sad part of this is that it took a pandemic, and the loss of many jobs and livelihoods, for those in Harrisburg to take this action.

When lawmakers had the chance in recent years to cut its numbers, it failed to do so and any attempt to do so again would involve a long, drawn-out process that could take years. Regardless, it needs to be done.

Savings in the tens to hundreds of millions are at stake, and that’s reason enough to kickstart the process again.

Chris Brady is managing editor at The Standard-Journal and can be reached at

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