Letters, March 1
Vaccine experience distressing
A few days ago, my husband and I went to Fred Meyer on Crater Lake Highway in Medford for his first COVID vaccine. It was a very distressing experience.
People had to wait a long time for their vaccine and post-vaccine rest in a very small, crowded nook of pharmacy. Social distancing was impossible. Vaccine getters were mixed in with people picking up their prescriptions. The place did not look clean, making one wonder how often surfaces saw a cleaning rag. We asked ourselves if we would get out of there without contracting the disease we wanted protection from.
In other words, Fred Meyer should not be approved to give vaccines unless they drastically alter their practice to protect people during a pandemic. Set off a section of their parking lot. Pitch a tent or have a drive-through. Do something that honors and protects the people that come to them in trust.
Greenway camp ban
Medford’s City Council continues to disappoint. A five-month ban on public camping in the Greenway is bad enough, but to make it a misdemeanor is reprehensible.
I don’t see why the city continues to try and prosecute the houseless for trying to survive. I find it odd that this summer, after the Almeda wildfire, the city thought it was a great idea to force 100 of our homeless neighbors who had fled the burning Greenway to live in Hawthorne Park, only to try and ban them from the Greenway to keep them in the parks mere months later.
After the Hawthorne Park incident, the city was sued (just like Grants Pass) for allegedly violating Martin v Boise, a Supreme Court case that bans statues that criminalize homelessness when alternatives are unavailable. It seems to me the City Council wants to eat its cake and have it too — if they want to avoid another Martin v. Boise lawsuit, then instead of bringing our neighbors into parks I’d recommend they spend some time and money investing in the city to build more low-barrier shelters and housing, not step on the rights and privacy of those treated worst by our society.