Pooh-poohing vaccine won’t make virus go away
Stephen Fullerton’s “Science can’t ‘tweak’ virus into submission” commentary (Feb. 19) is breathtakingly arrogant. It would be more honest to say the virus has not impressed him as being lethal, despite 497,963 U.S deaths to date and many people left with horrible after effects of being sick.
Yes, jobs have been lost, businesses shut down and our economy is flailing. Look to the previous administration’s inadequate response to the pandemic that fueled this tragedy.
Fullerton comments that the Associated Press, Dr. Fauci and other reliable sources are not providing the absolute answers to a pandemic that no one has ever seen before or has known how to treat. Science, Mr. Fullerton, investigates through hypotheses, so those who need absolutism are, of course, not satisfied. Dr. Fauci has recommended double masking because of the arrival of new, dangerous variants of this virus and because not everyone will be vaccinated by the time the variants arrive in March. This information is widely available if you read reliable sources.
The heroic attempts of scientists to save lives through vaccines apparently is not an issue in this letter. Shutdowns, masking, hand-washing, social distancing have shown to be quite effective in slowing the virus (compare Sweden’s response). We have all had to sacrifice some personal freedom to make sure that the community can stay healthy. If you have cabin fever, you are not alone. The vaccines are a scientific breakthrough. Give them time to work and we will resume our lives when we can. It is the virus deniers who are the most dangerous to us because they defy science, research, and common sense.
Cherry-picking quotes from the CDC or anywhere is an old trick of confirmation bias, but is not helpful in the face of a national emergency. I am using my voice so that your amusement and sadness do not bludgeon more people into joining you to abandon their caution and endanger their health.
We need every weapon in the COVID arsenal
Regarding Stephen Fullerton’s opinion piece of Feb. 19, most of us can agree that the damage done to our society from COVID, especially economically, has been devastating. However, his dismissal of vaccines, and of public policy measures designed to slow virus transmission have me wanting to place Mr. Fullerton squarely in the camp of TFG (the former guy). I remember well the myriad statements from the White House (https://doggett.house.gov/media-center/blog-posts/ timeline-trump-s-coronavirus-responses).
The irony I see is that a true restoration of the world economy is directly related to our voluntary integration of “non-pharmaceutical interventions;” mask-wearing, social distancing, small gatherings, etc. I believe it is disingenuous to lump those lesser interventions above with the more onerous lockdowns/business closures. I am not so bold as to believe we will “defeat” this virus, but I do think that reasonable measures such as vaccination, and testing, buy us time to gather more information. There is an ever- increasing base of data being accumulated as we progress in this public health crisis, so it is quite understandable that epidemiologists, such as Dr. Fauci, alter their suggestions to those willing to listen. Near the closing of his piece Mr. Fullerton offers a link (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/mortality-overview.htm) that he suggests shows only 9% of deaths with a solid COVID component. When I look at this site, my reading shows instead 91% of these deaths have COVID as the “underlying” cause; the principal cause of death. Much like Stephen Fullerton, I don’t find vaccines to be a panacea in this effort, but in contrast, I still find them one of many useful tools in slowing this disease. Control is more likely than eradication, but it is my opinion that 500,000 deaths and counting is a lethality that demands not only public attention, but every weapon in our small arsenal.
Why common sense sometimes exceeds education
I noticed in the last few issues of the sports section, pictures of the basketball players wearing the COVID-type masks, and yet, the wrestlers are not?
Isn’t it fairly obvious and doesn’t it stand to reason that the wrestlers are much closer face-to-face than the basketball players?
It seems to me it’s time the review the position taken at the schools and college concerning the safety of those young people and at least be consistent in your logic. I feel the safety of our young people deserve the very best that we can do for them.