Carroll County Times Opinion

COVID will have long-term impact; Questioning Shoemaker’s child protection credentials | READER COMMENTARY

COVID pandemic will have long-term impact

While the controversies over masking and vaccination continue, let’s look ahead to the aftermath of the Great COVID Pandemic. What will be the long-term impact on us once the virus is tamed?

First, there will continue to be a portion of the population that remains vulnerable to the disease. Most of us will have some level of immunity through vaccination or survival of infection. The remainder of the population, along with those whose immunities have waned, will still be at risk. The bubonic plague in Europe continued for over 300 years, recurring about every 10 years, even though many people had once survived the disease and had natural immunities. The Great Plague of London, which was part of the bubonic plague, came in waves. Each wave took 20% of the city’s dwindling population.


The long-term impact of the pandemic will be borne by populations who chose not to use available coping mechanisms. This population will continue to bear the highest percentages of serious illness, hospitalization, loss of income, and death. Unvaccinated populations will decrease in numbers and increase in long-term health issues. The families, friends, business associates, religious and political groups within this population will experience decline for a lengthy period.

Second, populations that adopt coping mechanisms will prosper. These strategies are not new. Quarantine was first used during the bubonic plague and was credited with helping end that pandemic. Vaccinations were first used successfully to combat smallpox in the early years of the United States. And we have seen pictures of folks masking during the Spanish Flu of a hundred years ago. The disease can be avoided and minimized.


It is clear that when COVID ends, the survivors will carry on. They will be the ones with healthy families, vigorous relationships, and who will become leaders of their communities. Most of those survivors will be folks who chose to use masks and vaccinations.

George Conover, Westminster

Questioning Shoemaker’s child protection credentials

I opened the Jan. 28 edition of the Carroll County Times still half asleep, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me: Haven Shoemaker announcing he is currently drafting bills aimed at helping to protect children. I rubbed my eyes and looked again, but it was still there. Could this be the same Haven Shoemaker who recently stated that the government should not be responsible to ensure the safety and welfare of children (“when did it become the government’s responsibility for ensuring the safety and welfare of children?” — August 2020)? The same Haven Shoemaker who has defended accused child molesters, child pornographers and sex offenders throughout his career as a private attorney? Yep, one and the same. A simple search on the Maryland Judiciary Case search reveals his “clientele.”

Protecting children from the same miscreants that Shoemaker defends is a perfect example of why there are times the government must step in. Parents don’t always have the necessary resources to invest in their children. Other times they are neither patient nor altruistic enough to make the appropriate sacrifices. Children have the right to grow up free from violence and to be shielded from predators. Government child abuse laws have long existed on the federal, state, and local level. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was approved by Congress in 1974 and was reauthorized in 2010. It is the largest body of legislation regarding the fair, ethical and legal treatment of children. Its purpose is to keep them free from all forms of abuse — physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological. I would think a state delegate and practicing attorney would be familiar with these laws. Shoemaker even claims to be “pro-life” yet seemingly has no interest in protecting the most vulnerable among us after they are born.

Now that Shoemaker is running to be the county’s top law enforcement official, he wants his prior words and actions to be forgotten. He claims he will now “prosecute not coddle” offenders when he has spent an entire career doing just the opposite. By defending those whose intent is to harm and degrade children, Haven Shoemaker has told the citizens of Carroll County exactly how he plans to “protect” them.

In politics, facts are everything. Voters need facts to make informed decisions on the best candidate for a job. It’s also important to know a candidate’s personal perspective as it gives voters additional insight on how a candidate will represent their constituents. Don’t be fooled! A leopard never changes its spots.

Kimberly Madeja, Eldersburg

Madeja is treasurer for Ellin’s campaign to Carroll County state’s attorney