Giving up, for now, on trying to get the vaccine in Cook County

“When I finally received an email, the system assigned me a yet a new identification number and informed me that no appointment slots were available.”

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Will Cordero, 26, a special education classroom assistant, receives his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Monday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

I attempted to use the Cook County online vaccine sign-up system and experienced repeated disappointing results. I was assigned an initial ID number, but when I attempted to use it to check back for open slots, the system didn’t recognize the ID number. I subsequently was assigned two additional bad ID numbers.

When I finally received an email, the system assigned me a new number and immediately informed me that no slots were available.

I finally got past that hurdle and made it as far as selecting a date, only to have the system freeze up, and by the time it recovered, all the appointment slots had been taken. I checked my internet hookup, and it was functioning at maximum speed.

I have decided to continue my safeguards against COVID-19 and wait for a later time to try and get a vaccine.

If airlines can schedule, cancel and reassign thousands of passengers a day, surely the county can find a vendor who can set up and operate a reliable scheduling system.

Warren Rodgers, Jr., Matteson

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Two dangers of higher minimum wage

The Sun-Times editorial board is pushing for a higher federal minimum wage.

I spent my life working in the retail food business, and I can say that most people who work there make far less than the proposed new minimum wage, $15 an hour.

Increasing the minimum wage will have two negative effects on the food business that you will not like.

First, this will force smaller grocery stores to match much of the personnel costs of large stores, and they will not be able to compete. They don’t have the efficiencies and cost savings that come with large volume. Smaller stores are more likely to be non-union, so their labor costs are lower. Many smaller grocery stores will go out of business.

Second, food costs will go up significantly across the board. Most people will be able to absorb that, except for those on the bottom end of the labor force, those on minimum wages. So their increase in wages will immediately be eaten up by higher food costs. And fast food and restaurant cost increases.

If you tie the minimum wage to inflation, the minimum wage and food costs just keep going higher and higher with no end in sight.

Government should stick to things it knows about and can solve. I’m not sure what that is. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Larry Craig, Wilmette

Oh, please, it was no attempted ‘coup’

Guys, I’m just a poor schmo in the frozen tundra, but it’s a bit hard to believe your editorial about the Senate impeachment vote. The only “gale” I see is the one blowing across Lake Michigan. If you think, as you expressed, that what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was an attempted “coup,” that would mean the guy wearing the Viking helmet was going to be the new secretary of defense. I didn’t see any other cabinet-level personnel there.

As for Donald Trump’s tweet to “be there. Will be wild,” it takes a bit of a leap to land on “a war against democracy.” That’s the best you could come up with?

What about Trump’s direction to the crowd to “Go home in peace?” Alas, that doesn’t fit the narrative, but it also surely doesn’t seem like the words of an “attack on democracy” — suddenly a very overused term, no?

I might suggest that you are the ones sowing the “threat against democracy” with such reckless rhetoric. You got rid of Trump, good work. Yeah, he was an embarrassment in the last few weeks. But impeachment (let alone twice)? Methinks not. And there is no such thing as the “most bipartisan impeachment in history.” That was the Democrats-as-sore-losers’ only crowing point. Now that’s a joke. It was an acquittal. That’s the way we keep score.

We do keep score. And apparently you lost (or have lost it). But do prate on.

John Devine, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

So much for doing the right thing

It’s no surprise that Republicans in Congress found Donald J. Trump not guilty. For four years, with rare exceptions, they have kissed his ring or bit their lips and kept silent in fear of his followers back home.

I understand that career politicians are always thinking about the next election. Democrats, too, are guilty of this character flaw. But there are times when doing the right thing is more important.

Those who enabled Trump in his reckless and self-aggrandizing presidency should be ashamed to look in their mirrors. May God forgive them. History will not.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

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