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Letters to the editor for June 5, 2021
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Letters to the editor for June 5, 2021

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Lynchburg Syndrome, perhaps?

In Friday’s News & Advance, Jamey Cross reports on an outbreak of symptoms among Lynchburg City Schools staff working in the downtown administration building, and the substantial efforts (and cost) to date to try to identify the cause, which remains a mystery.

This situation brings to mind the concurrent efforts of the U.S. government to identify the cause of what has been dubbed the “Havana Syndrome,” in which a variety of government employees, including some White House staff, have been suffering symptoms for which the cause has yet to be identified.

In a detailed analysis of the status of that investigation in the May 31, 2021 issue of the “New Yorker” magazine, it is reported that the conclusion of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit was that “the victims were suffering from a mass psychogenic illness, a condition in which a group of people, often thinking that they have been exposed to something dangerous, begin to feel sick at the same time.”

One hopes that along with ongoing efforts to resolve this local mystery, the city is giving due consideration to that possibility.

JOHN R. LEWIS

Lynchburg

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