To those who won’t mask or get vaccinated
An open letter to those who won’t wear a mask or get vaccinated during the pandemic:
I hear you say you have a right to choose, and you choose freedom, the freedom to refuse to follow government mandates.
Yet it occurs to me that every day you accept government mandates that take away your freedom and you rarely complain.
There’s a government mandate that says you cannot drive 60 mph in a school zone. It takes away your freedom to choose the speed you wish to drive and you willingly give up that freedom for public safety. It’s the responsible thing to do.
The government also mandates you wear a seat belt when you drive your car. Most people do this, again for public safety. Not many people demand their right to drive without a seat belt.
School districts have always required (mandate) certain things so as to have a safe learning environment.
There’s always been required vaccinations. I don’t remember it being such a big issue. All schools have a dress code and you don’t complain. Consider students wearing masks as part of the dress code. Again for public safety.
My point is, I think it’s great that you choose freedom! But along with freedom comes responsibility! You live in a community, and there are certain freedoms you give up willingly (driving 60 mph in a school zone) for public safety. It’s the right thing to do.
So get off your soapbox and wear a mask when asked. Go get vaccinated! You are not the center of the universe! You are part of your community. Please help us get through this pandemic as quickly as possible!
— Roger Coats, Sunriver
for homeless camp
I’ve been reading the news about the proposed sheltered camp directly adjacent to Bear Creek Elementary, including Sunday’s editorial “We can’t keep saying no to any homeless camp.” On this same page, Chuck Hemmingway penned an article outlining the particulars of how the camp, or village as he called it, would look and operate. It was a thoughtful and insightful column demonstrating the careful planning involved in the creation of such a camp.
However, the majority of the column focused on the many risk -mitigation factors that would be instituted to protect the hundreds of students that use Coyner Trail, which passes the proposed camp, to safely get to and from school every day. Eight-foot tall fences, locked gates, security details, entry and exit protocols, drug and alcohol restrictions. And therein lies the problem.
Why on earth is building a homeless camp requiring all of these risk mitigation factors, directly next to an elementary school , even being considered?
We absolutely can and should say no to this proposal. It simply is not worth the risk. Doing so would be irresponsible at best.
— Scott Clark, Bend
I spent almost 30 years as a Regular Army Special Forces and Infantry officer serving twice in Vietnam and spending another 12 years overseas.
Like so many of my comrades and those that went before and after us, we fought for freedom. I am pretty certain I am not the only one of the millions who have served to believe that the freedoms we fought for were not the freedom to scream “fire!” in a crowded theater, the freedom to drive 70 miles an hour through a school zone, leave an open campfire burning, or refuse to be vaccinated or wear a mask when such acts would save others, especially children, from becoming seriously ill or dying.
I cannot imagine where this exaggerated and wrong-headed sense of self-importance and selfishness that would cause someone to abandon any thought of the welfare of others and the good of the society would come from. Now, we are facing a terrible surge of the unvaccinated that is filling our hospitals, causing closures of events and businesses, and will possibly facilitate the development of another, even more virulent strain than the delta variant.
Our freedoms were bought with blood and along with them come responsibilities to the nation.
— Retired Col. William Carwile, Bend