As Arkansas now leads the nation in covid deaths per capita, it is way past time for the governor, Health Department or all hospitals and long-term-care facilities to mandate their employees be vaccinated.
Frankly, it is a travesty this group of citizens are not leading by example for this safe and effective preventive treatment. Facilities, except for a few, are hesitant to mandate it for fear of losing employees. If it was a requirement for all, they could either get the vaccine or find another occupation.
A local nursing home recently had to go on full lockdown because one unvaccinated employee developed covid. How is this fair or reasonable for the hundreds of affected other employees, residents and family members who were vaccinated?
Will miss her column
As a self-approved grammarian, I thoroughly enjoyed Bernadette Kinlaw's weekly column "Watch Your Language." It was at once informative and entertaining. (Something to be said of a newspaper/iPad column on anything these days, no?) I do hope someone on your notable staff will pick up the gauntlet.
"Irregardless," thank you and her for weeks of fun, learning and entertainment. Best of luck to her, as well, on her new endeavor.
Law should be tossed
Every physician and dentist in the state of Arkansas should use the rights recently granted through the General Assembly and the governor to add the following question to their new patient questionnaire: "Do you, or any member of your family, work for the General Assembly or the governor's office of the state of Arkansas?"
If they answer yes to your question, then simply turn the patient away if it is a non-emergency situation. If your religion teaches that you not treat politicians and they do not like it, they can always repeal the law that they so rapidly enacted without considering the consequences. Either that or they can go to another state without such regressive laws.
I have family members who will no longer spend money in the state of Arkansas because of this law. It needs to get off the books so I can see those that I love again.
Willing to sacrifice
All across the U.S., covid-19 vaccine reluctance is greatest in areas with strongest Republican support. In addition, analysts calculate that Republicans would control the majority of the states, both houses of Congress and the presidency with as little as 48 percent of the vote. Could it be that the Republican Party is willing to sacrifice a small percentage of its adherents rather than offend its anti-science base?
ALBERT J. LARSON
Did they get the shot?
As one of my tasks as an old person is to read the daily obits in the Democrat-Gazette, it would be informational if families who lost a loved one to covid would also state whether they were vaccinated or not.
I'm afraid most all of these covid deaths will just be another faceless non-vaccinated statistic to many. Sad.
Take care of children
Here we go again. It is mid-July with a pandemic raging, this time with the Delta variant ravaging Arkansas. It does not care what we believe. It is just looking for bodies to infect.
The Arkansas Department of Health posted case reports twice per week for the school year 2020-21, and even though we know that those numbers are likely lower than the actual count, this is the only official data we have. As of May 27 there were a total of 44,720 public school cases last year; 30,287 of those were students, 11,994 were faculty and staff. A number of educators were sickened in June; some are still in the hospital fighting for breath in ventilators. Several died.
Unofficially there have been 41 deaths of school employees since the beginning of last school year. If you think that number is low and therefore insignificant, think about how each one of those people impacted the lives of children as well as their families and communities.
We know there is a surge. We know the Delta variant is more deadly and is affecting more younger people. We know masking works to help reduce infections, if everyone does it. We know that vaccines work.
Yet our governor has stated repeatedly, "We're not having masks in schools this year." Our Legislature decreed that no mask mandates could be put in place by anyone at any level. Those 44,720 cases happened with a mask mandate and multiple other measures in place. Did all schools follow the guidelines? Well no, of course not, but many did. There was funding for cleaning supplies and quarantine leave available to districts.
The coming school year will be way more deadly since it appears that no kind of assistance is coming. This year students, teachers, and staff are being thrown under the bus. Our state has an abysmal rate of vaccination, so it will spread. If you think that reality isn't keeping teachers up at night already, think again.
To our lawmakers and education department heads: Stop pandering to extremists and science-deniers. Take care of our children and those who work with them. School should be the safest place for children to be.