Letters to the editor — July 15, 2020

Thanks to front-line, other health workers

A close friend of mine and dedicated health care worker recently retired after more than 30 years of providing health care for the unfortunate sick. In part, this is a tribute.

In this frightening time of the world’s worst pandemic in more than a century, we should publicly thank the modern day heroes and heroines of our communities. These are the first responders, available 24/7 to help us in our times of need; the myriad dedicated health care professionals, who’ve risked/are risking their lives every day with insufficient sleep, rest and personal protective equipment (PPE) caring for others during 12-14 hour shifts, many times seven days per week for the past six months of 2020; the dedicated researchers and doctors, who are finding new effective treatments for COVID-19, and searching for and developing potential vaccines to eradicate this deadly virus.

We are also indebted to the government epidemiologists and other medical experts, who have stood up to our ignorant president’s lack of knowledge and absence of leadership, while providing sage advice and publishing guidelines to help keep us safe in this dire time.

In the absence of badly needed national leadership, many state governors and city mayors have shown outstanding leadership, resolve and common sense in their efforts to protect us, the people.

For all those cited, we are deeply indebted. Although we cannot monetarily reward these heroes and heroines, we can publicly thank them for their selfless dedication to our welfare. Many thanks and best wishes to you all!

Richard Hahn

Sequim

Letter mocks race issue

I am appalled that you published the letter “Culture, Twisted” in the July 1 edition of the newspaper. While presented as a joke, the letter drips with casual, quotidian racism. Racism is not a joke. Neither is the world of white racial resentment represented by the letter.

Mocking and denigrating attempts, however imperfect, to get rid of or replace the symbols, words and attitudes of systemic racism is reprehensible. That they are common and innocently used or repeated makes them no less insensitive or insulting to those who are on the receiving end.

Publishing such a letter only serves to normalize racism. Upon reading that letter, the only moral choice was to throw it in the nearest trash can. That you chose instead to publish it, sir, is to your shame.

Severne Johnson

Sequim, Washington

Letter clarification

In the “Letters to the Editor” section of the July 8 Sequim Gazette (page A-14), a writer cited a New England Journal of Medicine article that noted “wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from (COVID-19) infection … In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

A Gazette reader pointed out, however, that because the article was misinterpreted, its authors wrote a followup letter:

“We understand that some people are citing our Perspective article (published on April 1 at NEJM.org)1 as support for discrediting widespread masking. In truth, the intent of our article was to push for more masking, not less. It is apparent that many people with SARS-CoV-2 infection are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic yet highly contagious and that these people account for a substantial fraction of all transmissions. Universal masking helps to prevent such people from spreading virus-laden secretions, whether they recognize that they are infected or not.”

See the article and clarification (under “”Letters” at the bottom of the page) at www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372.

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