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Letters, Aug. 8

Are we capable of learning?

In May my beloved mother-in-law died of COVID. She was fully vaccinated but immunocompromised. I personally administered the medication that would ease her pain as she died of suffocation.

She was killed by a “friend” who refused vaccination because she believed in personal liberty but not personal responsibility.

We, the wealthiest nation on the earth, had a narrow window wherein we could have developed herd immunity through the miracle of vaccination. But rather than listening to scientists and physicians, we chose to listen to right-wing conspiracy theorists with no medical background. Rather than doing the right thing to protect each other, we cared only for ourselves.

Now COVID cases and hospitalizations are higher than they were before the vaccine was introduced. Record numbers of COVID dead will follow. Meanwhile, Republican politicians and the conservative media continue to downplay this crisis.

Over 600,000 Americans are dead! Please, for one minute, try to open your mind to the scope of this tragedy. It didn’t have to be this way.

Scientists also tell us that our drought and wildfires will only worsen because we refuse to take climate change seriously. Large portions of our planet will become uninhabitable. Are we capable of learning?

Steve Cannon, M.D.

Medford

COVID restrictions

In response to the editors of the Mises Institute, it’s hard to argue about the ripple effect of the virus; the economy, depression, isolation and the irritation of wearing masks. They say individuals have the right to decide what they will or won’t do for their own benefit. In essence, they are right. But, do we have no responsibility to safeguard others, even if it’s inconvenient? Isn’t it part of the job of government and medical officials to alert us of dangers to our safety and recommend or even mandate safety measures?

They claim the victim count is exaggerated, and if the elderly and those vulnerable stayed home, others could live without restrictions. They argue the weak shouldn’t inconvenience the strong.

Exaggerated count? Ask hospital staff about the toll it’s taking on COVID patients, and those who suffer delayed surgery or hospital care due to lack of beds or staff. Those possible deaths aren’t counted. I ask, who would put a child in front of an oncoming train in the belief that because they are young, healthy and agile, they’d be able to leap from the track and not get hit?

An exaggeration? Maybe. But the point is the same.

Pat Dumas

Medford