Stephen Maseda | Risk and Responsibility

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I have just read Mr. Thomas Oatway’s latest letter (Jan. 28). I am amazed at how he personalizes his position and politicizes his views on COVID-19. 

In so far as the experts he cites are concerned: I grew up in Kansas, a very Republican state, graduated from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk) and am a loyal KU basketball fan. I am just a couple of years younger than Mr. Oatway, which is another way of saying I am old. In December, Bill Self, the KU basketball coach, said exactly what these “experts” are quoted as saying — we are all going to catch it, vaccinated or not. So no real expert revelation there. I do not know or care what coach Self’s politics are, they are meaningless to his coaching just as they are meaningless to the facts about COVID.

As for vaccination — my wife (she is about my age and is my trophy wife) and I are vaccinated and boosted. Over the last two years, we have gone to restaurants and the movies when they were allowed to open; my wife, with my youngest daughter, worked at a food pantry in the San Fernando Valley three days a week. I went on a Baja sailing trip with some friends for a week — all before the vaccines became available — and my wife and I traveled to France for three weeks in September and October 2021. We were also planning to go on a sailing trip to the Caribbean in March 2021 but had to cancel because our youngest daughter was living with us as her group home was locked down, and we refused to have her held captive, locked away in her group home, unable to see her family or friends.

Obviously Mr. Oatway has approached COVID differently. He is, based on his letters to The Signal, essentially a progressive. I and my family members are conservatives, as seems clear from my letters. In my humble opinion, Mr. Oatway might consider not blaming his decisions on everyone else, and recognize that they were and are his decisions, based on whatever advice he has chosen to follow. He might also recognize that the “science” on COVID-19 has developed and changed over the two years we have been living with it. Do not wear masks, wear masks; cloth masks are not effective at stopping COVID; the vaccines are 90+% effective, they rapidly lose effectiveness against infection and transmission, such that they are less than 50% effective in a few months; 40% of the new Omicron cases are of vaccinated folks; the recovery rate from COVID exceeds 99%; 80% of deaths occurred in folks over 65, and among young folks those with co-morbidities are the ones at risk. 

It seems to me that people of different age groups, or just in general, can look at this partial list and come to different conclusions about how to live their lives. Just as we and Mr. Oatway have. The difference is in whether we accept responsibility for our decisions.

Stephen Maseda


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