The COVID ‘green pass’ works
Why doesn’t Florida trust its residents with basic COVID information? | Editorial, Oct. 24
We just returned from a fortnight in Italy. Having visited many times, I could gush about the familiar wonders and the new discoveries. On the latter, the top of my list is the green pass for COVID-19. It’s ubiquitous. It’s simple (go/no go). Best of all, it’s acceptable. The key to the latter is reasonableness. You can get a green pass by proof of prior infection, medical exemption, vaccination or a negative test within the past 48 hours. As an epidemiologist, I appreciate that there is a little risk in such breadth of choice, but this is dwarfed by the tremendous benefits. Lots of choices, including the ultimate of avoiding the majority of venues that require the pass, translates into the happy quartet of incentivizing vaccination (over 80%); a return to la dolce vita for those with the pass (it’s palpable); ease of administration (it’s all point of service); and a lack of controversy (it’s become as routine as pulling out your debit card). No doubt there are other explanations for why Italy enjoys less than one-fifth of our daily case rate, but let’s start with this. For those choosing the test option, the frequent testing is a hassle, but I note that you can get a test result in about 10 minutes at about one-tenth of the U.S. cost and can find a test center about as easily as a sidewalk café in the same locales. Sveglia l’America. That’s Italian for “Wake up, America.”
Pat Byrne, Largo
Keep our shores clean
California spill a reminder of dark days for Florida’s coasts in 2010 | Column, Oct. 25
You had tar balls on your beaches and dead birds, too? You have dealt with decades of damage to the marine environment, like we Californians are facing? Shared experience creates bonds. This column, co-authored by a clear-eyed business advocate, is asking serious questions. Why should the overall business community be sacrificed to benefit the fossil fuel industry? In addition to signing petitions and attending rallies to ban all offshore extraction, I support carbon-fee-and-dividend. It equitably accelerates the green transition and is supported by an overwhelming consensus of economists as an effective method of reducing carbon emissions. Under this plan, funding for further offshore drilling projects would evaporate. The California and Florida coastlines are a treasure we don’t want buried under a blanket of oil.
Gary M. Stewart, Laguna Beach, California
Let’s have Fort Thomas
Lee’s statue should go, but leave Jefferson’s | Column, Oct. 25
Columnist Mona Charen is quite right, and if you carry her logic forward, I doubt that the behaviors or beliefs of today’s most progressive thinkers will escape criticism 250 years hence. We should be more humble before judging others. I also appreciated her mention of Union Gen. George Henry Thomas, a Virginian who remained loyal to the U.S. and, after the war, took action against the abuse of African-Americans and warned about the rise of false history whitewashing southern treason. Indeed, an Army fort was named for him. After it was decommissioned in the 20th century, his name was not reassigned to another fort. Since Gen. Thomas was the one ordered to pursue Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood when Hood’s defense of Atlanta collapsed, and Thomas then vanquished Hood’s army, it would be poignantly appropriate for Thomas to overcome Hood once more by renaming Fort Hood to Fort Thomas.
Samuel McClelland, Clearwater
Don’t point guns at people
Film set tragedy spurs call to ban guns | Oct. 25
There is a basic rule of gun handling: Never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don’t want to destroy. Intentionally or not, Alec Baldwin pointed his firearm at a person and pulled the trigger. Forget using safer or dummy guns. Arrange the filming and camera angles so that no one has to point any sort of firearm at another person ever.
Pete Wilford, Holiday