Get vaccine to promote health of community

Like other physicians have done in this forum, I would like to highly recommend everyone get the COVID-19 vaccine.

I am a local general hospital pathologist at Community Hospital and also your local forensic pathologist and I have unfortunately gotten very good at recognizing “COVID lungs” after doing autopsies on patients who have died of this horrible disease. The pathologic findings it causes in the lungs is the worst I’ve seen in deaths due to infectious lung disease. The vaccine is the best way to avoid getting this infection and preventing its serious complications, such as death. It would be great if I didn’t have to do an autopsy on another COVID-19-related death! I urge you to please get this vaccine to protect yourself and to promote the overall health of our community.

DEAN HAVLIK, MD

Grand Junction

Boebert’s border antics show she’s out of touch with Colorado

My son (who lives in California, and was being snarky), sent me a YouTube video link, featuring our U.S. House Rep. Lauren Boebert prancing along the Texas border with a cardboard cutout of Vice President Kamala Harris.

After viewing this video that Boebert posted, I was not amused, and I felt this embarrassing performance was a slap in the face to her constituents, me included, here in Colorado District 3.

An antic like this is NOT why Boebert was elected as our representative. She was elected to advocate what is important to the 3rd District. Much of what she stated in the video was unsubstantiated — “children given over the cartel” — and while it may have played as a clever sound bite, she portrayed herself as a clueless airhead.

In Eagle County where I live, we are in an extreme, serious drought affecting local agriculture; have been impacted by wildfires, pine beetle infestation, and aging infrastructure. These are far more serious and important issues for our representative in Congress to focus on than acting as a “border poser” in another state over 700 miles away from Colorado.

Contrast Boebert’s empty messaging from Texas with that of either Republican Mariana Zimmerman — who is seeking good-paying jobs, and a fair and honest tax system for people in Colorado — or Democrat Kerry Donovan, a rancher and president pro tem of the Colorado General Assembly and chair of the Colorado Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, who is addressing important issues of water, agriculture, wildlife, and recreation in Colorado.

By comparison, it is obvious that Boebert at the Texas border is totally out of touch with Colorado.

DEBBIE HANSON

Carbondale

Mental health professionals extend thanks to District 51

A few weeks ago, the Sentinel’s editorial spoke of the significance of the school district’s decision to provide in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year and included a short but powerful sentence: “Mental health was on the line as much as academic progress.”

Although this statement did not surprise us, it did remind us — especially as we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month in May — that we have not properly acknowledged the school district for its work to support our learners’ mental well-being and their mental health needs.

I don’t think that anyone needs a special degree to realize that without the school district’s in-person learning and their online offerings, our children would have experienced many more mental health issues than those we observed since the spring of 2020 and have seen across the country where in-person learning was not achieved. We don’t even want to consider what the increased strain on the limited mental health services in our community would have been had we not had in-person learning.

We all know kids need to play, run, laugh, and do so with other kids. Children understand and support each other in ways that adults just can’t replicate. We knew we had to give them opportunities to be with each other during the pandemic and the district came through.

The school district’s execution of its 2020-2021 plan was daring, bold, and student-centered. We, along with many of our community health leaders thank D51 for their dedication to and support for our student’s mental health and social and emotional learning. You are greatly appreciated.

RAUL De VILLEGAS-DECKER, Psy.D.

Principal consultant,

RDV Executive Consulting Group

MIKE STAHL

Chief Executive Officer, Hilltop

SHARON RAGGIO, LPC, LMFT

President & CEO, Mindsprings Health

MARY E. WILLY, DO, FAAP

Western Colorado Pediatric Associates,

a division of Primary Care Partners

HALI NURNBERG, MA, LPC

Executive director,

Counseling & Education Center