Vaccine mandate will not solve any problem

A bright spot in the pandemic has been the development and distribution of effective vaccines. It is a fact that medical history shows that these are the most powerful tools, ever, to manage an infectious disease epidemic. It is a fact that most, if not all, healthcare systems recognize the value of vaccination for COVID and recommend that its employees get immunized. It is also a fact that not all people have the same beliefs about medicine, anymore than we all agree about religion, politics, or anything else.

A second bright spot is our healthcare systems and providers. They have been praised for their efforts and steadfastness during this turmoil. However, they are struggling to maintain the essential staffing levels of the workers needed to keep our hospitals, clinics and ancillary healthcare facilities functioning. These are the source of our medical appointments, procedures, and treatments. When they are disrupted, the availability of these medical services diminishes.

Governor’s Proclamation 21-14 pronounced on Aug. 9 that that any worker employed in a healthcare facility will have to be fired as of Oct. 18, if they have not proven that they have been immunized to COVID, or state they have a religious or medical exemption.

Firing healthcare workers during an epidemic will have a significant impact on the access to care of all individuals who need healthcare, COVID and non-COVID alike. Wait times for appointments will lengthen further into the vague future.

Access to care is already being rationed (elective surgeries being cancelled). Take a nurse, a doctor, a medical assistant, a scheduler, a physical therapist, a pharmacist, or a delivery person out of the healthcare supply chain, and the available care in that supply chain shrinks.

Making unvaccinated healthcare workers pariahs, as well as unemployed, will not solve any problem. But it will certainly affect the quality of life of our citizens with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and all chronic diseases, not to mention patients needing emergent care and procedures in our emergency rooms.

Jim Johnson, MD Medical Director

AnovaWorks PLLC

Times have changed

So, 50 parents recently disrupted a school board meeting over mask mandates. Was it more knee-jerk opposition to anything Inslee?

There was a time when parents taught their children to be good citizens; to be caring and respectful of others; to understand their civic responsibilities greater than themselves. A time when we went to the polls to vote agreeing to comply with, if not respect the results, not defy them. A time when parents faithfully backed their teachers and elected school boards even when they disagreed.

But times have changed it seems.

And now, even worse, we have, in some corners of our nation, citizens who threaten duly elected school board members in places like … Wenatchee, Washington.

Congratulations, local anarchists, for putting us on the map.

Mark Lindstrom

East Wenatchee

Frustrated by health care protesters

As a person who works in the healthcare industry, it frustrates me to no end to see my coworkers picketing and standing in front of their place of employment holding signs against the COVID-19 vaccinations and science.

First off, this is not a choice that was made by health care facilities to mandate vaccinations for their employees; this mandate came from governor. Secondly, how dare you bite the hand that feeds you!

If you do not want to get vaccinated, nothing anyone says can change your mind. However, if that is your choice, then do not work in the healthcare industry.

Why wait until Oct. 18?

No, you will drag out your employment, taking from already challenged organizations, until Oct. 18, taking everything you can get from these organizations who are trying to save lives.

Denise Mays

Wenatchee

Retain Maria Iñiguez on Wenatchee School Board

As a lifelong child advocate, pediatrician and supporter of equitable access and representation, I wholeheartedly endorse retaining Maria Iñiguez on the Wenatchee School Board, Position 2.

The past many months have been difficult for all, including a heartbreaking toll on our children. Their educational achievement, mental, emotional and physical health have suffered significantly. We must remain committed to keeping our children in school alongside their friends and teachers, we all play a role in making this happen.

As a school board member Maria recognizes the contribution of medical science and is committed to following the guidance of our local and state health experts to keep our children safely in school. Children thrive and succeed when they are in the classroom.

Maria will continue to grow partnerships with parents, community members, school administrators, staff and teachers to assure that every Wenatchee School District student has full access to a high quality education in the classroom while providing each child the opportunity to be successful and future ready.

Maria and her family have deep roots in our Wenatchee community having lived here for over 15 years. She brings extensive professional experience working in public education as well as countless volunteer time supporting youth and outreach organizations locally. Maria understands Wenatchee and the needs of our school children.

Every student deserves to see themselves on our Wenatchee School Board. Maria represents all our children. Please join me in voting to Retain Maria Iñiguez on our Wenatchee School Board, Position 2. Thank you.

Brenda Baumeister, MD

Wenatchee