They threaten my health, but won’t take compassion

I like to think I’m as fed up as anyone with anti-vaxxers and how they’ve dragged out a pandemic that could be under control by now. Two letters ago I referred to them as traitors and akin to criminals, and I stand by that. However, I find myself appalled by websites and forums that have recently sprung up to ridicule anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who have subsequently died of COVID-19.

As harmful as COVID-19 misinformation has been, anyone who celebrates the death of another relinquishes their claim to moral superiority. Every anti-vaxxer is somebody’s child, spouse, parent, friend, neighbor. I can’t tell anyone else how they should feel, but even if a death feels just, it dehumanizes us to revel in it. Perhaps it’s easy to think that these are just “bad people” who have it coming, but if we’d lived the lives they lived, and had the same experiences and influences, we’d be anti-vaxxers too. Maybe that uncomfortable truth is partly what makes us so eager to distance ourselves from them.

When I stop caring whether another person — any person — lives or dies, I start to become morally aligned with the very people I condemn. Moreover, I suspect that a lack of sympathy and understanding is, in part, what drives people to seek community and acceptance on the fringes of the internet in the first place.

Even if we find it difficult to pity those whose fallacious beliefs lead them to an early death, we can at least have the decency to stay silent and leave their survivors to their grief. I intend to continue battling misinformation, hypocrisy, and ignorance, but I’ll never celebrate the deaths of my enemies.

It’s bad enough for anti-vaxxers to threaten my health; I won’t let them have my compassion too.

Ryan Urie


How much more education does the columnist need?

Where has columnist Scotty Anderson been these last months since COVID-19 inoculations? Has he not seen any of the public service announcements with Pete Carroll, with a pastor from a Washington coastal community, with multiple state governors and current and former presidents? How about PSAs in the newspapers, on the radio, on social media and in shopping malls? How about Dr. Fauci, the current and former directors of the CDC and other experts from various medical and health schools of universities? How about the various news specials where cameras and news reporters covered the COVID-19 wards of various hospitals? How about the bedside confessions of unvaccinated survivors? Even the Pope is recommending vaccination. How much education is needed to meet Scotty’s approval?

I am baffled at how one’s high opinion of oneself and exaggerations will benefit the cause for education over mandating. (I tend to lend more credence to unpretentious people.) I am more baffled by the omission of any explanation of how Scotty’s education works compared to mandates, or how or what the process to be employed. Where is the logic in putting forth irrelevant facts and a non-sequitur debate over natural immunity versus vaccine? By the way, natural immunity does not protect from reinfection (it does follow the science).

I am of the opinion that more than enough education has been performed and should continue. I am cognizant of the number of people who do not wish to be vaccinated, but if people don’t change, herd immunity won’t be achieved, and we will be living with COVID-19 longer than necessary. Yet the needle is moving, again because mandates are being employed. Health insurance entities are in the process of adding a surcharge (in one case, $200/month) for spouses refusing the vaccine; health insurance is tired of waiting for a mandate.

Brandon Burch


Endorsing Grantham

It’s my pleasure to heartily endorse Tricia Grantham’s candidacy for reelection to Pullman Regional Hospital District’s board of commissioners.

As the newest member of the board, I have been impressed from day one with Tricia’s breadth and depth of knowledge about all aspects of hospital district governance. During her 17 years as commissioner (seven of which have been as president), Tricia has steered our hospital board through many challenges with wisdom, diplomacy, and a unique understanding of the needs of both the hospital and the community.

As a 43-year resident of Pullman, and with her background as a social work administrator, Tricia knows about our community’s healthcare challenges. She has provided valuable input from Pullman residents, which has in turn has helped to inform the board’s deliberation and decision-making on various healthcare issues. She has also spent many hours volunteering extra time to participate in hospital events and campaigns, as well as various community information outreach projects.

On a personal note, Tricia has always been available to lend valuable insight when I’ve had questions or concerns regarding my role as commissioner. Her contributions at hospital board meetings have always provided clarification and enlightenment. She has been an excellent example to me of an engaged, informed, trustworthy, and responsible board member.

During this challenging time in healthcare, it is essential to have experienced leadership of our hospital and we are fortunate that Tricia has chosen to renew her commitment to our community by running for reelection to the Pullman Regional Hospital board of commissioners.

Karen Karpman


A poor decision on cell tower

I see the Moscow City Council has overridden the rejection of a petition to install an 80-foot cell phone tower in a residential neighborhood in East Moscow. Does the council feel like they had no recourse but to approve this? The tower, no matter how they build it, will dominate the landscape of the neighborhood. Further, it opens up a Pandora’s box for all kinds of towers around our city. I remind people this is not a public utility such as a water tank or an electrical pole which serve all the people in our city. While I generally support and appreciate the work of the city council, this approval is a mistake. It ignores the will of and the ambiance of an entire neighborhood. Why?

Roger Hayes


Heartened by Parker

It is heartening to see many signs for Julia Parker around town. This indicates that Moscow cares about the future well-being of our community, as does Julia.

Julia Parker will work to keep our community welcoming and inclusive. She will work to protect our environment. She will work for sustainable growth.

Please join me in voting for Julia Parker for Moscow City Council on or before November 2.

Walter Hesford


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