Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:

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March 23

The Louisville Courier Journal on Sen. Rand Paul's actions ahead of his coronavirus diagnosis:

Shame on you, Rand Paul.

What you did — no, what you didn’t do — was irresponsible. Even reprehensible.

You were concerned enough about your own health to get tested for the coronavirus, but you didn’t care enough about other people to self-quarantine until you got the results.

Instead, you carried on business as usual, cavorting with fellow senators over lunch and reportedly working out in the Senate gym and swimming in the Senate pool.

When the story erupted on March 22, minutes after you told everyone on Twitter that you tested positive, you didn’t respond to tough questions that surfaced among your colleagues in Washington and your constituents here in Kentucky.

On March 23, you begged for compassion.

“The broader the testing and the less finger-pointing we have, the better,” you said.

“Perhaps it is too much to ask that we simply have compassion for our fellow Americans who are sick or fearful of becoming so,” you said.

No apologies.

No acknowledgement that you made a mistake.

This isn’t leadership, Rand Paul.

We are sorry that Kentucky’s junior senator tested positive. Yes, we do have compassion.

But we are gravely disturbed that a public official would show such disregard for a disease that has sickened more than 370,000 people worldwide and killed more than 16,000. Kentucky now has at least 124 cases and four deaths.

We are appalled that Paul would show no regard for the safety of vulnerable people.

Granted, there is no operator's manual for leaders in this pandemic situation, but we expect more from a senator who is also a physician.

Paul, of all people, should be aware of what everyone from health officials to Louisville’s mayor, to Kentucky’s governor, to our president are saying: Act like you have the virus. Protect yourself and others.

Instead of taking an abundance of caution, Paul took the threat lightly and put people at risk.

At a minimum, he should apologize to the people he came into contact with and to his constituents for his irresponsible behavior.

He should apologize to people like Sen. Mitt Romney, whose wife has multiple sclerosis and therefore would be more susceptible to the coronavirus. Romney is in self-quarantine because of his contact with Paul.

He should apologize to all of his colleagues who are now on pins and needles because of his reckless behavior and actions.

Some of his fellow senators are lashing out at him, and rightfully so.

In a tweet on March 22, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, called Paul's actions inexcusable.

"This, America, is absolutely irresponsible," Sinema said. "You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others (and) likely increases the spread of the virus."

Paul attended the Speed Art Museum's "Speed Ball" fundraiser on March 7, and at least three people at the event eventually tested positive for COVID-19. But Paul said he had no contact with the three individuals at the party and would not say if he was getting tested for the coronavirus.

In a later statement, Paul said he decided to get tested because he "traveled extensively during the weeks prior to COVID-19 social distancing practices, and that I am at a higher risk for serious complications from the virus due to having part of my lung removed seven months ago."

Paul said he didn’t self-quarantine because he had no symptoms and had no contact with anyone who has tested positive or been sick.

Really?

Paul should know that with COVID-19, people have had the disease and shown no symptoms.

There is no acceptable excuse for Paul's behavior.

His actions are a disgrace.

Feel better, Sen. Paul. Get healthy.

But Kentucky won’t soon forget this horrible lapse in judgment.

We deserve better.

Online: https://www.courier-journal.com

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March 22

The Bowling Green Daily News on recognizing local groups for their community contributions:

At a time when our city, state and country are dealing with a major health crisis and supplies for everyone are running low, it is always comforting to know that there are businesses, schools and others that are willing to help in our time off need.

In Warren County, the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus were announced last week, and more are almost certain to come.

This is why we need to do all we can to help those who are most susceptible to the disease, such as the elderly, by making sure they have enough food, cleaning materials, toilet paper and paper towels so they may stay home in an effort to avoid contracting the virus.

Our two local school districts have stepped up to the plate since schools have been closed to help deliver essential items, such as food, for low-income households.

Warren County Public Schools is offering meals between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at several schools. Those schools include Alvaton Elementary, Briarwood Elementary, Bristow Elementary, Jennings Creek Elementary, Lost River Elementary, Henry F. Moss Middle School, Natcher Elementary, North Warren Elementary, Oakland Elementary, Richardsville Elementary, Rockfield Elementary, Warren Central High School, Warren East High School, Warren East Middle School and Warren Elementary.

In addition to these sites, WCPS will offer meals at almost 80 additional locations through school bus and van deliveries. A full list is of locations is available at bit.ly/2waB0jA.

The Bowling Green Independent School District is also stepping up to the plate to help students get meals while school is not in session. The district is offering students breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday until March 27. BGISD buses will deliver meals through the district, following elementary school bus routes.

Breakfast will be delivered between 8 and 9 a.m. and lunch between 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Meals will also be available for pickup at Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary, Dishman-McGinnis Elementary, T.C. Cherry Elementary and the Bowling Green Learning Center on Old Morgantown Road. Breakfast at these locations will be served between 8 and 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Local businesses such as the Kentucky Grand Hotel and Spa and Dollar General have really stepped up to the plate to help our seniors.

The Kentucky Grand has started the Stay Strong Program. Owners Dan and Jenna Murph started the program after numerous stores began running out of supplies and the downtown Bowling Green hotel had to close its piano bar and restaurant following a statewide order on March 23 by Gov. Andy Beshear. The Murphs decided the supplies left over at the hotel should be put to good use.

So the Murphs have been delivering care packages that include items such as a crossword puzzle book, a roll of toilet paper, tissues, a deck of cards, disinfectant wipes, prepackaged food items, a book, a personal card from the hotel staff and more. They are free and are being left on the front porch of seniors who request them.

Those interested in receiving the packages or contributing items or resources to be included may call the Kentucky Grand Hotel at 270-779-8988 or email management@kentuckygrand.com.

The Murphs hope residents, charities and stores will pitch in and help donate items to fill more care packages.

We echo those sentiments.

We would also like to commend Dollar General stores for allowing seniors to be the first to shop in their stores for the first hour they are open for business. This gives seniors the chance to get the goods they need before they are all picked over. This says a lot about the caliber of businesses and character in those associated with Dollar General, as it does with the schools and the Murphs’ business.

They are really making a difference in their selfless actions by doing what they can to help the most vulnerable, and that is something we believe should be applauded.

Online: https://www.bgdailynews.com

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March 21

The Ashland Daily Independent on lending help to others:

How does one shake off a bad dream?

Many of us don’t recall vivid details of our dreams every night, but if you do endure a nightmare, it’s as if you’ve accomplished conquering a gauntlet containing a myriad of the most undesirable obstacles.

If you’re like most throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, you’re waking up with hopes of shedding this awful dream you’ve encountered.

The problem is it’s cold, hard reality.

So, how does one make the best of a bad situation?

The 1965 song “Help!” by the Beatles is fitting.

Vanilla Ice even rapped the right words: “If there is a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”

Who knew the Beatles and Vanilla Ice could assist us during a crisis?

The message: Be a problem-solver by looking for ways to help.

You know what doesn’t help or solve the problem? Panic.

Panic, coupled with fear, creates a dangerous driving force toward regrettable actions such as fist-fighting in a grocery store aisle, hoarding items others may desperately need, making jokes about a lethal virus and causing conflicts on social media.

What’s the opposite of panic? Calmness and relaxation are appropriate antonyms. Does that mean complacency and a nonchalant attitude? Not at all. It just means putting everything into perspective and making wise decisions in a calculated, serene way.

Search for simple ways to help. Those little acts will add up. Look at what nice things others are doing, such as setting up a community exchange for people in need, volunteering to grab a few groceries for an elderly neighbor or supporting a local business.

Kindness still exists. It can carry us through this bad dream.

Online: https://www.dailyindependent.com

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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