Time to stop shouting — me included

Yesterday, on my way out of town, I saw you holding the American flags, the Yellow “Don’t Tread on Me”s, the signs against vaccination and masking, the scripture about Christian faith. I pulled over and shouted at you to “stop acting like selfish children.”

I want to tell you that I am sorry, that I was wrong, that this is not a time to add to the noise of discord that has been sown by websites, tweets and the media.

Here is what I should have said:

  • The risk of death from weapons of the WWII axis: 2.7% — about 3 in 100
  • The risk of death from British bullets in our war for freedom: 17% — about 1 in 6
  • The risk of death from nails in a cross: 100%
  • The risk of death from the coronavirus vaccine: .000014% — less than 2 in ten million (and those are not proven)
  • The risk of death from a mask – 0%

In this noisy debate, there often isn’t time to really talk about this stuff. But the people above all have one thing in common… they gave their lives for the freedom and the lives and the souls of others. Putting aside one’s fears and pride sounds much more like patriotism and faith to me.

So, I am sorry for having shouted, for disrespecting your right to free speech and choice.

I ask you to join me this Thursday and give thanks to the people on that list above, give thanks for the health care workers who died before there was a vaccine and those that are now taking extra shifts to cover for those who declined the vaccine. And if you decide to get a vaccination after all, wear a mask when you go and thank the person who sacrificed time with their family to give you that shot.

Let’s stop shouting and start talking. Let’s be like the people of history who have come together for the good of our nation, our neighbors and our loved ones. I, for one, am ready to listen.

Dr. Steven Aguilu, MD

Wenatchee

Thank you for continuing to train medical students

Each Thanksgiving, it is important to pause and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. Especially over the last nearly two years of COVID, we at the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Health Partnership appreciate and are very thankful for the physicians and healthcare workers in Wenatchee, who, despite unprecedented stress and hardship, continued to train our medical students.

We desperately need more high-quality, well-trained physicians and we simply could not do it without the healthcare providers in Wenatchee.

The UW School of Medicine has developed an extensive network of hundreds of physicians throughout Eastern and Central Washington who train medical students, just as they were once trained by their mentors. With added layers of complexity from COVID, they persevered, understanding this is a unique opportunity for medical students to learn in a pandemic situation.

We are grateful for each physician, nurse, physician assistant, medical assistant and healthcare professional who contribute to our students’ medical education. Because of you, we can deliver top-ranked medical education to train the next generation of excellent physicians for the Wenatchee community and beyond.

Together, we are working to make our region healthier.

Geoff Jones, M.D. Assistant Clinical Dean

Eastern and Central WA

University of Washington School of Medicine

Schrier pushes for needed action on veterans clinic

Thank God we have a representative like Kim Schrier that represents us in Congress. When she states that she is working hard to represent us, that is truly a statement of fact!

Her most recent effort at looking into veteran complaints about the Wenatchee CBOC better known as the Vet Clinic has been measured, thorough and spot on.

Putting it bluntly, the clinic operation is a mess, The My Health Vet contact and record system is a mess, the responsiveness of clinic staff is painfully “barely meeting standards” and the explanation seems to be “due to covid we can’t get you replacement glasses for 4 to 8 weeks at least. Really!

Give Costco a call and see how long it takes them to resupply someone with new glasses, try 7 to 10 days. The Vet Clinic has been a non factor in protecting Vets from COVID. When I called I was told I could probably go to Safeway to get vaccinated. Puh-leze.

Dr Schrier has earned the support of veterans for her efforts and expertise. I shudder to think what the status of Veterans Healthcare would be without those like Dr. Kim Schrier and Senator Patty Murray. These two truly understand the meaning of the words, duty, honor, country.

Dwight Burke

East Wenatchee

Looking for the spirit of gratitude

This is the season of thanksgiving, and yet we can all effortlessly think of many negative examples to justify pessimism. I would like to dig beneath all these discouraging distractions and look for gratitude.

I have a priest friend who always starts his day with this humble prayer: “Lord, help me to want what I already have.”

I find that when I do that, it acts as a catalyst for positivity in my day. It fosters “an attitude of gratitude.” The simple practice of naming three things at the end of our day that we are grateful for is said to help promote mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical health, including having a good night’s sleep.

Service to others is another way to rediscover your spirit of thanksgiving. Currently there is an urgent need for acts of kindness, generosity, and service to people who are suffering right here in our own community as well as nationally and globally. For example, my husband and I deliver meals once a week to seniors in the Wenatchee area who need a helping hand with meal preparation, for various reasons. It is one of the most uplifting things we do. Our focus is on our clients, not on ourselves. It adjusts our gratitude meter.

In my volunteer work with the Red Cross, I often listen to clients’ heartbreaking stories. They may share about the loss of a loved one, a pet, all their personal belongings, and sometimes even their hope. Usually, it is the result of a devastating home fire, or it could be a wildfire or a flood. Offering words of encouragement coupled with the Red Cross’s assistance with food, sheltering, emergency financial help, and connection to other community resources that are available, helps me keep my perspective.

I have a multitude of blessings to give thanks for in this season as well as every day of the year. All of this contributes to my “wanting what I already have.” It keeps me grateful, and that makes me hopeful.

Linda Reid

East Wenatchee

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