Letters, July 11
Reasons to take COVID vaccination
Three major reasons to take the COVID vaccination: to avoid getting the lethal disease; to avoid giving it to someone else; but most vitally important, to prevent COVID from mutating into variants unresponsive to current vaccines.
All life forms are capable of changing to compete with others or to adapt to changing environments; essentially survival of the fittest. “Mother Nature” tries out different characteristics in all life forms, including viruses. Unsuccessful ones disappear. The more successful ultimately dominate.
The larger number of reproductions, the larger numbers of variations that are tested by nature. For mammals each new reproduction takes years, so adaptations are slow. During a COVID infection, people have between 1 billion and 100 billion viruses in their bodies, providing the virus with a huge number of chances to test new variants. Current vaccines are 95% effective to prevent the original COVID variant. The first shot of the double dose vaccine is only 33% effective against the Delta variant, which is rapidly becoming the dominant form, and about 88% after the second. It is critically important for everyone to get the vaccination not only in the U.S. but worldwide to prevent even more dangerous variants from developing.
James Hoftiezer, MD FACP
Disc golf hole installed
On May 6 I emailed the Medford Parks Department, asking what it would take to get a disc golf hole at Kennedy Park. I connected with Assistant Director Timothy Stevens, who informed me that I would need to present my idea to the Parks Commission for consideration.
During the presentation, I answered questions about the potential use of the hole, costs, etc., but most of the questions related to the stereotype of disc golfers put forth by the chair of the Parks Commission, Rich Hansen.
Rich lectured on the dangers of disc golfers and how they would ruin Kennedy Park. But one disc golf hole is not a course, it creates opportunities for disc golf players to hone their skills. At the end of the presentation, the commission voted 8-0 for the disc golf hole, funding half the costs.
Parks Commissioner Mickey Harvey and I decided to raise the full amount, and raised $626.34. The amount raised demonstrates the want of disc golf in the area and the resiliency of a stereotyped community. On June 15, the disc golf hole was installed, 40 days after the initial email. An impressive feat by our government.
Legislators are supposed to serve
Elected legislators are supposed to serve their constituents. This means supporting proposals designed to help Oregonians, Medfordians in particular, deal with the wildfire risk that confronts our state and region ever more seriously as climate change raises the temperature, reduces snowpack, and extends drought. These three factors combine to cause our soils and vegetation to dry out even more extensively than has historically been the case. The result is that wildfires, which are a natural and essential phenomenon in a Mediterranean (summer dry / winter wet) climate such as ours, become ever more likely.
Yet, while Senator Jeff Golden and Representative Pam Marsh work to address both the underlying global warming cause for the increasing fire risk and work to address the wildfire risk itself, Representative Kim Wallan sits on her hands. Every item of legislation that was proposed during the 2021 session that would have addressed critical problems facing Southern Oregonians can boast either a Wallan vote against or her absence from the chamber.
For many years, Medford was represented by an individual who did nothing for Medfordians while enjoying his personal perks. In Representative Wallan, Medford now has another representative who simply does nothing to serve her constituents.