Living in a pandemic hula hoop space
The March letter of the month
My 92-year-old-father, who lives alone in his own home in Spring Hill, is one of those with little understanding of computers. I cannot tell you how many weekday mornings I sat at the table waiting for 7 a.m. to get on the Publix site to try to schedule his vaccination appointment. I spent weeks, but all I got was waiting, then the 60-second countdown, screen refresh, then another 60-second countdown. My father was becoming more anxious and despondent as we kept failing. Finally late last month, we got him an appointment. My father received his first vaccination at a Publix in New Port Richey. He will receive his second Moderna shot later this month. (Editor’s note: This letter originally published on March 20.)
My 26-year-old daughter is a Type 1 juvenile diabetic (since age 9½) and has a gastric pacemaker as a result of an uncommon side effect of her diabetes. Given this combination, she was considered vaccine eligible, which pleased us all. As the pandemic progresses, the number of coronavirus cases among my circle of acquaintances, friends and family increases. Relatives of dear friends have died.
This pandemic has taken safety and trust from my father and an 89-yearold- friend. Both have suffered a year lost to loneliness and isolation. My friend’s memory and her walking have declined over the year. My father’s posture is more bent over, and he moves much slower. Fortunately, he is still rather sharp mentally. We’ve had the talk that it’s time for him to move to Pinellas County to be closer to me, his only child.
Although life has not stood still over the last year, I feel like I’ve done little but tread water in the same hula hoop space. Get your vaccination and be safe.
Carla Reiniger, Safety Harbor
A passport to baseball
Root, root, root for the road team | Column, April 2
Would Major League Baseball teams be able to allow more than 20 percent fan capacity if every paying customer showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination? It seems silly to have so many empty seats at the games.
Joseph Cronin, Dunedin
The happiest people
Hello, we actually are Democratic Socialists | Column, April 1
The commentators who wrote this column point out that Scandinavian countries are among the “most democratic, most egalitarian, most prosperous, most environmentally responsible, most highly educated, most crime-free countries in the world.” They neglected the most important “est.” They are also among the happiest in the world.
Ed Bradley, Boynton Beach
How to save the coral reefs
Destressing the coral reef | Column, March 31
Thank you Katie Ebinger! Yes, saving coral does protect jobs and our coasts from storms. Stopping local stress points, like releasing raw sewage requires local action and focus. However, the biggest stressor -- warming water -- can only be dealt with by a national policy to price carbon. Pricing carbon will discourage the burning of fossil fuels. That is the cause of ocean warming. A steadily rising price will promote behavior change and stimulate the development of new fuel sources that don’t warm the planet. National policy means Congress needs to act. Passage of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act should be a high priority. It prices carbon and returns all the money collected to citizens. Because of the “cashback” feature in the legislation the majority of Americans come out ahead economically. We win, and coral reefs win too.
Nicholas Doubleday, St. Petersburg
Where rights begin ... and end
DeSantis denounces vaccine ‘passport’ | March 30
I read with interest Gov. Ron DeSantis’ dismissal of “vaccination passports” for those who have been inoculated. He claims that those who have not been vaccinated, whatever the reasoning, would be ostracized and endure pariah status. That they have a right to not be vaccinated. He’s right about that. But I take issue with “their” rights.
First off, their rights end where ours, those who have been vaccinated and those who want to be, begin. We have a right to be safe in our workplace, eating establishments, bars, houses of worship, what have you. We have the right to safe environs. So if the “refuseniks” are going to push this, we are going to push back by asserting our rights. Desantis really fooled me and others. I was actually impressed with him, initially. But once he ingratiated himself with President Donald Trump, and his ambitions started humming, he flipped back to the “build the wall” sentiment he first ran on. Well, as the Who song goes, “Won’t get fooled again.”
Allan Love, New Port Richey