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Letters, Dec. 23

Concerns raised over unvaccinated workers

In a Dec. 9 article, one person (Martin) spoke of his distress over the policy at Providence to “allow unvaccinated nurses to take care of people.”

Martin ultimately discharged himself, said he would never go back to Providence, he didn’t feel safe. Martin had legitimate concerns and the right and ability to discharge himself. I trust he was able to find the appropriate care that he needed. Martin had that choice.

My family had a very different experience. My husband was dealing with multiple health issues including late stages of a non-COVID lung disease resulting in hospitalization at Providence. Staff shortages, space, time and holidays were factors in an unsuccessful attempt to find appropriate hospice care. However, every caregiver was masked and gloved and the compassion and care that each showed was incredibly comforting.

Under the circumstances, we could not have asked for more and will be forever grateful. Health caregivers should be honored for who they are and what they do. The attitude of not wanting to be vaccinated is frustrating. If even one of them was unvaccinated, perhaps with continuing education they will gain understanding and respect for the science that shows the importance of being vaccinated.

Betty Harrison

Eagle Point

Vaccines and civic duty

A fundamental function of living organisms is to reproduce. Failing that, extinction is inevitable.

This is as true of viruses as of human beings. And all living things adapt via mutation to replicate more successfully.

So now, we have Omicron because SARS-CoV-2 has had enough hosts that were vulnerable to cycle through many mutations until a more transmissible variant emerged. Whether it will be more deadly remains to be seen.

The only way we can interrupt COVID’s search for even more variants is to decrease its hosts and ability to replicate. That means vaccines, boosters and masks because society will not tolerate further economic interruptions with lockdowns.

Accordingly, vaccination is not only personally wise, because the evidence for safety and efficacy of the mRNA vaccines is undeniable; but it is a civic duty to protect others and get this scourge behind us.

Health care workers are exhausted, angry and frustrated for good reason. But they continue to treat all comers, even the unvaccinated, because it is their professional duty and the ethical thing to do.

It would be wonderful if the unvaccinated would adopt a similar civic-minded ethic. Historically, even members of primitive tribes tried to protect one another.

Bruce Van Zee

Medford