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Beaverton and Forest Grove readers share their thoughts on the pandemic and public education.

Where did we go wrong on public health?

When I was growing up in the 1950s and '60s, our parents' greatest fear was that their children would succumb to the polio epidemic. When the Salk vaccine became available, we couldn't get inoculated fast enough.

So, what went wrong this time with this pandemic? Even I can come up with three obvious possibilities.

1. Let's start with Donald Trump's lies and total incompetence allowing the virus to spread without challenge.

2. Even now the lies and misinformation persist thanks to politicians such as Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

3. And then there is you, the deliberate unvaccinated and the antivaxxers. You know who you are. You ignore the science but manage to soak up all the misinformation provided by Fox News and the social media like a mindless sponge. You rant about tainted vaccines, lock downs and masks that are violating your personal freedoms. What about the freedoms of the rest of us that your actions, or lack thereof, threaten?

Please do not include "we the vaccinated" in your personal death wish.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

Oregon OK with poorly educated youths

Gov. Kate Brown has signed off on a bill where high school students no longer have to prove their proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics over the course of the next five years.

I had to read this several times to make sure I haven't lost my comprehension skills.

Essentially, kids can show up and get passed through high school. You could have an 18-year-old entering college with basically a seventh- or eighth-grade education.

Education is the backbone of society. We're already creating a world of non-thinking cheaters with smart phones and tablets that do all the thinking for you. Why learn to spell or use proper grammar when you can just rely on spell check and grammar check?

We used to complain as kids about subjects like history and social studies and how would these classes ever help us in day-to-day life as adults. It wasn't necessarily the topics, but it taught young minds critical thinking. Now, not only is that getting lost with all the available gadgets, you can now officially cheat your way through hight school with no repercussions.

Thank you, Gov. Brown, for dumbing down society to a whole new level.

James Maass, Beaverton


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