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A Costly Choice

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Thank you for the excellent cover story detailing the illness and hospitalization of a "Covid refusenik" ("I Wish I Had Been Vaccinated," Aug. 12). 

The cover photo alone is a strong statement about the personal price Mr. Weltsch had to pay. There is one question I wish had been asked of Mr. Weltsch: how could someone as "thoughtful and kind" as he is described, willingly jeopardize the health and safety of his loved ones, as well as the general public and his potential customers, and most of all, our healthcare heroes?

How difficult it must be to have to face a caregiver who knows full well you have chosen to add to the heavy burden they have carried for so long. I hope Mr. Weltsch will include a big mention of this aspect to his story, because he, of all people, now knows he is not the only one who suffered from his refusal to support his community.

Sheila Evans, Eureka


I read the Aug. 12 cover story, "I Wish I Had Been Vaccinated." I'm very glad Jonathan Weltsch is recovering, that his wife and children are healthy, and that he is urging his friends to get the vaccine.

But it's nowhere near enough. He spent four days in the ICU at St. Joseph, using the hospital's limited resources. Why isn't he offering them some money? If he can afford nine children, he can afford to contribute to the public good. He owes a huge amends to his mother — who, because of his wrong-headed decision, was forced to stay away from his family for a year and a half — as well as to his children, employees, clients, neighbors and everyone else.

From my point of view, he is indebted to society for the rest of his life.

Louisa Rogers, Eureka


I am writing to thank Thadeus Greenson for his two important articles in the Aug. 12 NCJ, "I Wish I Had Been Vaccinated" and "'Dramatically Changed.'" I'm grateful for his excellent reporting and I hope he appreciates the compliment. I have previously submitted letters to the editor which he has declined to print because he said they were not relevant to local news. Perhaps he will consider printing this one.

April Jones, Arcata


I recently encountered a sentence that is too good not to share. It's not my sentence. I wish it were.

It is a magnificent setence both in its construction, style and content.

I found it in an editorial in The Week magazine. The title of the editorial is "Are the vaccinated entitled to be angry?" The author is not identified. Here it is: "Even with the super-infectious Delta variant, life could be returning to normal if the petulant, selfish children of 'pro-Trump America' hadn't decided to embrace vaccine refusal as their latest pathetic symbol of tribal membership." Wow! It touches all the bases.

Bill Morris, Eureka


An Aug. 6 New York Times article showed that the following methods are proven successful for increasing the number of people vaccinated for COVID:

1. Saturday "block party" with food trucks offering a free empanada/ egg roll/ etc., DJs playing music, kid-friendly activities (ring toss, hula hoop, chalk drawing on sidewalks, "touch a real fire truck or ambulance," etc.) These have frequently resulted in more vaccinations than mobile clinics.

2. As to mobile clinics, use very visible and accessible mobile clinics set up at locations with large numbers of workers who have trouble getting time off (malls, factories or near mega stores like Costco/Walmart/Target etc.).

3. Use very visible and accessible mobile clinics at or near frequently used shopping centers, zoos, sports stadiums, city parks, entrances to community forests or fields, large well-filled parking lots for hospitals, willing employers' or schools' parking lots (especially at back-to-school events or sports events like Crabs games), college or university parking lots or facilities, churches on Sundays, or senior or disabled care homes.

4. Offer of free rides to vaccination sites.

5. Use door-to-door to reach those who are home bound.

The article's author says, "Sometimes you have to make it too convenient so that people can't say no." Doing things like these don't replace using science and logic, but using fear, shame, and shock have now been shown to not get us where we need to go, as fast as we need to go.

Jeff Knapp, Arcata


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