Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Mills made the right decision

Gov. Janet Mills made the right decision to  require health care workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. Her decision garnered support from a broad coalition of health care providers across Maine.

MaineHealth also made the right decision in enforcing that requirement. But some health care workers are fighting that mandate as demonstrated in public protests in Portland, Augusta and Bangor. Republicans in the Maine Legislature also sent letters asking Mills to reconsider and overturn the mandate.

The fourth wave of the coronavirus — the delta variant — is now spiking in southern states with low vaccination rates and rising in Maine, and is the most transmissible variant to date.

Despite thousands of news articles, social media feeds and cable TV reports attesting to the efficacy of current vaccines, political interference has served to overturn solid medical evidence into misguided, self-defeating, untruthful and conspiratorial theories.

This virus knows no political affiliation, but this public health crisis now is viewed as a political football.

Were I to learn that LincolnHealth and Pen Bay Medical Center did not require hospital workers to be vaccinated, I would immediately cancel two physician consults and a CT scan scheduled for the coming months.

MaineHealth made the right decision and the medical and health care staff of those institutions also will make the right decision by being vaccinated if they are not already.

Knowing that medicine is a science, any protest against these mandates and requirements protests against science. Knowing that health care is caring for health, any protest against proven measures that limit the spread of this virus protests against health.

I ask these protestors: How can they call themselves “health care” workers?

Michael T. Bucci


Finding trustworthy sources of information

“Misinformation” is being warned against, and threatened by our government and mainstream media. Honest debate has died in America. Don’t listen to “misinformation,” we’re constantly being told, listen to us.

A few questions arise: What is “misinformation”? And who is putting it out there, and why? Is mainstream news actually the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Doubtful. It is risky to accept everything that is broadcast as true. It is likely that nothing we hear or read is 100 percent reliable, or 100 percent unreliable.

What seems certain is the fact that every news source is determined to tell us what to do, what to watch, what to watch out for, how to sleep, how to eat, who to listen to and who not to listen to, etc., as though we can no longer think for ourselves.

So, which media sources are more trustworthy? It is confusing to put it mildly. What we choose to believe, or to ignore, is a very personal decision. Good luck.

Les Simon


Require masks in schools

We are in the midst of a public health crisis around the world, and here in Waldo County. As citizens, we are united by a common goal. We want to educate our children and keep them, our staff and our community safe and healthy.

How can we both educate and protect? Most of us can get vaccinated, but children under 12 cannot be vaccinated yet. One measure we can all take is to wear masks indoors. Masks should be worn in school and on the bus by students, staff and visitors. This is a public health issue. Last year, when we wore masks in school and indoor places, when we practiced social distancing, there was the lowest incidence of colds and flu in years. Mask wearing, social distancing and getting vaccinated made us healthier. It helped protect us against COVID-19. Let’s continue those practices.

The Belfast City Hall requires people entering to wear masks. Waldo County Hospital requires everyone entering to wear a mask. That same level of care and consideration should

be required in schools.

As Kevin Williamson of the National Review  wrote, “The [coronavirus] epidemic is, in its own way, a test of good citizenship. And is it a test that many patriots are failing.” Let us not fail. Let’s be good patriots. As a retired public school teacher now teaching part time, I urge local school boards to vote to protect the public health of all students and staff by requiring that masks be worn in school and on the bus.

Linda Garson Smith