What Kristin Offenheiser misses in her Sept. 9 letter is that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic that killed more Americans than those who died in service in World Wars I and II combined — 650,000 dead from COVID so far. Medical facilities and professionals have been crushed dealing with COVID, and many systems are nearing collapse.

Idaho is about to start rationing health care, as is Hawaii (https://bit.ly/3ts4z9z). A Texas veteran died of treatable gallstone pancreatitis because so many ICU beds were taken by COVID patients. (https://cbsn.ws/2Vwckiq). A Nebraska man died over 200 miles from home because the closest hospital with an ICU bed was in Des Moines. (https://bit.ly/2X2lZ0C).

Children are getting sick and dying from COVID now, as are people who can’t take vaccines due to the refusal of people who safely can. Events are still being postponed or canceled, which cause economic ripple effects.

It’s one thing to not be vaccinated because of a health condition. It’s something else entirely when a person who can safely take the vaccine refuses to do so, then gets huffy when confronted. I am over excuses like how the vaccine is not for everyone. This could have been over by now. I don’t want to have the pandemic still be a thing on my 50th birthday, but the way we’re going it still will be. This is a pandemic crushing our health care systems, so it’s time to toss the rulebook aside and truly commit to fighting COVID.

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