Reject casino gambling in our city

To the editor:

My 2-year-old baby sister and our mother were required to remain in quarantine in New York City for two weeks because she had contracted German measles during the six-weeks-long trip aboard a U.S. Navy troop ship in 1942. Mom and her seven children were returning to the United States as World War II evacuees, by order of President Roosevelt, from Bombay, India, to New York City. Our missionary father elected to finish the final two years of an eight-year term of pledged mission work (24 years total) to the people of southern India.

My oldest sister was the guardian for her siblings, including three mischievous boys, while we traveled across country to Kentucky where we lived with Mom’s family until they could rejoin us two weeks later. Dad returned two years later just before the atomic bomb ended the war in Japan.

I relate this only to emphasize and applaud the necessity for the quarantine imposition on evacuees from coronavirus evacuees from China, both the infected and exposed. This has been the procedure for many years, beginning with the days of Ellis Island. Foreigners coming to America for any reason were screened to prevent disease from entering our country that might start an epidemic and also prove that they were able to support themselves.

A recent TV newscast reported that the General Assembly has almost approved legislation to allow casino gambling in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The same bill might make provision to provide money to treat all who may become addicted to gambling. Imagine that! Inviting a disease into our state — and we, the taxpayers, will pay for their treatment? Sound familiar? Illegal aliens crossing the southern border of the United States, and taxpayers paying for treatment of imported diseases that start epidemics?

What has happened to Danville, the “City of Churches,” which welcomed my family in 1972? Soon we could be known as “Sin City East” (a la Las Vegas, or Sin City West). I urge the people of Danville to “Say nay” to casino gambling in our city. At least we can prevent gambling addiction from becoming a disease in our community. It is addicting, and the politicians who are on the verge of passing this bill know it, so they consider attaching a provision to pay for treatment.

As a medical doctor for 60-plus years, I subscribe to the online Mayo Clinic newsletter. They reported recently that the treatment of gambling addiction at their clinics for gambling and opioids, it is harder (less successful, longer, more expensive) than treating the scourge of opioid addiction. Again, please reject casino gambling in Danville; let’s prevent gambling addiction in our city.

VICTOR OBERHEU

Danville

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