I commend Gov. Kate Brown’s early decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including restricting businesses which cannot accommodate safe distancing, such as bars, restaurants and gyms. A segment of Oregon’s population refuses to comply, some now openly flouting precautions. Initially, Brown held fast, but now seems to be weakening.
With recently discovered variants increasing ease of transmission, it’s especially vital to follow the proven protocols to curtail the spread of this virus.
I disagree with Brown’s recent decision to allow schools to reopen, choosing to vaccinate teachers and other staff before seniors. It’s possible students could carry the virus home to their parents.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, reminds us, “We don’t know whether a vaccine stops transmissibility.”
It’s also imperative to protect those incarcerated in Oregon’s prisons, as they, like seniors in nursing homes, have no reliable way to distance themselves from one another. The 39th Oregon inmate death due to COVID was reported Jan. 26. To deny them the vaccine is to commit an egregious human rights violation.
Our governor needs to re-examine priorities and adhere to science.