Letters to the Editor — Jan. 5, 2022

Think of our health care workers

For those of you who have decided not to get vaccinated for COVID, think of these people. Personally I and all my family members are vaccinated.

1. Doctors, nurses and all the staff working in hospitals need your help. The majority of new cases coming into the hospitals are non-vaccinated people.

2. A new survey indicates 40 percent of nurses and 20 percent of doctors are leaving hospitals.

3. People are dying who are vaccinated because hospitals don’t have beds for them even though they have scheduled surgeries that in some cases will keep them alive.

4. Scientists, doctors, nurses have dedicated their lives to providing care to patients are being threatened just because of their work in providing COVID shots to human beings.

5. Once again patients are now dying alone with no family around them.

6. I don’t wish non-vaccinated to get sick or die but I hope and pray that they evaluate their decision to get vaccinated for their sake of their families and friends.

7. I have five stents in my heart and I hope that if I have to go to a hospital in a emergency there will be a bed for me. My cardiologist retired last year and I sent him a personal letter thanking him for saving my life.

8. Remember many of the groups and individuals who are telling you not to get vaccinated are vaccinated themselves. Unfortunately many individuals who were not vaccinated and told people not to get vaccinated are now dead.

9. Thanks to all of the doctors, nurses and staff working so hard to care for COVID patients.

Ted Chamberlain


Kudos for newspaper service

Thank you for unfailingly publishing the PDN and Gazette week after week. I recognize the difficulties of producing a local paper today in the midst of our economic and political realities.

Thanks to your strong leadership, our communities have the information we must have to endure these difficult times.

It also takes endurance to deliver that news despite the weather – and the 16 percent grade hill into our neighborhood. Thank you to our carrier, Patrick O’Keefe.

Your honest words keep us strong.

Susan Hedding


Top story: Biden’s ‘disagreeable’ inauguration

With reference to “2021 The Year in Review” (Sequim Gazette, Jan. 5, page A-1):

The salient and most disagreeable event of 2021 was the inauguration of Senator Joe Biden as President of the United States.

Ethan Harris


Discrimination by public health order

Since October I’ve written Dr. Berry three times about including the naturally immune in the public health order that limits indoor dining to the vaccinated only. Since she hasn’t replied, I’ll make my case publicly.

The county web page reports 6,217 confirmed COVID cases with 80 deaths. That’s 6,137 residents with natural immunity excluded from indoor dining. Why? Medical studies prove natural immunity is equal or superior to vaccine immunity and more effective against variants.

The county infection rate is 78.63 percent unvaccinated and 21.37 percent vaccinated; it was recently 83-17. Infections among the vaccinated are rising sharply. The near 5 percent jump suggests vaccines are much less effective against omicron.

However, the county obscures real-time data by publishing only the cumulative rate which is front-loaded with cases dating back to when no one was vaccinated and the rate was 100-0.

For transparency, what is the infection rate since Aug. 6, when the U.S. reached 50 percent vaccination? Likewise, for the last 14 days?

Soon “fully vaccinated” will be redefined to include as many boosters as the CDC authorizes. Is Dr. Berry cognizant of the impact that will have on restaurants? The county is 65.6 percent vaccinated now, but only until the CDC authorizes another booster when the vaccination rate will be set back to zero — thereby gutting the customer base for restaurants and potentially causing them financial ruin.

The only reasonable action is to rescind the discriminatory and myopic public health order.

Jack Helser


Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in October released research that found both infection-induced and vaccine-induced immunity are durable for at least six months, but that vaccines are more consistent in their protection and offer a huge boost in antibodies for people previously infected. The CDC also notes that those getting vaccinated for the coronavirus when they’ve already had COVID-19 significantly enhances their immune protection and further reduces a risk of reinfection. — MD

Losing their identity

I have spent a lot of time trying to understand Trump supporters using the excuse that they are losing their freedoms to justify their undemocratic actions. Things like verbally attacking school board members, city councils, teachers, election workers and many others, including threats of physical violence against them and their families.

I think I have finally figured it out. It’s their identity they fear they are losing, not their freedoms. Why is this? I believe that white America has so long been used to their status quo. They seem not to be able to understand that diverse religions, race and ideas are not a threat to them and so they strike out in any way they can.

Unscrupulous actors on the far right push lies and conspiracy theories for profit and power and Trump supporters latch onto to these and use them to strike out at their perceived enemies.

It doesn’t help that social media spreads this garbage far and wide and the gullible gobble it up. It almost seems like the lies have gotten so deep into their souls it is rotting their brains and makes them incapable of any critical thinking.

Wake up you people before you completely destroy our democracy.

Stan Riddle


Library leadership should maintain hours

I visit the Sequim Library almost every day. That is, when it’s open!

I like the library very much and find the local staff competent, helpful and friendly. This criticism is aimed at the library’s “upper” management’s attitude concerning public service. It seems they’re more interested in their own convenience, rather than serving the public. Specifically, closing the library for apparently any reason they can think of, and then using the excuse “Lack of available staff”! Why is it that the library closes (or opens late and/or closes early) when virtually every other business in Sequim manages to operate at their normal business hours – including the Post Office!

For instance, on Tuesday, Jan. 4, I walked (a mile) to the library, arriving at the scheduled opening time (10 a.m.). However, it was closed; and I was told by a library employee that they would open at 11 a.m. While I was there several other customers also showed up, and walking back home I met a man heading to the library. The point being, several library customers were inconvenienced. The weather was beautiful. The library’s excuse was that the roads were too slippery for their employees to get to work.

That same morning I also went to Safeway and the Post Office – both opened at their normal times (5 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively). There was lots of traffic on the road; in fact, as I was leaving my cul-de-sac at 9:30 a.m., a plumbing service van was pulling in.

In other words, people with positive customer-service attitudes were getting to work.

We should not tolerate an inferior attitude from our library – they are our employees!

Loren Howerter


Editor’s note: We asked North Olympic Library System officials for a comment. Their response:

Providing excellent customer service is an integral part of the Library’s relationship with the community. We know many community members rely on the Library and use it frequently and on a regular basis, therefore, decisions to adjust Library hours are not made lightly by Library Management.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience the reduced hours caused.

For weather-related decisions, we consider road conditions, WSDOT updates, and late-start or closures of local school districts. When the Library is open, the sidewalks and parking lot need to be safe for patrons and staff to walk on and conduct library operations. On Jan. 4, the black ice made it treacherous for library staff who live throughout the county to safely navigate road conditions in the early morning hours, therefore, we made the decision to open one hour late. The Library was not alone in its reaction to the dangerous conditions — all public schools in the county were closed that day and Clallam Transit modified its service that morning.

During inclement weather or adverse road conditions, we encourage patrons to check nols.org, call the library, or check NOLS’ social media prior to visiting. Hours adjustments are posted as soon as possible after a decision is made.

NOLS staff is committed to keeping its branches open as much as possible, and did everything we could to safely minimize disruptions during the inclement weather the last two weeks. Facilities staff were in early every day, creating a safe space for the public and employees; staff worked extra and unscheduled hours; and several staff, including managers, travelled from Port Angeles to Sequim to help ensure the branch was adequately staffed.

Library hours have recently expanded – open later in the evenings and earlier on Friday and Saturday mornings. We hope the expanded hours allow even more community members to visit the library at a time that is convenient for them. The Sequim Branch Library is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

— Noah Glaude, Executive Director, North Olympic Library System