Shots in young arms
Age for Pfizer vaccine lowered | May 12
Lowering the Pfizer vaccination age to include children 12 to 15 years old is wonderful news. This can help fast-forward our community’s safe return to normalcy. Also, trials are under way for those as young as 6 months old. This entire age group of children makes up roughly a quarter of our population. Although most children have mild or no symptoms, they are carriers and spreaders of COVID-19. Getting this population vaccinated ASAP will protect all of our community from COVID-related short- and long-term health problems. Some of our kids can get quite ill with “Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children” (MIS-C), affecting many organs, including most significantly their brains, hearts, lungs and kidneys. All of these poor outcomes can be avoided with three words: shots in arms. The evidence is clear: Get the vaccine, protect our community and return to pre-pandemic days sooner versus much later, if ever.
Dr. Charles Sand, Tampa
The writer is medical adviser for the Hillsborough County/Tampa COVID-19 Committee and serves on the Hillsborough Emergency Medical Planning Council.
Slavery was the cause
The South had a right to secede | Letters, May 11
Please, please, please, if you don’t think the Confederacy and its flag stood for slavery, read its Constitution: No “law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” Read its Vice President Alexander Stephens’ “Cornerstone” speech, which declared that “our new government(’s) foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man.” Stop trying to sell the old story about states’ rights. In a state where our governor wants to make it illegal for city governments to pass basic gun and environmental ordinances, defending the Confederacy on the basis of local government control is specious.
Susan Burnore, Gulfport
Keep the ban
Fishing for balance | May 11
In regards to lifting the ban on Goliath Grouper, if the past year has taught us anything, it is that expecting the American people “to do the right thing” is just no longer feasible. Leave the ban in place.
Terrence Callahan, Crystal Beach
Reckless on the water
Obey watercraft rules
As a visitor to your beautiful area, I recently enjoyed a boat tour hosted by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where I was shocked at the rudeness of boaters. The speeding and tailgating of the highways and freeways now takes place in our waterways. While we witnessed several dolphins in the water, we also witnessed several large motor boats speeding by, leaving our boat rocking in their wake. It was also clear some were not obeying the 100-feet rule. I couldn’t help but wonder what damage they are causing to the mammals, fish and marine life in these waters? I have never seen so many dolphins in one area, and I was shocked at the reckless disregard by so many boaters who seemed oblivious to this fact. A motorboat is by nature a danger to marine life. But speeding, reckless motorboating drivers are a danger to everyone.
Peggy K. Goodwin, Royal Oak, Mich.