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Letters, Oct. 31

Vaccines

Tod Vogel writes that anti-vaxxers protesting in Ashland were there to ”stand for medical freedom, body autonomy, and choice” (Sunday, Oct. 24). Leaving aside oft-repeated counters regarding numerous vaccines, seat belts, driving while drunk, doing heroin, etc., I have to comment.

When he states that the vaccine is “an experimental medical intervention,” and is an “act of tyranny,” I understand that he really believes that, just as those who espouse the belief that the virus doesn’t really exist, that the vaccine contains a tracking chip, that the CDC created the virus in their own laboratory, that the vaccine kills, etc., etc., really believe those things, as well. The real question is, how can they believe such things — and why?

This kind of misinformation is available in abundance. Nothing said has any impact on the bizarre and conspiratorial fantasies that people who want to believe, believe. The existing adversarial climate makes every argument ignorable; every truth, an untruth; and every untruth, a truth. Therefore, there is no convincing or mind changing possible. Therefore, it’s imperative that the rest of us are protected from them, and yes, it’s imperative that they be protected from themselves.

Don Azar

Phoenix

Name change would be loss

In response to your article about John Muir and the possible name change of the John Muir Outdoor School, as a parent of a middle-schooler and town resident it would be a great loss to see a name change.

We moved to the school district for our daughter to attend the school and so named our nonprofit The Friends of John Muir Memorial Green Burial Sanctuary, believing that if area residents honored Muir that much it would be fitting to name our own project after him. Although I have read widely about this racism issue, I don’t believe it is true, based on readings at johnmuir.org/native-americans.

After a year of discussion and in the belief that Muir would have wanted nature to be his nominee, we have since changed our nonprofit to Friends of Cathedral Trees Sanctuary. There is a grove in Muir Woods named “Cathedral Trees” and we wanted to honor both Muir and his love of “ancient trees as cathedrals.” The sanctuary is a place where we hope all can be honored and where anyone can give back to nature in the way that nature has provided for all our sustenance, water, clean air, and beauty.

Diana Cunningham

Ashland