Vaccinated, one way or another
COVID immunity is a tricky concept | September 22
It is a well done and important article. I don’t know why this is showing up under the guise of the governor’s fact-checking (no one is “to consult” for science) or what is so touchy about COVID immunity (people are different). However, there are two takeaways.
First, we need a new language. We must move away from using the vaccination / unvaccinated dichotomy. What we really have is a continuum of qualified immunity status. Those who have recovered and received a dose of vaccine deserve the golden angel wings pin (surprised?). Those who have recovered but without a follow-up jab, and those who receive the double dose of vaccine earn a silver medal. Those whose immunity was created – anyway – greater than, say, eight months ago, or is partial, based on a single dose, gets bronze. A certificate for those who cannot compete is also required.
Second, we don’t have to guess. We can do more antibody tests and find out. We must regain public confidence that any immunity works and is both a valid basis for distinctions of privilege and a useful means of targeting the vaccination campaign. There is nothing new here. Many experts have challenged natural immunity deniers and have been baffled by why heads of government, left and right, still make no practical use of immunity status. The ratios are mind boggling. Unintentionally, we have dissuaded what we want.
Pat Byrne, Largo
A case of incest
Texas Florida Abortion Law? | September 21
As a registered nurse, I took care of a 14 year old child with a developmental delay while she was giving birth and eventually had to have a Cesarean section to deliver. She had been sexually assaulted by an uncle. It was in the 1960s. As a young nurse, I was unable to explain to this child why she was in so much pain and couldn’t help her in any way except to hold her hand during the hours. contractions before doctors opt for a cesarean section. I would love to see lawmakers work on how to prevent abortions by helping to end sexual and domestic abuse. I would love to see them work on how to help young women who had no intention of getting pregnant by funding care for them – not just medical bills but living expenses as well. I would like to see them help newborns by funding more child care centers for mothers who cannot work because they cannot afford child care. I would like them to make sex education compulsory in schools so that young women have the knowledge to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Lawmakers who say they are pro-life should step in and be pro-life after birth as well.
Wanda Barker, Saint PETERSBOURG
Keep politics away
Most states have cut back on local health authorities | September 19
Reading this as a doctor, I was shocked at the frightening increase in the politicization of this pandemic, and now the steps politicians are taking to keep decision-making on medical issues – of all kinds – in their midst. hands. I say “all kinds” because they don’t know what they are creating and destroying. State legislatures across the country are essentially and effectively silencing the knowledge, voices and recommendations of those who were previously responsible for shaping public health policy and decision-making. Organized medical minds are told, “Thank you but no thank you, we don’t need you anymore.” We can do your job. The state and national political legislative branches have few politicians who are physicians, or even who have a doctorate in public health. Yet they are taking the power of these health policy institutions to govern medical emergencies both now and in the future. Lawmakers are making themselves the medical voice of the country without the education, knowledge or training to do the job. And all because these institutions and these people had the nerve to tell you to wear a mask and get vaccinated. This will not only affect this pandemic, but regular outbreaks of pertussis, RSV, and occasional measles outbreaks. However, the public will never know them until it is too late, because no one will be watching them.
Gail Dudley, Downtown of the sun
Watch out for level crossings
Rail Safety Week
Did you know that in Florida there were 87 level crossing collisions last year? Most of us take safety seriously every day. We buckle up when driving a car and use sidewalks instead of walking in the middle of the road. But it’s also important to make safe choices around rail tracks and trains. It’s Rail Safety Week, a national public awareness campaign sponsored by Operation Lifesaver to raise awareness about rail safety. Operation Lifesaver was launched almost 50 years ago to save lives and encourage caution around railroad tracks and trains. Through public safety education campaigns and partnerships with railways, law enforcement and transportation agencies, we can make communities safer. Let’s work together to stop the tragedies of the track – not just this week, but every week. To find out more, visit www.oli.org and help spread the word. With your help, we can make preventable incidents at railway crossings and trespassing a thing of the past.
Pete Petree, Apopka
The writer is the volunteer president of Florida Operation Lifesaver.