Wednesday Letters: Stay alert, Holiday Baskets program, “trust” the experts, unvaccinated facts
Keep an eye on omicron
First of all, I would like to wish you and yours a Happy New Year.
We are keeping a close eye on the growing impact that the omicron variant may have on our hospital and our community. As with any COVID-19, there is still a lot to learn, but it appears that omicron is much more contagious than the other variants so far.
It appears to have some ability to evade both natural immunity and vaccinations, although those who have been boosted have increased protection.
If you haven’t received your reminder, I strongly encourage you to do so. Some reports also show that the variant may cause less severe disease, but this is also very preliminary.
We are monitoring the advice of the CDC and CDPHE, but in the meantime it may be appropriate to take additional precautions for the next few weeks.
Watch for and report any symptoms you may have on your own so that you can get tested. Consider wearing a mask and, most importantly, continue to practice good hand hygiene.
Get your reminder if you haven’t already.
Thank you for the continuous sacrifices you have made; together we can beat this.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I think it’s safe to discuss and prepare for all scenarios.
Dr Kevin Coleman
Grand River Health
What could possibly go wrong?
As we wrap up another year of tribalism and confirmation bias, a good motto for 2020-2021 is “trust the experts” or “stay in your lane”.
This is particularly true in two areas:
• Education: Do not question the leadership of the school. Trust them to always do the right thing and never put their personal or union interests above your child. Disregard the declining performance of the United States in the world, even though you are continually spending more money per student.
• Health: Do not question the health authorities. Trust them blindly to know what is best for your individual health. Don’t question the “one size fits all” approach to health.
I don’t think we should stop there. We should all “stay in our tracks” and leave the experts undisputed in other areas:
• Geopolitics: Don’t question the intelligence community. Trust them to always do the right thing and never put us in bad situations.
• Government: Don’t question long-time politicians. Trust them to always put the interests of their constituents before their own. And never look at their personal investment history because it correlates with the policy they adopt.
• Finance: do not question your wealth advisor or your accountant. They are experts and would never make a mistake or do anything bad.
• Bank: Don’t question the terms of your loan. Bankers are experts in this area and would never conflict between the fees they can earn and the best deal for you.
Ignore the financial crisis and predatory lending. Disregard Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, etc. Disregard CDC reports of vaccine injuries. Ignore politicians who constantly come to power from humble beginnings and leave millionaires. Shut up and trust the experts. What could possibly go wrong?
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
The holiday basket program is a pleasure to see
What a joy to arrive at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Basalt on December 15th and be greeted by Anne Blackwell, President of Holiday Baskets, and bags upon bags of gifts.
For the second year, English In Action has participated in this program, and our hearts are full of gratitude. Volunteers, including one of us, John Burks, an English Tutor in Action, loaded up gifts to distribute to our participating adult immigrant students and their families.
When the students came to our office to collect gifts and gift cards, they shared their appreciation and gratitude. A total of 36 adults and children have been our recipients this year, and the gifts certainly help relieve the pressure many of our working families face.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said one student, seeing the beautifully wrapped packaging filled with practical necessities, cheerful toys and gift cards to put on holiday meals.
While our mission at English In Action is to help immigrants learn English and develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams, it is also very important to connect them with resources and opportunities for recognize that they are welcomed and valued in our community.
We are very grateful to all Holiday Baskets volunteers and donors for their generosity and for the greatest message of care and compassion this program communicates in our valley.
Head of English in Action Group Tutoring Programs
Some 50 million Americans are currently not vaccinated against COVID-19. Most of these people are likely to be vaccinated against other diseases, such as measles, influenza, Td (tetanus, diphtheria), rabies, Tdap (whooping cough), shingles, pneumococcus (PPSV23, PCV13), HPV and meningitis.
We learn that about 80 to 90% of patients currently hospitalized and receiving intensive care are not vaccinated. The unvaccinated are six times more likely to contract COVID-19. The unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19. Unvaccinated people infect others more than vaccinated people because they carry the virus for longer.
Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers in hospitals suffer from infections, exhaustion and PTSD from the constant treatment of COVID-19 patients. Many are abandoning health care.
Many intensive care hospitals across the country are full and turning away patients, in part because they are understaffed. I was told about a person who recently contracted pneumonia and could not be admitted to a hospital for lack of beds. They are dead. They could have lived if they were treated.
People in regular and social media claim COVID-19 vaccinations don’t work. Some say that vaccinations cause health problems.
Most unvaccinated people claim to be Republicans and have voted for Trump. Many unvaccinated people claim that no authority of any kind can force them to be vaccinated. They say their personal health is entirely their own concern.
Unvaccinated people claim that the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights provide complete freedom that cannot be diminished in any way.