Can we do this?
Denmark: Virus no longer a “critical threat” | Sept. 12
While we continue to restrict the ability of our businesses to ensure safe environments, argue over vaccine hesitancy, masks and mandates, with COVID still ravaging around us, Denmark on Friday lifted all remaining COVID restrictions. We just returned from three wonderful weeks in Denmark and Sweden. We found ourselves living a “normal” life, essentially COVID free. With infection rates currently 17 times lower per capita than the U.S., according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. There just isn’t much spread. It’s truly liberating.
How did the Danes do this? No doubt it is complicated, yet three facts stand out. First, they mandated masks and achieved very high compliance. Mask restrictions were lifted some time ago when rate decreases justified doing so.
Second, they were among the first to require a Coronavirus pass. The Coronapas app or equivalent data (our CDC cards worked easily) was required for entry into all indoor public and private venues. All that was needed was proof of full vaccination, a negative test or recovery from an infection within six months. Everyone could participate freely and safely.
Third, they did not hesitate to get the vaccines. They have achieved almost an 80% full vaccination rate that is still rising.
We can keep fighting over and blocking public health measures that are proven to work, or we can continue to live a confined, divisive existence haunted by COVID. Ironically, we are restricting our liberties more by refusing to accept the simple, temporary inconveniences and sacrifices required.
Stephen Ritch, St. Petersburg
DeSantis goes to Nebraska
DeSantis delights record crowd at Pasco GOP dinner with barbs at Biden | Sept. 12
Gov. Ron DeSantis reportedly told Pasco Republicans, “If Joe Biden is violating the Constitution, if Joe Biden is coming after the jobs of our citizens, if Joe Biden is trying to destroy the livelihoods of our people, I will fight back.” For some reason, he then went to Nebraska, far from Pasco and Florida, to repeat the words except “if” was replaced by “when.” If or when President Biden does any of those things, I will stand with DeSantis. But until Biden does those things, DeSantis should stay home and help solve Florida’s many actual problems.
Jim Smith, St. Petersburg
Applaud the 100% vaccination rate
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fully vaccinated against COVID-19, head coach Bruce Arians says | Sept. 2
Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for reaching a 100% vaccinated status. Thank you to the leadership, coaches and players for taking a shot for the team. This is the character of what good teams do. I can’t imagine sacrificing a game or a season when there is a free remedy readily available. This is behavior that should be applauded and emulated.
Terrence Callahan, Crystal Beach