A familiar feeling
Thank you, Dr. Kudchadkar, for sharing your story ["Losing Touch," Summer]. It will help many. You hit upon something that I could not identify but was sharing with a friend by phone just before reading this article—that I was missing my friends and other people. I'm lucky that I have my husband and cat at home, so there is human touch and interaction with creatures I love.
We have not (yet) been infected with COVID-19, so we are being very careful of whom we visit, wearing masks when grocery shopping, and limiting our contact to a very few people. I've grown used to working from home and am productive, but it's not the same as being able to get up from my desk and visit my colleagues in the next office to connect and say hi. Zoom is a useful tool that I am grateful exists, but not everyone has access to even that. While I do count my blessings—I have a great job, am valued, and feel secure—I am feeling acutely aware of that loss of connection. It's emotionally tough at times.
Mike Bernard, Bus '09
Thank you, Sapna Kudchadkar, for being vulnerable in your writing ["Losing Touch"]. Thank you for highlighting the low-tech care of the human touch. Thank you for not ceasing to care for patients with COVID-19. You are brave and special.
The cost of war
After reading "Reader Recommendations" [Dialogue, Summer] from Richard Elinson, A&S '67, I felt compelled to offer a different perspective. I, too, was touched by "Prose of War" [Spring], because it reminds me of the great sacrifices made by those who serve in our military. War is violent and ugly and a failure of the human spirit. It costs us much in the loss of our fellow citizens and all that they could have brought to our nation. But as long as evil exists in this world, we will need to call on those who put the common good above their own survival. Atrocities such as those mentioned by Elinson can only be stopped by those willing to stand up and fight for what is good in humanity.
So I will continue to read the stories of those who fight and watch the movies, not because they glorify war but because they show the impact on those who serve and the great sacrifices they make. I want to be reminded of the cost and to thank those who are willing, as is so often said, "to sacrifice their today so we can enjoy our tomorrow."
Mark Schroeder, Engr '79, '81 (MS)
Severna Park, Maryland
Long live print
I was co-editor-in-chief of the News-Letter during the politically turbulent academic year of 1967–68. As reported in Johns Hopkins Magazine's article ["On Writing History's First Drafts," Summer] about the venerable student weekly, the decor of the Gatehouse newspaper office is exactly as it was a half-century ago. I probably slept on those same sagging couches. If the current staff finds pizza crust or a beer can in the corner, they are probably ours.
Other things also resonate. If the current Gatehouse occupants excavate the newspaper pile stacked against the wall, they might find one of my stories as a reporter in 1966 about the KKK disrupting a Levering Hall speech by civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, calling him a "commie pervert" because of his homosexuality. And as editor-in-chief I was summoned to a middle-of-the-night meeting with the university president to pressure us to kill a story about a race-baiting speech Vice President Spiro Agnew gave at a Hopkins conference. So we doubled the size of the headline and moved the story to lead position. I'm sure the current News-Letter crew would do the same.
Today's News-Letter journalists are impressive, more organized and professional than we were. Keep up the good work during your trying times, and please keep the ink-on-paper edition.
Peter Koper, A&S '69
New York, New York
On Sapna Kudchadkar's essay, "Losing Touch":
Great writing - emphasizes what we actually knew, but #COVID19 revealed more clearly: the benefit of a loving hug and the disastrous effects of isolation.— Jürg Hammer (@flybluemoon13) June 27, 2020
Thank you @SapnaKmd -your story shows you're a role model for physicians.
Losing touch https://t.co/Gg5ISX76sy via @HubJHU
On "Seeing Red," about the Johns Hopkins pandemic-tracking map:
Fascinating story of how Johns Hopkins Univ. engineering professors and students created the wildly popular #COVID19 map and data hub, and Jhonatan it's grown into the most cited resource ever: https://t.co/7OUY7mEyrJ— Dan Epstein (@epstein_dan) June 23, 2020
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