We have entered the Twilight Zone of vaccine truth and consequences

Even as health care workers struggle to care for patients — unquestionably a science-based endeavor—some of them are refusing a free treatment that overwhelmingly prevents hospitalization and death.

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A member of the Chicago Teachers Union wears a sticker after getting vaccinated at Weiss Memorial Hospital on Feb. 15, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

We have finally entered the Twilight Zone.

Governors are defying public health rules issued by the president and federal agencies. They are punishing school districts that are trying to protect their students and employees. They are threatening private companies that are trying to keep their businesses going by protecting their workforce.

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Even as health care workers struggle to care for patients — unquestionably a science-based endeavor—some of them are refusing a free treatment that overwhelmingly prevents hospitalization and death caused by a disease destined to kill at least three quarters of a million Americans.

And television personalities who are required to be vaccinated turn around and disseminate inaccurate information (to put it generously), just as Republican politicians consistently undermine vaccination efforts and inflame people’s doubts about safety.

It’s as if they were all fighting on the side of COVID.

What hope do we have?

Michael Hart, West Ridge

Police officers should decide on vaccines

My wife is a Chicago police officer. She is a dedicated public servant. She has and will continue to run toward the gunfire. She has and will continue to run toward the danger if there is a chance to save others. 

My wife and I, after much research and discussion, have chosen not to be vaccinated at this time. Our decision is based in part on her serious allergies. Also, in part, because we lead healthy lifestyles. But now this decision, reached by two consenting adults within the marriage bond, is threatened for one of us. Mayor Lori Lightfoot believes she has the right and moral authority to override our well researched, well thought-out and critically reasoned decision and force my wife to submit to this shot. 

My wife is not to have any say over what will be done to her physical person. I hope her union and fellow officers stand strong against this unconscionable and dictatorial abuse of power.

Robert R. Johnson, Mt. Greenwood

Serve and protect whom?

“We serve and protect” is the motto of the Chicago Police Department. But who does their union claim to serve and protect, given that they have chosen to spread COVID-19 among the citizens of Chicago by defying a common-sense requirement to get vaccinated? 

Vaccinations protect the person who is vaccinated. And each person who avoids infection is one less opportunity for the virus to mutate into a more deadly variant, and it means one less carrier to infect several other people. 

Please guys, try not to kill the citizens of Chicago.

Mike Foss Redwood City, California

Schools and vaccine confusion

I wish Mayor Lori Lightfoot was selling her car. She has proved once again that she is a terrible negotiator. And the Chicago Teachers Union has once again proved that they are no better than dishonest car salespeople, talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Sometimes the CTU complains about the lax COVID-19 policies in Chicago’s public schools. Then, on Wednesday, they encouraged the mayor to continue to allow unvaccinated teachers and CPS employees to work, in person and paid, after her vaccine deadline. What is the point to a vaccine mandate if you don’t follow through with the consequences?

I’m not fooled by the CPS/CTU “statistic” that 85% of employees at CPS are vaccinated. That’s everyone within CPS. More than 1,500 teachers, as I write this, remain unvaccinated. Those teachers mingle for many hours, in close contact, with unvaccinated children.

Children until the age of 12 can’t legally get a vaccine, but adults can. They must face harsh consequences for not doing so. Unvaccinated teachers, CPS, the teachers union and Lightfoot are going to drive right off the COVID-19 cliff. Sadly, we’ll go down with them.

Patty Lamberti, Edgebrook

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