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The Spotlight's readers share thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccinations.

Fighting a war against the coronavirus

My country is now at war. At war with the virus.

In our long American history, Americans have always come together in common purpose to defeat our enemies and save our country. And we sacrifice for the common good.

My parents sacrificed during the last world war. Now we are all asked to sacrifice to win the war against the virus.

We have few weapons, but the ones we have have proven effective. We can get vaccinated, and we can wear masks when we are around others.

Is wearing a mask too much of a burden for my fellow Americans? It is a small sacrifice.

Rather than cry or whine about masking and personal liberty, let's join the war effort. It is the most patriotic thing we can do right now.

Ray Horn, Scappoose

Columbia County's sheriff isn't helping or serving

Three weeks have now passed since Sheriff Brian Pixley posted his anti-science manifesto on Facebook. [Ed.: This letter was received last Friday, Sept. 10.] Since then, we have seen new COVID cases in our county increase from a seven-day average of 22 per day (already scary enough) to 26 per day, for a total number of recorded cases here now over 3,000. COVID has taken 37 lives in this county already.

So the question is, does Sheriff Pixley have the sense to understand the connection between masks and vaccinations, and public safety? If so, why doesn't he urge everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated, rather than rail against the governor's earnest attempts to keep Oregonians safe? 

Read our news story on Sheriff Brian Pixley and his letter to the governor, published online Aug. 19, 2021.

Maybe he does understand the threat but can't find the moral courage to say so, instead siding with what may be the more popular anti-mask, anti-vax views here.

Sheriff Pixley was elected to lead this county by protecting and serving us, but his conduct shows that he lacks either the judgment to understand what is in our best interests, or the ethics to tell the people the truth. Either way, he is not fit to hold office.

Jeff Campbell, Scappoose

Avoid the fear surrounding climate change

This letter is in response to the Aug. 20 opinion column by state Treasurer Tobias Read, "No denying it, climate change fight requires bold action."

It is generally believed that 97% of scientists say that man contributes to global warming. The question is, how much do we contribute? There is a consortium of ideas among scientists to answer that question. Some believe man has little effect, while others believe man is the greatest contributor. So which is it?

Refer to the commentary by Tobias Read, first published online Aug. 11, 2021.

Those who say man has no effect on climate are the true deniers; the rest just believe in differing amounts.

The underlined quotes are from Mr. Read and my responses are in parenthesis.

"...fires are so fierce they're creating their own weather patterns," (Large fires have always created their own weather. This is nothing new.)

"And it's an urgent priority that needs immediate attention." (We have heard these predictions for decades that do not materialize).

(Here is a play on emotions): "We shivered in cold … We watched helplessly..."(refer to his article).

Closing comment: We must keep in mind the difference between extreme weather events and climate change. Climate change is looking at the average climate data over multitudes of decades. We can look at events and panic, or take the long view and realize we need to make some changes without scare tactics. After all, back in the 1970s, there was great concern over the cooling climate. Fear was used by the media to warn of a coming ice age.

Have we forgotten these words from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "We have nothing to fear except fear itself." Let's forget the extremists on both ends and seriously look at what the science is really saying.

Wally Johnston, Beaverton

Don't mandate the COVID-19 vaccine

In response to a reader's letter published Sept. 10: Frank DiMarco wrote, "Let's go all the way with a vaccination mandate," and called people who are not vaccinated "anti-vaxxer."

Refer to the letter by Frank DiMarco published Sept. 10, 2021.

A mandate gives someone the "authority or law" to carry out policy or course of action in a certain way. To our citizens who are not vaccinated, this is wrong!

We have laws on the books (when they are followed) to make bad people be punished for their crimes. Do we need laws on the books to make good people in an uncertain time be punished for their choice?

We have already started. You can lose your job or be denied access to a facility if you are not vaccinated! This is wrong!

We are starting on a path where government tells people how to live, without exception. Doing this, you will alienate a large portion of society and create a more divisive culture than we already have started.

An example, if the government mandates a vaccine to protect us, i.e. flu, measles, tetanus, and a person is unable to receive the vaccines for valid reasons, are we to alienate these people? Can they go to the supermarket? To work?

I have a "deadly" allergy to a commonly required vaccine. Does this mean I am restricted to my home? Do I lose my rights to shop or work?

Once you have the chickenpox or measles, for an example — should I be forced to take the vaccine for them? I already have immunity. Measles and chickenpox can be deadly in some cases. COVID-19 can also be deadly in some cases. All three are communicable diseases. Should we have a mandate on all three?

I chose to have the vaccine. However, I do not feel that there should be a mandate to force everyone to have the shot. People need to be responsible for their actions (or inactions).

Forcing people to chose between the shot and supporting their families is wrong, and this is one more step to remove the rights of the people and ensure that government can control your life.

Sally Van Wie, Forest Grove

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