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Letters to the editor, Sept. 15, 2021

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 15, 2021

Hoping for a ripple effect

I thank Mr. Masterson and daughter - for sharing his vaccination decision and his daughter’s story. If it leads even one person to be vaccinated, that person won’t spread CoVid to 4 people, in turn saving another 16 people from infection. I hope his article creates this ripple effect.

I do have a question - Mr. Masterson states that mistrust of government has been earned and likely helped create anti-vax sentiment; can the same be said for doctors and nurses. Nurses have historically been the most trusted professional, and doctors also rank high. However, their advice and counsel are also being disregarded.

One Georgia physician - a neurosurgeon and former Republican candidate for Congress, recently stated “I operated on a lot of folks who were at that rally and if they trusted me to operate on their brain or spine, I hope they’d trust me to give a safe & proven vaccine,”, referring to a political rally at which he had set up a vaccine clinic and had no takers.

I believe choice is involved in taking the vaccine - the choice to protect one’s self, family and community. Mr. Masterson - thank you; may your daughter have a speedy recovery.

Cathy Wasem, Aberdeen

Redistricting

I’m writing to urge the South Dakota legislators to form a nonpartisan committee to redistrict South Dakota with 3 republicans, 3 democrats, and 3 independents, as Colorado has done. Good government is created by bipartisanship not one-party rule. The last time I checked South Dakota had more registered democrats and independents than republicans. Diversity allows people with different backgrounds and experiences with new ideas to be heard. Bipartisan redistricting would better reflect the wishes of South Dakotans. It potentially could stop young people from exiting the state for better jobs and higher income. It’s crucial the committee is nonpartisan and takes time to make fair districts. If the process is rushed and not transparent gerrymandering will be suspected and voters will distrust government.

Daria McGrath, Rapid City

Help preserve health and democracy

We ask our son to be a brave leader, wear a mask in school, even though nobody else does, as covid cases spike higher than during last winter’s successful harmless mask mandate. He says he will. We don’t expect him to overcome serious peer pressure at his age. Searching “how covid masks work” reveals, among many good sources, a New York Times animated trip through a cloth mask and an N95 explaining that although N95s are the gold standard, cloth masks are beneficial when not everybody can get an N95. When everybody wears masks, droplets and aerosol virus stick inside the mask on the way out, more do on the way into another’s mask, dropping viral load to non-infectious.

Searching “cloth mask benefits” leads to CDC’s page on community use of cloth masks, summary of benefits, long list of articles. A local doctor who interprets data differently included in a recent speech against masking his powerful observation of close correlation between people’s opinions about former president Trump and their mask beliefs. We both disapprove linking politics to public health.

Cooperation and attention to reliable evidence, whether they comfortably affirm existing preferences or not, help preserve both health and democracy.

Peter Hasby, Rapid City

Where is the outrage?

South Dakota Codified Law 13-28-7.1 requires that any student entering school or an early childhood program in the state shall, prior to admission, be required to present to school authorities, certification from a licensed physician that the child has received, or is in the process of receiving, adequate immunization against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, tetanus, meningitis and chickenpox, according to the recommendations of the State Department of Health.

Where is the outrage when it comes to these vaccines? Why don’t parents show up at school board meetings complaining about “freedom” and why their child has to get vaccinated for measles, mumps or chickenpox?

Vaccines are a part of a healthy society, and you should probably add the COVID vaccine to the required list. Your child is already required to receive numerous vaccines in their early years.

It just goes to show that the loud, vocal minority have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to “freedom” and requiring a COVID vaccine when so many other vaccines are already required and we hear nothing about those.

Travis Kriens, Mitchell

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