In these days of coronavirus lockdown, who among us wouldn’t appreciate a kind note from a friend? We know lots of people would.

That’s the thinking behind Theresa Harrison’s volunteer organization, “Just a Kind Note.” The Walkersville woman, who has been sending personal, hand-written notes to friends and family for years, knows the impact a short letter can have. While in the midst of a two-year battle with cancer, a friend sent her notes of encouragement.

“I would receive notes, and I know how it feels,” she said. “How a note and the message helps me remain strong and committed to healing.”

Today, Harrison’s group has expanded to include more than 250 volunteers throughout the country, all sending notes to those who might need a boost. We wish more people would put email aside a bit more and make that personal connection that only a card or a note can provide.

This November, will you vote in person or through the mail? As we enter the last few laps of what has been an excruciatingly long presidential race, the question of how and where people will cast ballots has never been this heated. Like just about everything else in this country of late, we can’t seem to get a consensus.

And while the debate continues on whether the post office can handle the additional mail volume to deliver ballots on time (we think it can), there’s perhaps an even bigger issue brewing that’s not getting nearly enough attention — namely whether there will be enough election judges to run the polling places during early voting and on Election Day.

Around the state, some election officials are worried that the coronavirus might prompt polling place volunteers, particularly seniors, from serving as judges. So far, Stuart Harvey, the county’s election director, doesn’t see it as an issue here though he admits that the website where people would volunteer has been down lately.

We’re hoping Harvey’s right but for those who are looking for another reason to worry about how voting will go this November, here you go.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the restaurant industry. That’s why we’re doubly excited that Visit Frederick has decided to go ahead with its first-ever summer restaurant week, set for Aug. 24-30.

We say doubly because the debut of a second week for the countywide event for this year was already a positive initiative. Organizers began planning for it before the pandemic in the spring changed the world as we know it, which included requiring restaurants to either shutter or move to only take-out or curbside dining.

With that, summer restaurant week has not only stayed on the calendar (albeit pushed back a little later than initially planned) but has also adapted to COVID-style restrictions by giving diners the option of take-out as well as dine-in. The organizers also added some new restaurants, including some along the Golden Mile, and teased that a second annual restaurant week may become a permanent offering.

That seems likely to us and we’d fully support it, because if they can run a summer restaurant week during a pandemic, they should have no problem doing it any other time.

Speaking of supporting businesses, the Downtown Frederick Partnership deserves a pat on the back.

This year, the local nonprofit helped nine downtown businesses and restaurants with grant money so they could complete interior renovations. That’s double the number of businesses the partnership is usually able to help. And the money comes at the perfect time for those businesses as they deal with the financial challenges of the pandemic.

“It really helped us continue forward and have the opportunity to feel confident in making the changes that we were already planning on making,” said Michelle Schaffer, owner of the Pop Shop. The money is helping her business expand into the space next door.

Making these grants more helpful this challenging year is that the partnership got rid of the mandatory match it required of businesses in the past that required projects be funded half with the partnership’s money and half with the business’ money.

So, we join the businesses that received these grants to say thanks to the partnership for this latest way that they’re helping the local community.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to

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