The Daily Hampshire Gazette just posted (December 29) a letter I submitted to the paper on December 13, rather than a more timely letter I submitted on December 26. The text of the latter letter is below.
I have some questions for the Northampton Board of Health regarding their column in the Gazette.
- Do you agree with CNN’s Dr. Leana Wen, a consistent advocate for stringent anti-Covid measures, that the cloth masks most of us wear to stop the spread are “little more than facial decorations” when it comes to the omicron variant? If not, would you please provide the data?
- Before recommending vaccine and booster mandates for businesses and organizations, did you consider the economic impact of such mandates, both in terms of loss of employment for the unvaccinated and the diminished provision of goods and services for the businesses? How about hospitals and other health care providers, who are experiencing staffing shortages in some areas due to forced firings?
- Can’t the vaccinated and boosted (such as myself) also be infected by and transmit the virus? Don’t vaccines and natural immunity afford high levels of protection from serious illness and death from Covid, regardless of its source? If “yes” to these questions, why should the vaccinated be required to shun (and badger, and stigmatize) the unvaccinated?
- Considering that some of the areas of the U.S. that have taken the most stringent measures against the spread, such as New York City, are also experiencing huge spikes of infection, how confident are you that such measures taken in Northampton will have the intended effect? Is it really within the powers of town government and health officials to stop what seems to be the inevitable spread of omicron, which is 70 times more infectious than delta, and is thwarting all efforts to stop it? And given that omicron seems to produce far less severe health consequences than earlier variants, are the extreme efforts to fight it worth the negative consequences to our freedom, productivity, and well-being, such as the cancellation of all indoor events at First Night?