Twenty years later, the horrific scenes of 9/11 are as fresh as if they happened today. On that day, we Americans came together as one. Galvanized by sorrow, we stood as one against this unspeakable terror. We were strong, with one voice.
We are now facing another unprecedented terrorist attack: the coronavirus pandemic. As Americans, we must once again come together and fight this, together as one. United we will be unbeatable. We have the tools, and we have the knowledge to beat it back. What we do need is the “herd resolve.” So, let us all pull together and fight this pandemic and knock it out.
Choice, then consequence
This is in response to Devin Kennemore’s piece about unvaccinated students (“Unvaccinated students are being unfairly penalized,” My View, Sept. 5). I have a couple of comments.
First, we are still in unprecedented times, with a virus that is still mutating and dangerous. Let’s cut everyone dealing with it some slack.
Second, although I emphasize with the frustration of a high-performing student being quarantined, I would remind her that it is not the end of the world nor a catastrophe. It is an inconvenience. In five years (hopefully), his daughter will not remember these 10 days.
Finally, remember that we are surviving a pandemic. The core tools we have are vaccines, masks, distancing and tracing. However, the most essential tool is understanding that along with rights as citizens, we have responsibilities to others. If we make a choice not to be vaccinated, then we have to accept the consequence of some inconvenience. Be well.
Not so obvious
To Devin Kennemore who says that “unvaccinated students are being unfairly penalized” and that “it is obvious to everyone that what we we are witnessing here is medical apartheid,” I say, no, this is not obvious.
In the real world, at some point, all our own decisions and needs are sublimated to a greater good. We are responding to a group challenge to keep everyone safe and alive. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is a pursuit which can only be achieved when everyone practices safe behaviors. The fact that COVID-19 has already been identified within your daughter’s school should cause alarm for you and your daughter about the collective health of your neighbors and students, as well as for yourselves. In response to this situation, individual decisions have community consequences.
Please help your daughter understand that sacrifices are abundant during this difficult time. It would be the best lesson she could possibly learn. And she doesn’t need to be in school to learn it.
Isolating a danger
As a nurse who recently retired after 50 years and stays in touch with active nurses, I applaud the New Mexico governor, Public Education Department and individual school principals for strictly adhering to COVID-19 precautions. The delta variant and now the mu variant are much more contagious and impact children at a much greater percent than original COVID-19. Pediatric intensive care units across the country are full, and kids are being turned away, including infants.
An unvaccinated student staying home for 10 days is the result of a choice Devin Kennemore made when he decided his daughter would not receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Having to be quarantined might happen again this school year. If she is exposed, she is a danger to others who may not medically be able to vaccinated.
I am sure her teachers are happy to give her work to do at home, just as they would if she were ill. This isn’t apartheid (disgusting to use a reference so loaded with racist history), it is good public health policy. My public health biologist buddies would be happy to explain this to him.
Pat Barnett, J.D., R.N. (retired)
The greater good
Devin Kennemore seems to have entirely missed the irony of his complaint. He’s unhappy because the school won’t provide special teaching arrangements for his unvaccinated daughter, who was required to remain home for 10 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19. “They. Don’t. Care,” he complains.
Well, since his daughter chose to be unvaccinated, she poses an an unnecessary risk to everyone around her. You could say, “She. Doesn’t. Care.” You could also say that choices have consequences and she (and he) should have thought of that when making the decision not to vaccinate. Perhaps it’s time for them to consider the greater good?