The first reported death in the United States from COVID-19 was on Feb. 6, 2020. Since then, 279 unimaginably tragic days have passed and the baleful microbe has claimed more than 240,000 American lives.

Dare to average that out and the calculator will cite that 860 people have died each day. To put that number in perspective, a Boeing 737 carries 189 passengers. If four crashed daily with no survivors, there would still be 104 less casualties than those attributed to the coronavirus.

Even so, nobody would want to board a Boeing 737 because of the rational fear that they would be one of the unlucky ones. As a husband and a father, I am terrified of the coronavirus. That fear keeps me away from my parents, isolated from friends and covers my face with a mask.

I wish more Americans would view the unpleasant emotion as a necessary motivator, not a character flaw.

Andrew Ginsburg

Southport, Conn.

Cultured-meat research important

If Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul care about the environment, they should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals. The greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater and land required to produce it are a tiny fraction of those necessary to raise livestock.

Dr. Mark Post debuted the first cultured-beef hamburger in 2013. It cost an astonishing $280,000 to make. Since that time, the price has dropped substantially. Post believes a similar burger will cost $10 in the near future. As wonderful as this progress is, the price will need to be reduced further in order to compete with slaughtered meat. This can be achieved by publicly funded research.

Jon Hochschartner

Granby, Conn.

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